Freedom to Protest

A young activist recently thanked me for publically recognizing the service of those who protest America. I believe there is nothing more American than protest; after all, going back to the Original American Protest, the Boston Tea Party, protest has been the means through which Americans have demanded change.

Protesters, like Colin Kaepernick, serve America by reminding us to live up to our ideals of Freedom, Equality and Justice. They too are patriots.

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” ~ Elie Wiesel

Inhale Resistance, Exhale Status Quo…
Inhale Activism, Exhale Complacency…
Inhale Protest, Exhale Powerlessness…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

Please follow and like us:

Distracted

While people are using social media to protest Dove’s awkward attempt at “representing women of color thoughtfully” (their words), #45’s FBI has apparently launched COINTELPRO 2.0 to target and discredit what they’ve labeled “black identity extremists.”

The FBI has a history of targeting activists fighting for equality and social justice; in this latest move, the Bureau has “conjured’ extremists from peaceful protestors, who they say pose a growing threat to law enforcement.

And while it may not have been intentional, the Dove ad is just a distraction.

“All we say to America is, ‘Be true to what you said on paper.’ If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn’t committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.” ~ Martin Luther King, I’ve Been To The Mountain Top, April 3, 1968

Inhale Focus, Exhale Distractions…
Inhale Protest, Exhale Discredited…
Inhale Freedom, Exhale Denial…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

Please follow and like us:

American Experiment: The Symbols

It always fascinates me how people, many of whom have done nothing in service to this country or made any sacrifice to represent this country, have something to say when people of color don’t honor the USA the way THEY think it should be honored.

CPT Humayun Khan DIED in service to this country but it didn’t stop so called “patriots” from disrespecting his parents and his memory when they spoke out against bigotry.

Gabby Douglas and her family made sacrifices so she would be able to continue the streak of American gymnasts who have won Olympic Gold in the Individual All-Around competition in 2012. She is one of the reasons Team USA was so dominant in 2012 and this year, but when this 20-year old stood at attention versus putting her hand over her heart during our National Anthem, she was treated as if she had committed treason.

This week, the person of color who has most upset those who would dictate how and when Americans honor America is San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. What I found most interesting about the criticism of Kaepernick’s decision to no longer stand during the National Anthem is the idea that he was disrespecting the symbols that give him the right to speak.

But isn’t the opposite true…that the ideas and sacrifices behind the symbols represent the freedom of expression Kaepernick exercised? Tweet

Our freedoms, to include expressing a difference of opinion, are what attract freedom loving peoples to this country and make us different from countries where dissenters are jailed or executed, protest is violently squashed, and the freedom to criticize government doesn’t exist.

And is there anything MORE American than protest? From the Boston Tea Party to the march to Selma, to the unrest in Ferguson, protest has been a catalyst, if not THE catalyst for change in this country especially when it comes to race. This veteran swore to “support and defend” the experiment that is America so that every American could experience the freedoms promised to all Americans, to include the freedom to protest America. But every American has a different role to play in making the American experiment in democracy and diversity a success.

And each of us has the right, even the responsibility to speak out when there is injustice against any American. Tweet

The freedom of expression afforded to all Americans includes NOT honoring the symbols of America when America is NOT honoring its citizens.

“…And my country is the great American Republic. My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.” ~ Carl Schurz, the first German-born American ever to serve in the United States Senate Tweet

Renita Alexander, Leadership Unlocked

Please follow and like us: