Latest Guides

Opinion & Columnists

Political Gumbo: I’m Not Impressed

Because You Take a Knee with Protesters

Published on Monday, June 8, 2020 | 3:00 am

The protests across the country continue, but one particular moment that seems to be playing out over and over just doesn’t impress me.

Mayors, police chiefs and other policy makers taking knees and tossing their fist in the air does not mean anything to me.

It may resonate with young white progressives, or whatever they are calling themselves now, who have not been exposed to decades to racism.

The kneeling is a photo op designed to appease people. It doesn’t mean anything.

In March an LAPD officer accused of assault, abuse and blackmail of a female officer cost the city $1.5 million.

That’s just one. In 2017, the city paid out $81 million in legal settlements, much of it due to issues in the LAPD.

Those settlements include, $24 million dollars that went to a boy left paralyzed after being shot by officers, $5.7 million to a man who was shot when officers mistook his cell phone for a gun.

LAPD Foothill Division detectives alleged they were passed over for positions and overtime because of racial discrimination. They received a $2.5 million settlement. A former motorcycle cop was awarded nearly $1 million after he alleged retaliation from the LAPD because he refused to participate in an illegal ticket quota system.

What has Garcetti done to help clean up the LAPD?

Well, apparently he took a knee, cue the standing ovation.

And while he was taking it, companies were taking their own symbolic knee putting cool ads and hashtags on television claiming that Black LivesMatters.

If you’re just realizing that, you’ve been part of the problem.

By the way, how many African Americans are on the boards of those companies?

Going deeper, how many Black people would tell you they have to run faster and jump higher than their white counterparts just to be considered for a promotion or a job with a bread winner’s salary in those same companies.

Been there done that.

Officials in the NFL now claim they were wrong to oppose African Americans who were protesting police brutality by kneeling during the National Anthem. So in other words, the NFL had no idea police brutality was wrong until this week, despite the protest of the now blackballed Colin Kapernick and other African-American players.

Not to mention outspoken former players like Jim Brown.

Let’s get it straight, it’s not about me standing for your flag, it’s about that flag standing for people who look like me.

Racism is not just in police encounters among Black men and police officers.

As African-American businessman Ishmael Trone said last week, the reform has to go beyond policing in order for there to be equality in this country, including banking reform, mortgage reform and business loan reform.

For every $1.00 in a white household, there is just 12 cents in a Latino home and just 10 cents in African-American homes, according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finance.

That’s where reform lies. Not in protests, or symbolic gestures. Equality lies in economic independence. Not in a piece of the pie, but in the means and ability to bake your own pie.

So no, I’m not taking a knee with you, because you suddenly need to say Blacklivesmatters.

I’ll stand on my own damn Black two feet.

Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.

Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m.

Make a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *