We have awoken to find yet another example of the changing times. On Monday, the Congressional Black Caucus, led by New Orleans Democrat Cedric Richmond, wrote a letter urging NFL team owners to consider their stance on athletes protesting police brutality.
For African Americans, it is not about standing, sitting, or kneeling for the National Anthem – it is about unarmed African Americans lying in a grave who were shot and killed by police officers, Richmond wrote. It is also about a justice system that says that encountering a Black person is enough reason for a police officer to fear for his or her life.
Inspired by #MLK’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” CBC Chairman @RepRichmond sends an open letter to @nflcommish about patriotism and police brutality. Letter: https://t.co/WeUXkLL8OV #TakeAKnee #BlackLivesMatter #ImWithKap #NFL #Football
The letter comes a few short weeks after the NFL protests started by Colin Kaepernick were revitalized by thoughtless ramblings coming from the White House which labeled NFL and NBA players who engaged in protest sons of bitches. It also comes a little over a week after Vice President Mike Penceleaving an NFL game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers, using the game to stage a publicity stunt.
The current environment dictates that all parties involved rush to control the dialogue surrounding the topics of police brutality, the National Anthem, and institutional racism. The Congressional Black Caucus has finally stepped into the void, after the SOB comment, after Kaps blackballing and after the National Football League has reportedly made overtures to incorporate social activism into its rainbow of philanthropic interests.
A little history about the CBC; they didnt support Shirley Chisholms 1972 run for the presidency, they withdrew their opposition from Bill Clintons draconian 1994 crime bill and have been taken to task by Black Lives Matter for its connections to private prisons and big tobacco. They helped spark the Free South Africa movement of the ’80s while waving through legislation empowering the criminal justice system to jail more black folks.
Historically toothless, always a day late, and a billion short, the Congressional Black Caucus support of NFL players is likely appreciated but the timing is also indicative of their static irrelevance.