Totalitarian Empathy

There was a time,
when people had to sit,
where immoral laws
directed and saw fit.
“Boy, You better get,
to the back of the bus,
and stop your fuss.
Make it quick,
before you get hit,
with this bully stick.”

Fast forward and
now, players are told,
“you’d better stand,
and honor this great land.
If you don’t, one and all
the owners will be called and
everybody knows, he’s the man.
Disobey, and you’ll be banned.”

Those who are insightful,
know how con men,
can switch any subject,
and cause others to take the bait.
But players of a game,
still exciting and great,
refused to be silenced,
for they sensed the urgency,
and the need to act with haste,
instead of heeding the warnings to wait.

Many football players,
are also the few good men,
and fewer of them great.
Even though great men,
often have great flaws,
we also know,
to their artistry,
and vitality,
many are drawn.

Those who have served in uniform,
and are well-informed,
know football players are much like
our Alpha warriors.
Committed, loyal and brave no less,
the embodiment of American physical prowess.

Today as in days of old,
brave warriors fight for the sovereignty,
of this country.
Placing their lives on the line,
while others on the sidelines,
protest the biased institutionalism they see,
rampant in this country.

True warriors would never dishonor their brothers.
While those who may have never worn,
any kind of uniform,
Listen to con men,
change an admirable cause,
a call of justice for all,
into a controversial,
divisive debate,
a low brow discussion,
at best,
second rate.

People of color,
given no room for dissension,
are frowned upon if they don’t stay,
within the boundaries of what’s expected,
In order to be respected.
Never mind what has happened to them or
how they have been affected,
it has never mattered that their safety,
hasn’t been protected.

What happened to choices?
What happened to freedom,
To use our collective voices?
Some say, it’s disloyalty,
While others explain,
respectfully bending the knee,
was done to protest brutality.

No room to discuss this reality,
no room for controversy.
How is it in our society,
as Americans lie dead in the streets,

there’s no compassion, no mercy,
for their friends and family?

For people of color,
no matter what they do,
loyalty to country is always questioned,
and patriotism rejected.
No matter how much its suspected,
Jim Crow has been resurrected.

Is it possible that those who don’t understand
the meaning of respectfully
taking a knee
may not care,
as other Americans cry, or
they will never open their ears,
so they may hear.

Convinced, they have no reason to fear,
they go home
comfortably seated in an oversized chair
to tv reporters announcing,
“another American killing tonight,
but in no place that’s near.”

With no empathy,
and feeling detached,
looking at the screen,
with unaffected eyes,
they stare.

This hotly debated,
Flag controversy
isn’t personal,
Not about you opposing me.
But about a demand,
for people to stand,
and prove their love for this great land.

But, isn’t it the lesser man,
Who would let someone,
Tell them how to feel?
When or why they shouldn’t respectfully kneel,
or when to stand and
where they should place their hand?
Are we foot soldiers for people in power,
who resort to majority control,
as a means of crowd control.
to force others to do as they are told?

People of color
are required to do what’s expected,
in order to be respected,
no matter how they are affected,
and further to accept,
their rights aren’t being protected.

Some people will never care,
that there is bias,
against some of us,
but it’s a national weight we all bear.
Forced demands to conform,
lessen freedoms for all,
and at some point will become repressive
and lead to abuses of power,
that are oppressive.

Are we living in a totalitarian state?
Not yet,
get real!
We’re Americans and
No One has the right
to tell you how to
and peacefully demonstrate,
or how you morally feel.

In conclusion,
I see parallels between two leaders,
both who bravely sought a solution.
In 1955, Rosa Parks said No,
under the threat of incarceration,
and being beaten with a stick,
In 2016, another leader said.
No more,
his name,
Colin Kaepernick.

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