I’ll get WOKE again, right after the Superbowl
I rarely sit down to write posts that are going to draw criticism from my friends but I find myself perplexed on this morning. As I’ve scrolled through my FB feed, I am wondering about all the people who stepped out to boycott the NFL this year. I’m not thinking about those folks who could never stand football or sports (plenty of my friends are in that camp). And, I’m not particularly troubled to understand those who were clear from the get go that nothing – no CTE findings from autopsies and no ‘take the knee’ movement led by Colin Kaepernick – nothing was going to stop them from watching one second of football. Those folks, I get.
The people that I am having trouble understanding this morning are the ones who’ve enjoyed watching NFL games and even had a favorite team and were so moved as to declare, “I’m out this season.” I’m focused today on those football fans who decided to sacrifice their love of the game to join in making a statement – who decided to pick up their slingshot, regardless of how little impact it was likely to have.
I want to converse with those folks who took that stand to boycott but then shifted their stance and now, as the Superbowl draws nigh, have gotten the nachos ready and pulled the NFL hoodie out of the closet.
I’ve been watching with an eagle’s eye (pun intended) as folks move from protesting the NFL to professing their love for the whole shebang. I live in Philadelphia Eagles’ land and have waited along with the the best of ‘em for “my Eagles” to make it to, through and beyond the playoffs. Therefore, I’m surrounded by folks who can help me understand this change of heart.
I already hear some of my peeps encouraging me to lighten up, “let folks have some fun out here, ‘cause times are hard.” Indeed, times ARE hard. That’s exactly why I’m asking! I’m serious as a heart attack because we are in a time in this country when the heart is under attack. I want to be vigilant in understanding why and how we find our positions shifting. Because it’s popular? Or, because we’ll miss out on a once in a lifetime opportunity? Because our actions are not making a difference anyway? Because I deserve to have a little fun in my life? I want to pay close attention to the story I tell myself when making the decision to give up the fight.
As I ask these questions out to my community, yes, I include myself in the interrogation. As my blog title demands, “Niyonu, Wake up!” I ask these question because it is hard out here and our change of heart might mean that some of us who thought that we were standing on a promise of solidarity are left out there fighting alone.
It’s hard these days to know where we’re going and sometimes harder to know where we stand. There’s a strategy afoot that is counting on this confusion. It’s exactly why I want to notice any change in our standing – any shift in our heart conviction. I want to know where we stand, why we stand there and the costs to be paid by changing our heart.