“In good conscience, I couldn’t continue to protest quietly without using it to highlight the plight of so many,” Jumaane Williams said.
City Councilman Jumaane Williams decided to sit during the Pledge of Allegiance at a Tuesday Council meeting. His decision not to stand was an act of peaceful protest against the injustice meted out on Blacks in our country.
Sitting or kneeling during the Anthem or Pledge is becoming a trend amongst popular Black figures in the country. The support of Colin Kaepernick’s cause by several stars and people in high places, in a bid to stop racial injustice can only be applauded.
Williams bowed his head down in prayer as he remained seated during the pledge. He stated that he hasn’t been reciting the pledge for a long while now, but he usually stood in order not to bring attention to his position and also out of respect.
“In good conscience, I couldn’t continue to protest quietly without using it to highlight the plight of so many,” Williams said. “As a person who loves the country of his birth, believes in it and is privileged to have reached a modicum of success in his chosen field, I believe it is my duty to do all I can to raise the voice of those who feel voiceless and who struggle every day.”
The Brooklyn Democrat said he looked to back Kaepernick up after the San Francisco 49ers quarterback came under immense scrutiny following his decision to kneel during the National Anthem. He believes Kaepernick was brave to pay tribute to the oppressed Black people in America by kneeling during the Anthem.
“This type of non-violent protest is not disrespectful as some have suggested. He deserves support, not criticism for his actions,” he said. “What does it say about our country when there is a national outrage over an athlete sitting out the national anthem, but the same outrage isn’t expressed when a young Black man is killed for no reason?”
The unity of Black sportsmen and politicians of the U.S. is really needed in order to win the fight against racism and oppression. We hope other Black leaders join in because the fight against injustice has been going on for far too long. We need a nation where Blacks aren’t oppressed daily, enough is enough.