Take a knee, I beg you, to stand for what is right and against what is wrong

Genuflect and ponder life in American, where children are shot on their porch or joggers are shot because they are black.

SHARE Take a knee, I beg you, to stand for what is right and against what is wrong

A man kneels at a memorial for George Floyd in Minneapolis on June 7.

Kerem Yucel/Getty Images

Take a knee.

Kneel in mourning for those who have died in the struggle for civil rights.

Take a knee in memory of George Floyd, who died with a knee on his neck.

Bend a knee in sorrow for the millions who have faced discrimination and oppression.

Take a knee for Eric Garner who had the life crushed out of him.

Kneel in atonement for passing judgment on others due to the color of their skin.

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Take a knee in sympathy for those who have been forced to live on the streets and encountered only suspicion in the eyes of strangers when they stretched out a hand for help.

Genuflect and ponder life in American war zones, where children are shot on their porch steps and preyed upon by street gangs or shot dead for simply jogging while black on a peaceful neighborhood street.

Take a knee for those in uniform, who are given badges and guns, and handed superhuman expectations to keep the peace while surrounded by malice and violence.

Kneel in memory of those police officers who wanted to do good, but whose souls became corrupted by the evil around them.

Take a knee to recall 14-year-old Emmett Till, lynched after being falsely accused of whistling at a white woman in Mississippi.

Take a knee in memory of the Tulsa Massacre, where mobs of spiteful white folks attacked black residents who had achieved the American dream by building businesses and attaining success.

Take a knee for the Ford Heights Four, young black men falsely convicted of murder and freed from prison years later only after DNA evidence proved their innocence.

Take a knee in sorrow for all the lives lost to illegal drugs and those who lived tortured lives trying to save them.

Kneel for just a moment to acknowledge the pain and suffering of human beings sold into slavery, who had to watch their families be tortured, beaten and lynched.

Kneel in regret for the brutal murders committed during Reconstruction, when blacks were burned alive in churches, hung from trees and shot in the streets for daring to vote in elections after being set “free.”

Kneel in honor of those brave enough to risk losing their friends, careers and lives to stand up for what was right even as people in power spoke words filled with hate.

Take a knee to ponder the words “liberty and justice for all,” trampled into insignificant dust by mindless recitation.

Drop down in reverence for the immigrants who fled their native countries to labor in American sweatshops, coal mines and steel mills, where they died working for bosses who saw no reason to provide health insurance, sick leave or an eight-hour workday.

Take a knee and recall the violence necessary throughout history to make people notice that there was intolerable suffering all around them.

Take a knee out of respect for the flag, a symbol of freedom and open rebellion.

Lower your head in memory of the tyrants who demanded obedience and imagine the heroism it took to create the first government where free speech, a free press, the power of protest became the law of the land.

Kneel in amazement at these powerful words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Take a knee, I beg you, to stand for what is right and against what is wrong.

Let it be known that those who would put their knees on the necks of others, wherever they are, whoever they are, stand alone.

Email: philkadner@gmail.com

Send letters to letters@suntimes.com.

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