According to mappingpoliceviolence.org, police throughout America have killed 883 people this year, with 207 of those fatalities being black people. Only 6 officers have been charged with a crime resulting from these deaths. In 2016, police killed at least 309 black people.
This is one of a multitude of issues that concern Kara L. Higgins, a mother of a black boy living in America today.
“Yes, Mr. President, I am that B____, with that son, on that field,” Higgins stated. Offering her perspective in response to US president Donald Trump’s recent commentary, Higgins made a plea to the entire country.
"America, I want you know that every mom of every Black boy in America sees you," stated Higgins, a member of the nonprofit organizations Moms of Black Boys United (MOBB United) and MOBB United for Social Change.
"I want you to understand that kneeling is about not getting arrested or shot. It’s about generating a dialogue that America needs," said Higgins.
Believing that people, in particular black and brown, should be treated with decency, dignity, fairness and unapologetic love should be every American citizens’ way of being, Higgins is an advocate for criminal, economic and social justice.
"This anthem represents pride and patriotism to some, but to others, a history of oppression. We still need to fight for liberty and justice," she shared.
A certified nurse midwife specialist and co-founder of Imana Kids, an orphan care ministry dedicated to supporting orphans of Rwanda, Higgins felt compelled to respond to Trump’s recent mendacious account of NFL players taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem.
“My son is a football player. He’s also Black,” said Higgins. ”And he’s the kid that every white, corn-fed football fan wants on their team. Neighbors jokingly place bets on which [National Collegiate Athletic Association] Division 1 team he’ll play for someday.”
Boasting a community of close to 200,000 moms across the globe, MOBB United and MOBB United for Social Change were formed by Depelsha McGruder to galvanize concerned mothers who want to work together to make a difference in how Black boys and men are perceived and treated by law enforcement and in American society. Some of MOBB United’s online community members include members and representatives of the Professional Football Players Mothers Association and National Football Players Women Association.
“A few years ago, I would not have been offended if you joked about my Black son being a better athlete than my white one. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have worried if he wandered around our local high school stadium without me by his side, protecting him from crowds of white people. And I may not have even noticed when that security guard at Target followed him as he went to look for a can of tomatoes for me,” Higgins continued.
“But now I see it. I see how my friends that once wanted to hold and snuggle my African babies will quickly complain that the athletes of their favorite team need to keep politics out of sports. I carry it in my heart when congregants in my church will joke around with my boys, yet lecture me that Black Lives Matter is promoting police brutality.”
“I feel completely betrayed when my white Evangelicals side with our President in saying that kneeling isn’t about race; it’s about disrespecting the flag. You can talk to my son about what skills he can offer your team, but you can't listen to him when he shares his experience as a Black American,” said Higgins.
Yesterday at a news conference, Trump said "To me, the NFL situation is a very important situation," after a firing off a barrage of tweets expressing his convoluted thoughts on NFL players protesting the state of black and brown people living in America.
For all the stressful press surrounding the NFL of late, led by Trump, the league remains a financial juggernaut as reported by FORBES last week. The average NFL franchise is worth $2.5 billion, up 8% by FORBES’ count over last year.
The Cowboys are the NFL's most valuable team for the 11th straight year and the world's most valuable sports franchise, $4.8 billion, with profits of $350 million according to FORBES senior editor, Kurt Badenhausen.
But given the league's “blatant freezing out of Colin Kaepernick for a simple expression of protest, their efforts in making a social unity statement played right into a very intricate chess game that Trump [who has used the term ‘son of a bitch’ incitingly in the past] is playing with the league,” wrote Tim Wood, former managing editor of Bleacher Report.
“Don’t you see that America is not a flag or a ritual? America is built on the ideal we don’t have to be the same to be equal. America’s patriotism is in serving one another in times of despair and crisis.”
“America’s patriotism is not an exercise toward the flag, but in joining together for the greater good of others, and in protecting those that cannot defend themselves,” said Higgins.
“America, I want you know that every mom of every Black boy in America sees you. We see that you want our sons scoring touchdowns and standing quietly on the sidelines while their friends, their fathers and the men with whom they identify are profiled, labeled, misunderstood and made to stay quiet.”
“I want you to understand that kneeling is about not getting arrested or shot. It’s about generating a dialogue that America needs: This anthem represents pride and patriotism to some, but to others, a history of oppression,” Higgins continued.
“We still need to fight for liberty and justice. And I want you to know that every mom of these Black boys is committed to using education, politics, prayer and unity to bring liberty and justice for all Black boys and men too.”
“Being my son’s mama, my eyes have been opened wide to his experience being Black in America,” Higgins said.