There is something to be said for the consistency of the ways in which white rage and irrationality manifest themselves; and the abuse of power is one of the most prolific. Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid remain free agents despite their skills in an effort to punish them for refusing to stand during the national anthem in protest of racism in America. Now four out of the five cheerleaders at Georgia’s Kennesaw State University who knelt during the national anthem the previous school year face the same fate as they have been excluded from the 2018-2019 cheerleading squad.
College and university campuses are often touted as bastions of liberalism. This does not appear to be the case at Kennesaw State where four Black women are being punished out of spite, and the racist sensibilities which have always accompanied the efforts of Black Americans to challenge the centuries of mistreatment and dehumanization by white Americans. This abuse of authority by Kennesaw State is consistent with the appalling and utterly incompetent manner with which the university handled the kneeling controversy during the 2017-2018 season, which included forcing the five women to remain off of the field during the national anthem following pressure from a state representative and local sheriff. School officials then reversed that decision following campus protests and consultation with legal counsel.
Officials contend that the number of increased competitors is the cause of the protesters’ exclusion from the squad; however, this rationalization beggars belief since out of all of the individuals who were on the squad last year who did not make it this year, the protesting cheerleaders comprised over half of that group. Including those who’d made the squad multiple times in years past, a reflection of their skill, competence, and experience. What we are witnessing is the wielding of power and control, even at the college level as young women, by white Americans who seek to impose their will on Blacks who challenge the system of racism/white supremacy that is endemic to America. This act also serves to maintain white hegemony since an effect of these punishments by exclusion is the elevation and provision of opportunity to whites who otherwise would not have been chosen for the positions they hold; this is a phenomenon we’ve also observed in the NFL where several mediocre, mostly white quarterbacks secured positions that Kaepernick should have filled.
There should be outrage on the Kennesaw State campus and throughout the state of Georgia at this latest iteration of unfair punitive action, shrouded though it may be in innocuous language and explanations. This is not simply about not making a cheerleading squad; but is instead about sending a message to the rest of the Black student populace that there will be severe adverse consequences for the exercise of their rights as citizens of this country in defense of their dignity as human beings. It also sends a message to white students that abuse of authority is an appropriate method of control to keep Blacks below the threat threshold.
Those responsible for this act of cowardice, spite, and racism are a disgrace; yet they continue the destructive and abhorrent tradition of millions of white Americans who have come before them, and who will presumably come after them if history is any indication.
Article below by Ashley Johnson at 11alive.com.
KENNESAW, Ga. — Kennesaw State University takes on Georgia state Thursday night for their first game of the season, and there was a question of five KSU cheerleaders who knelt during the national anthem last season would do it again.
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