Taking a knee to protest the ongoing injustice of police brutality on black Americans is gaining momentum- moving off the football field and into others areas of sport. Professional athletes and their fans alike have been making their voices heard, choosing not to stand for the anthem of a country who does not treat all of its citizens equally.
As can be expected, many disagree with the taking of a knee during the anthem, citing that it is disrespectful to those who served for the freedoms the nation now enjoys. What the naysayers fail to see, is that many of those kneeling, if they are people of color, don’t enjoy the same freedoms and that is why they want their voices heard.
While it is an unpopular gesture, many still bravely exercise their right to freedom of speech, risking their livelihood and sometimes even their own safety.
Last week, during a preseason game for the L.A. Lakers, teo black men were assualted by a woman who threw her drink at two black attendees when they knelt during the National Anthem. The whole incident was caught on tape and posted on Twitter by supplied by the friend of the perpetrator, both seemed very prideful in what they just did to complete strangers.
In the video, Haley Perea can be seen coming up to the kneeling men saying “Excuse me, this is for the National Anthem, you pieces of shit.” Her friend who posted the video on Twitter, Savannah Sugg added the caption, “‘Take a kneel [sic] for the land of the slaves.’ Disrespect the flag and our country and that’s how we’ll react.”
As reported by Patheos:
How that’s an appropriate response to two strangers peacefully protesting racism, I don’t know, but it was mighty helpful that they included their Twitter handles in that post since it made it easy to identify them. (The Tab also notes that Perea has a longstanding habit of using the N-word.)
It turns out both women are students at California Baptist University, and there are now calls for the school to take action against the women. The Tab noted the reaction from a school administrator:
CBU’s Dean of Students Anthony Lammons promised to take action against the two students.
“California Baptist University does not support or condone such behavior,” he said. “Based on the video, the incident did not take place on our campus. Nonetheless, CBU takes such behavior very seriously; we will investigate, and take appropriate action.” The school released a public statement saying the same thing.
What needs to be investigated, it is clear as day as to what occurred, and that they are not one bit remorseful. The responsibility now lies in how the school will respond and if they plan on doing the right thing.
Given that the school’s goal is to help students “glorify God and distinguish them[selves] in the workplace and in the world,” the girls’ actions show a remarkable failure in living up to the school’s own standards.
Throwing beer on fans in a stadium also presumably violates an older version of the school’s Student Handbook, which says students must obey all local and state laws (1.2.1) and that students should “respect members of the campus community from diverse ethnic, cultural, or religious traditions and refrain from any act of discrimination or racism” (1.2.5). The handbook also prohibits “harassment and abuse” (1.3.14) and physical violence (1.3.15).
Here’s the kicker:
The University reserves the right to deal with behavior, regardless of the location, that is detrimental to the Student, community, University, and others.
Plus, since the school prohibits organizing or participating in dances on campus (1.3.11), you would hope that throwing a beer at unsuspecting and undeserving strangers deserves a harsher punishment.
If they don’t do anything, it would send an awful message to CBU’s other students — students of color, especially — that racism and abuse is acceptable as long as you do it off school property. This is a private religious school. It’s the type of place where students’ lives are rigidly controlled. Having premarital sex, for example, is grounds for expulsion no matter where you do it.
This disgusting act — an actual problem, as opposed to having sex — ought to be met with a real punishment.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you think the school should kick these young women out of for the egregious behavior they displayed, not only proving that they did it, but that they were actually prideful of their actions? What kind of message will the school send to their students of color if they allow these women to go unpunished?
Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.