Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Yohuru Williams: Seattle Students on the Cutting Edge of New Civil Rights Movement | The Progressive

Seattle Students on the Cutting Edge of New Civil Rights Movement | The Progressive:

Seattle Students on the Cutting Edge of New Civil Rights Movement

The entire Garfield High School football team and cheerleading team kneel in protest during the national anthem on Friday, September 23, 2016 (Lauren Frohne/The Seattle Times)
Remembering the late Muhammad Ali, New York Times reporter Robert Lipsyte described how the brash young champion, who stood for civil rights and social justice early in his career, was morphed by the media and his admirers into "something of a secular saint" and "a legend in soft focus" by the time of his death.
It’s also an apt description of what the scholar Cornel West has described as the "Santa Clausification" of another "legend in soft focus," the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Reduced to a collection of sound bites, King, in many ways, stands today a caricature of the movement he helped to define, disconnected from the struggle and sacrifice that was needed to carry it forward.
Lost in the hagiography surrounding figures such as King and Ali is the radical call to action they made.
This is what makes the current flap over San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernickso interesting. Kaepernick continues to face a torrent of criticism for his decision not to stand during the national anthem in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement. On Friday Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg issued a formal apology calling "inappropriately dismissive and harsh" her recent comments that athletes, like Kaepernick, have the right to protest, "if they want to be stupid."
Ginsburg's remarks would not have been as stinging if they only applied to professional Seattle Students on the Cutting Edge of New Civil Rights Movement | The Progressive:


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