I am not much of one for professional sports. I hate football, soccer and baseball don’t really hold my interest. Despite being a Minnesotan, hockey really isn’t my thing. I like swimming quite a bit, but going to meets isn’t really something I do on the regular. I usually just go to cheer on my dad when he swims competitively. But basketball, specifically the Minnesota Lynx, is another story. I have been to almost every single home game over the last three years.
I am proud to be a Lynx fan because they do incredible work in our community, stand in solidarity with marginalized folx, and even held a press conference last year to support Black Lives Matter (and faced steep fines as a result.)
At every single game, as with other professional sports in the United States, we sing our national anthem before the game begins. And every single time, the feelings I experience are extremely mixed.
I am grateful to be a U.S. Citizen. The lofty ideals that got us started are inspiring to me. The idea that we’re all created equal, all deserving of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That we all have inalienable human rights. These things are incredible and should be celebrated.
But I also feel angry and distressed. It is obvious to me that not everyone has these rights. That these rights are often taken by force from people who are the wrong way. These rights are taken from people who look like me and have my religious beliefs. So, when I say #thisisnotus, that is what I mean. I am white and have Christian beliefs. I am blessed to be housing secure, have food on my table, and to never have need to question if I am being discriminated against because of my race or religious beliefs. It is infuriating to me that there are those who share these traits with me and simultaneously believe that not everyone deserves these things. This is not the group I want to belong to, we can do better than this! This is not what we are capable of; we can and should be better.
My children and the children of my peers deserve to live in a place where their right to exist is not questioned by anyone. We deserve to live in safety. Nobody should have to give their children extra advice on how to interact with law enforcement because not following that advice might mean their life.
We live in a country that was founded (admittedly imperfectly) on the idea that we should stand up to injustice. If we can’t be bothered to do that, stop calling yourself an American.
A version of this post was originally posted on Steemit.com and is republished here with permission from the author.