It’s easy to love the anthem and the flag when you’re white.

I’ve never been targeted to be stopped while driving because I was white. I’ve never gone to interview for a job and been rejected because I am white. I’ve never walked into a business and been made uncomfortable, watched, or harassed because I’m white. I can walk down the street in a really nice neighborhood and no one looks twice at me because I’m white.

The same cannot be said if you are brown or black.

This is the truth of the USA.

This is why NASCAR can “honor the flag and anthem.” It’s stars are 99% white (and male).

Football and basketball are not predominately white. These are men who, despite being paid lots of money to play their sport, can and do get stopped for driving in a nice car in a good neighborhood because they’re black and that alone is enough to make them look suspicious.

Black men and women DO get harassed, followed, stopped, and made uncomfortable.

I have been in groups of whites who responded with suspicion about a brown or black person serving them, walking through their neighborhood, or just driving down the street. I have heard people say about a black man driving a nice car, “Well, you know he deals drugs for a living!”

Until you have lived with that constant threat, that cloud of suspicion, you have no sense of what it is to be brown or black in America.

I’ve had friends tell me about it, and I’ve heard prejudice expressed, but I still can’t know what it’s like.

Until the day that we don’t hear about black college professors being stopped in front of their own homes by police and asked what they are doing in the neighborhood, or young black men shot in their cars in front of their families by police when they have their hands up, or young brown men and woman accused of being “rag heads” this is not a country that has full equality.

So hell yeah, take a knee. I’ll take one beside you.

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