Kneel – be in or assume a position in which the body is supported by a knee or the knees, as when praying or showing submission. –Oxford Dictionary
As a common, garden-variety-type white guy, I understand why Christians kneel to their God. It’s done out of respect and submission to a higher power. For me, personally, God created me, He owns me; therefore, I kneel down before Him when I pray. I do it to show reverence and awe at His mighty power and love. It seems the least I can do.
It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’” Romans 14:10 (NIV)
I understand why Moslems prostrate themselves on their prayer mats, even though I don’t adhere to their faith. They are simply acting on their beliefs.
I understand why medieval knights knelt before their sovereign king while being dubbed a knight. They were pledging their service and sword to their superior.
I certainly understand why peasants would bow down to a king as he was carried through the streets; after all, it was either that or be thrown in prison or be beheaded.
But here’s something I don’t understand: Why are white people all across the country suddenly kneeling before Black Lives Matter and AntiFa?
Are we knights, pledging to serve them? Is Black Lives Matter a god that it should be worshipped? Or, is it out of fear of reprisal from AntiFa? I think it’s a mixture of a whole lot of different things.
Some whites feel guilty over “white privilege.” I’ve been white my whole life, but I’ve never experienced white privilege. Never once have I been awarded something simply because of my skin color … nor should I be. I’ve lived in poverty most of my life, but it’s not because I’m white. It’s because of the choices I’ve made. In restrospect; I’m not a shrewd businessman. America is the land of opportunity. If I’m still poor at 62 years of age, then I have only myself to blame. And that brings out another point: Since when is it a bad thing to be poor? For me, I consider it honorable simply to live out my ordinary life, working hard and providing a better life for my family.
Other whites feel an intense sense of guilt over the sins of their ancestors. I don’t understand that either. I owe black people nothing more than human respect and kindness, and that’s all they owe me. It’s a human thing – not a color thing. I have never judged a man by his race. I don’t do that; it would be wrong at every level. That being said, just as I would never judge a black man by his skin color; never would I judge a white man by his skin color. That would be racist, and that’s not me. And I certainly would never look down on a man because of something his great-great-great-grandfather did.
How many of us really want to be judged for the sins of those who came before us? I refuse that label. I reject the false guilt.
Some whites just want to feel good about themselves; they want to believe they are a good person. So, when the media tells them they must bow to AntiFa and Black Lives Matter, then they readily take a knee. These are the same people who subscribe, in every aspect of their lives, to all manner of political correctness. In short, they are mindless sheep. They will readily become LGBTQ allies; they will agree not to use certain unacceptable words, or adhere to unpopular beliefs; and, when told to kneel before the throne of AntiFa and Black Lives Matter; they’ll do it just to feel superior to the other whites. Whatever the media tells them … they believe; when the government orders them … they mindlessly genuflect and kiss the ring.
And that brings us to the last category of white people: the ones who actually believe that AntiFa and Black Lives Matter is a righteous cause. I would never fault someone for a sincere-held belief. As humans, we are all entitled to our own belief system, and I respect that. These whites really do believe that police, as a whole, go to the streets on every shift, patrolling the community, looking for reasons to pull over black people, to haul them out of their cars and beat them … simply because of their skin color, out of hatred, out of fear, out of racial bias.
While I respect their right to believe this way; I disagree with them at the most basic of levels. Why? Because the facts don’t support their beliefs. Whites don’t become police officers simply so they can rove the streets looking for black people to kill. People of all colors become law enforcement officers in order to serve their fellow man – both white, black, brown, red or yellow. They certainly don’t do it for the immense pay or the great hours or to be ridiculed by their fellow man. Almost all police officers put on the badge to protect and to serve. They are the knights of our present day. They kneel before the people and are dubbed with a certain amount of power and are answerable to the people, through their elected representatives. And that’s the way it should be.
There is no systemic police brutality crisis. To be sure, police brutality does exist; but it’s an exception to the rule, and those exceptions should be dealt with as they come up. The murderer of George Floyd is a good example. He’s been charged with murder, and he’ll undoubtedly be convicted by a jury of his peers; then he’ll spend most of his life in prison, paying for his crime. There is a system of laws in place to punish errant knights, and that’s a good thing. Every cop who crosses the line should pay the price. Every police officer who violates a person’s civil rights should be held accountable.
But here’s the thing: all of that is already happening. The system is working. The guilty are being punished. So why is AntiFa and Black Lives Matter still burning down cities? Why are they killing other blacks? Why are they destroying the businesses of their fellow race? The answer to that question is not pretty. I believe AntiFa and Black Lives Matter is a bastion of hatred, unbridled aggression, and a bloodthirsty lust for revenge. It’s not enough that the guilty are punished; that prison time is awarded; because they want to be the ones who meet out the punishment; they want to exact the revenge; not just on the guilty. But on the innocent as well.
AntiFa and Black Lives Matter insists that all people everywhere bow down to them, kneel in subservient allegiance, pledge their loyalty and fealty to the cause of hatred and revenge. You are white; therefore you must pay for the sins of your fathers. Never mind that my fathers fought and died to free your fathers from slavery; that doesn’t matter; you are white … therefore you are guilty of racism. That is what AntiFa and Black Lives Matter believes; but that’s not what I believe. And my beliefs do not require that you agree with me; that’s the fundamental difference between my belief system and yours. AntiFa and Black Lives Matter demands that all people everywhere agree with them; they are intolerant; they are tyrannical in nature, and they cannot allow anyone to oppose them.
Black Lives Matter and AntiFa are the modern-day Brown Shirts of Hitler; the self-appointed punishers; the arbiters of good and evil. They will decide for us who is righteous; who deserves to live and who must suffer … at their hands.
So, you can call me a racist; you can call me a homophobe; you can call me a bigot. I’ve been called that before … but you cannot call me insincere. I have well-thought-out, researched and articulated beliefs about racism and those who loot and destroy our cities.
Here’s the bottom line: White People are not racist simply because they are white. Neither are black people racist because they are black. Most of us, both black and white, are good people and we just want to live out our lives peacefully. I believe that most black people want the same thing that I do. They want to raise their children to have a better life than they have. And what a wonderful thing to have in common. Blacks and whites have more in common than they do differences. But there has always been a segment of society that wants to drive a wedge in between us. They want us to hate each other; they strive to divide us; they make us feel like we are alone; that we cannot express our opinions.
I don’t view black people as “black.” I view them as human … just like me.
So, who do we blame for these travesties of police brutality?
Blame the individual officer who committed the crime. But leave the rest of us alone. We are not the problem. Stop punishing us for the sins of others. I refuse to yield to AntiFa and Black Lives Matter. I bow to no man.
Skip Coryell is the author of 16 books, including “Civilian Combat: The Concealed Carry Book” and the post-apocalyptic adventure series “The Covid Chronicles” as well as “The God Virus.”