Today is a day of celebration in the United States. A day of family barbecues and gratuitous firework displays. In a non COVID-19 world there's some baseball games thrown in there too, but this is all in the name of our nation's independence and honoring those who laid down their lives in the defense of it. While we should honor those men and women we should also remember that they were not (and are not) all treated equally. For example, some came home from war to open arms, others returned to segregation.
While we have moved past segregation and should be proud of the many freedoms and steps forward we have taken in this country we must acknowledge that there is work yet to be done. Racial profiling and police violence against Black people in America is rampant. A disproportionate amount of the jail population and those killed or brutalized by police are Black and until something is done to correct the injustices of the current system saying Happy Fourth just doesn't sit right.
When Colin Kaepernick started taking a knee during the National Anthem before NFL games he wasn't disrespecting our troops, he was trying to point out the systemic injustices present. There is supposed to be justice for all in this country, I think it is about time we act like it. We can all start by going out to vote this November with the mindset of electing people who will make change and justice for all possible and we can support Black owned businesses. Come together as a community.
Today trumpeter Adonai Henderson organized a virtual National Anthem protest as a reminder that injustice is still present. Adonai studied trumpet and jazz at Bowling Green State University and is one hell of a musician and composer. Inspired by Kaepernick, Adonai and seven other musicians recorded videos of themselves playing the Star Spangled Banner on their knees and synced them together into one. I encourage you to watch this video and think about what it means. #BlackLivesMatter