Firefighter A Hero in More Ways Than One: Kneels During the National Anthem

Photo Credit: State Farm, Flickr

Firefighters are often regarded as heroes because of the very nature of their jobs–running towards danger to fight fire and often save people during the process.  But Camron McGarity demonstrated that he was a hero in another way at a recent firefighter’s charity football game when he knelt during the national anthem in protest of racism in America.  As was to be expected given the myriad of examples of white histrionics that routinely accompany powerful stances by Black people against racism and white supremacy, McGarity received backlash following his protest. 

Mayoral candidate Garry McCarthy described the protest as “inappropriate behavior” as if he was speaking about a child.  A Chicago Firefighter’s Union president Jim Tracy actually apologized for the protest, called it classless, and said he was appalled and embarrassed.  Also, the woman who snapped the photo bringing the protest to national attention, Judy Austerd, had the audacity to essentially ask what McGarity, an adult Black man in America, could possibly have to complain about regarding racism since he has a coveted position as a firefighter.  T

his pathetic, paternalistic attitude that white men and women alike display towards Black people is consistent with this country’s centuries of mistreatment and degradation of its Black citizens. Further, the patronizing statements, as well as Austerd’s uninformed and ludicrous challenge to McGarity’s experience with racism, reflect their own palpable ignorance and racist sensibilities.

Article below by Luis Sanchez at

A black firefighter ignited some controversy in Chicago when he took a knee during the national anthem at a charity football game between the Chicago’s police and fire departments, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

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