Denasia Lawrence stepped out on a Miami basketball court to do what some people only dream of…sing the national anthem at a professional sports event.
Lawrence was given the honor of singing at a preseason Heat-76ers game, but she took the opportunity to make her performance a protest when she opened her jacket to reveal a #BlackLivesMatter shirt. She then kneeled to perform the song. From ABC:
She said it was her way of protesting racial oppression.
“We’re being unjustly killed and overly criminalized,” Lawrence wrote early Saturday in a Facebook post. “I took the opportunity to sing and kneel to show that we belong in this country and that we have the right to respectfully protest injustices against us.”
Miami Heat officials said they had no advance knowledge of Lawrence’s plan to protest. Lawrence, a social worker, kept the shirt hidden until her performance.
“I didn’t get paid to sing the national anthem nor was this moment about any sort of fame,” Lawrence wrote. “Black Lives Matter is far larger than a hashtag, it’s a rallying cry.”
I’ve made no secret of my feelings for #BLM. As a black mother, I’ve asked friends and family on all sides of the fence to extend some grace to each other and try not to dismiss the raw emotion hidden behind a flashy hashtag movement. I’ve also not been shy about saying why I can’t get on board with the movement. To me, it is hypocritical and severely lacking in introspection, direction and kindness.
I began to form a response to this woman who protested even as she enjoyed her American privilege. However, when I opened my Facebook this morning, a friend’s comments on this same story were so provocative, thoughtful and thorough, I decided to post his response instead.
Darrell Bernard Harrison isn’t a famous writer. He doesn’t go on television to create juicy viral soundbites while arguing with Marc Lamont Hill about racism. Darrell is a black man who loves God and loves his community. He has a personal blog called “Just Thinking…For Myself” and I am regularly moved by his profound and graceful thoughts on race, grace and God in America.
When I read what Darrell had to say about this story, I threw up my hands. There is no way I could have said it better. I won’t try. You can read for yourself. I will only say that I agree with my brother-in-Christ to the very last letter, and it is why while I support the sentiment of #BLM I will never support the movement.
I’m posting the transcript and then the original Facebook post below it.
Thank you, Darrell. You nailed this.
I read an article a moment ago about a black female who took to one knee while performing the national anthem last night during an NBA game. So, in the spirit of fairness and balance, I thought I’d post a list of issues about which black people will never take a knee:
– the legal murder of more than 17 million unborn black babies since Roe v. Wade in 1973
– the refusal of the federal government to allow parental choice in determining at what school their children should be educated
– the 73 percent rate at which black children are reared in single-parent homes
– the 72 percent out-of-wedlock birth rate of black children
– an increasingly burdensome tax code that forces black parents to work longer hours resulting in less time spent with their children
– a punitive healthcare law that is forcing many black households into bankruptcy because the premiums and penalties are unaffordable
– a double-digit black unemployment rate which is influenced by a liberal immigration policy that encourages and accommodates violating the law under the guise of “fulfilling a dream”
– an increasingly high rate of HIV- infected black men and women in black urban and suburban neighborhoods
– the decades-long impact of liberal policies that have only served to exacerbate poverty and government dependency in urban communities, despite the fact that 95 percent of black voters support the political party that endorses those policies
– the rate at which black people commit violent crimes against other black people
Not trying to start an argument. I’m just sick of the hypocrisy.