Bummery: An Introduction

A brief look into the convenience of co-opting movements to avoid making the REAL SACRIFICES (also notes on Trump & the NFL).

Image via NBCnews.com

Image via NBCnews.com

At any given time, there are hundreds of thousands of bums co-opting movements and/or posing a general nuisance to society. Black Twitter in its infinite glory, offers comprehensive coverage on matters pertaining to racial tension and the continued subjugation of black and brown bodies all over the world. It’s riveting, it’s thought-provoking, ironically, it’s hilarious. Most importantly, it’s necessary.

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In the latest saga that is US politics, the White House extended an invitation to the Golden State Warriors. Steph Curry (and I imagine a few others) made it pretty clear they would not be visiting. He who shall not be named threw a hissy fit, and ‘withdrew’ the invitation – whatever that means. All hell breaks loose. However, hell neatly divides into two parts, because basketball is not the only sport up in flames, American football has been burning for a long time. Colin Kaepernick has been on his knees, blackballed, disenfranchised for a while now, but it took He who shall not be named calling kneeling players ‘sons of bitches’ to wake people* up. Everyone is upset. People all over the country are on their knees in protest against carrot man, because, CALLING HARD WORKING AMERICAN ATHLETES SONS OF BITCHES IS NOT NICE. At once, an act of protest against the systematic killing of people of colour by the American state was transformed into something else entirely.

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So, to all u bums out there, arguing about what kneeling actually means, I think you should listen to the people for whom the act of kneeling was initially for and by. It wasn’t for the likes of Rex Ryan, who had the gall to say he’s ‘pissed off’ about hard-working players being called ‘SOBs’ while saying ‘I supported Donald Trump’ in the same breath. It wasn’t for people who were radio silent when Colin Kaepernick lost his job and remained unemployed (to this day). It wasn’t for people who decried acts of protest as disrespectful to a flag and a nation. It’s one thing to realise the true nature of power structures, and want to join movements that start discussions and bring calls to action. It’s another thing to join said movement and want to make it about a DIFFERENT ISSUE.

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Kneeling (during the national anthem) is not about crying that you made a mistake in supporting a wild animal in his bid for office. Kneeling isn’t even a liberal statement against the latest policy decisions. Kneeling is very simply a rejection against the violence and the persecution of black and brown people. No one cares about the flag, or about the fucking anthem. People of colour don’t want to die. So if you are in any way resistant to the true origin of this particular rejection of historical systematic racism, you are a bum.

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Ayoade Bamgboye