Being the most populous country in the world, why aren’t there more Black people in China? Because despite many of their flaws, taking African’s from their homeland wasn’t one of them.

Same goes for the next most populous country in the world, India.

This brings us to the Black community in the United States which is only 200+ years removed from the banning of slave importation. (The Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves of 1807)

Despite the U.S. (330m) having a much smaller total population than China (1.4b) or India (1.4b); we have a larger Black community; one that was unnaturally populated in the formative years of our nation.

We have to accept the actions of our forefathers that lead to and promoted enslavement of Africans and the subsequent injustices towards Black Americans in the decades that followed has left an unresolved legacy we have to help fix or else it will never end.

Why?

Their ancestral pain was never healed and when the current events remind each and every Black citizen that despite the immense progress that has been made, if they become complacent; then the demons of their past will certainly resurface and erase decades of sacrifices by the generations preceding them.

Enter athletes.

We are in an era of influencers. Everyone with a social media account has a platform to voice their opinion. For better or worse this is what is leading to American tribalism, but that’s a topic for another day.

Today there’s actually a debate on whether athletes should insert themselves into the national dialogue around race relations. Sometimes when I listen to the discussions on something as basic as being humane, I can’t help but to think how primitive we still are.

Why wouldn’t athletes be allowed to voice their opinion through actions? This isn’t new, Muhammad Ali was sentenced to 5 years in jail and stripped of his title for protesting the Vietnam War.

Tommie Smith and John Carlos, gold and bronze medalists in the 200-meter run at the 1968 Olympic Games, engage in a victory stand protest against unfair treatment of blacks in the United States. With heads lowered and black-gloved fists raised in the black power salute, they refuse to recognize the American flag and national anthem. Australian Peter Norman is the silver medalist. (Getty Images)

Athletes are human and they have a platform that allows them to echo the pain their respective communities feel. Some athletes even escaped an environment that could’ve made them victims of the same social issues they are protesting today.

The same social issues that athletes protested in the 60’s.

I saw a meme somewhere that read, “We aren’t just crying for George Floyd, we are still crying for Emmet Till.”

It would certainly be convenient for athletes to continue to provide us with the diversions we need to pretend like America isn’t broken, but that is no longer the case and shouldn’t be.

If Bill Gates can influence how we respond to a global pandemic, then athletes should be able to use their platform to influence a social issue that directly impacts people in their family and friend circle.

By not doing so, then they become complicit to the problem and not part of the solution. A solution if found, would improve American society as a whole. How can anyone be against that?

In the year 2020 as we rebuild the world from the rubble of Covid-19; the social framework has to be reworked to work for everyone.

To put it clearly, I am not Black and 2020 has been one of the best years for me financially. Therefore I can easily sit this conversation out, but as an American citizen who cares about the country my daughter will live in long after I’m gone; I want America to be a place for all of its citizens despite skin color.

Charles Barkley said, “It is exhausting being black.” I can’t relate, but I can understand. When I get pulled over, I don’t fear for my life. People of my background in America aren’t randomly being shot and killed by the very institution that’s supposed to protect us.

If you don’t agree with athletes protesting, then at least have some empathy for the series of events that got us to this point in the first place. I’m sure they’d rather play the game they love than have to deal with the issues that those responsible for dealing with it have failed to do so.

But here we are, America is a system of checks and balances. Athletes stepping up is a clear signal that the other institutions responsible for social order have failed.

We should be thanking our national athletes if anything.

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