In a week full of sad news — bombings in New York and New Jersey, stabbings in Minnesota — it's hard to swallow one more tragic event, that of police fatally shooting Terence Crutcher in Tulsa. It's yet another sobering reminder of how frequently black men are shot and killed by police in America. And it's also the reason NFL player Colin Kaepernick has been taking a knee during the national anthem during games recently.
The 49ers quarterback has been criticized for his actions, with talk show host Tomi Lahren's viral video calling Kaepernick's actions disgusting, and others condemning his protests as disrespectful to the military and as a display of anti-police behavior. However, Crutcher's death is a crystal-clear example of what Kaepernick and others are fighting against. When police kill black men for seemingly no reason whatsoever, that should signal an issue with the way officers are trained and carry out their duty. Deaths of black men by police are not made up; they are real, and real people are affected by police brutality. For others to criticize Kaepernick and his decision to protest is to blatantly ignore what's happening.
And as Twitter users are pointing out, that's exactly what some people are doing. Some users called attention to those who shame Kaepernick and others who call for action, even though there are so many examples of what they're protesting. Unfortunately, Crutcher's name is misspelled in the hashtag trending on Twitter, but the points raised still stand.
Another asked critics if they would stand up for injustice inflicted upon their people, or stay silent:
Others brought up the argument some make that not all cops are bad, that there are good cops who work to help others and don't kill black men. However, the silence of these "good cops" when black men are killed is disturbing:
Some responses to Kaepernick have come from the All Lives Matter movement, which inherently doesn't make sense to begin with, considering that all lives are not being unfairly discriminated against because of their race. So some Twitter users questioned whether the All Lives Matter actually support all lives, including black lives, or just themselves:
In all, it's another reminder that the protests that Kaepernick started and others have joined are necessary in moving forward and hoping to spark some change, or at least a discussion on why things are not OK as they are now:
The more noise made, and the more people stand up for the rights of black people and against discrimination, the closer we get to a cultural awakening and can begin making real change. These eight tweets are just a few examples to help truly understand why Kaepernick has protested and to show the larger issues at play.