And a Child Will Lead Them…But Then Again This is Nothing New.

Image result for ole miss basketball players kneel

As far back as time has been recorded, either passed down orally or through the written language, tales have always been told about youth’s who have demonstrated wisdom and strength beyond their years. Be it a young King David who battled the giant Goliath; a young Yahshua in the temple courts both questing and listening to the teachers; or a group of youth who decided that through peaceful protest they would spearhead the movement to eradicate Jim Crow Laws. Even though the latter of these examples is still an ongoing battle each day; one can’t deny the important role and the impact of having the youth to stand up and fight against injustices that they face in the present as well those injustices that will impact their future. Such was the case in Oxford, Mississippi on Saturday.

Before the Ole Miss Rebels played my beloved Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday, two pro-confederate groups organized protests and marches that started near Oxford’s city square and ended at a confederate monument in the middle of Ole Miss campus (I will let that sink in for a minute). Now for those who have not been keeping up with the mass movements across the country over the last half decade to remove confederate symbols and monuments from public places across of the country; these actions have caused a divide amongst those who see no harm in honoring a history of slavery and injustices versus those who ancestors were the victims of horrific atrocities throughout history. While there were counter protests organized to show their disapproval for what was happening on the campus, no one predicted what would unfold in The Pavilion at Ole Miss.

Eight players from the Ole Miss men’s basketball team took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem to show their frustration in the ongoing protests that were happening at the same time. An act that has become the preferred peaceful demonstration even though it has been criticized by individuals who says that it is disrespectful to the American flag and to the many veterans and active duty military personnel throughout the history of the United States. Well, as a veteran of the United States Marine Corp, I can not find anything that is further from the truth. However, that is not the purpose of this post. What is the purpose of the post? This post purpose is to question why is there a need for these group of young men to have to resort to having to do this in the first place when there are numerous adults in position that could have prevented the need for this demonstration to happen.

Now I may be wrong, but I would think that responsible adult on the campus of Ole Miss would have to sign off on allowing these types of demonstrations to take place on the campus; in particular, a demonstration that will cause this level of division aboard a campus that has had a history of racism. It was “only” almost 60 years ago that James Meredith was allowed to enroll into Ole Miss assisted by the protection of the United State National Guard; a scene that would be witnessed throughout much of the south as Black students would be allowed to integrate into universities across the south. But, back to the point of the post.

As an educator, we teach our students to think for themselves, yet we make sure to tell them to respect and obey your elders. However, what if the examples of the elders is not conducive for the embetterment of the society in which they live? This dynamic is nothing new but one would think that the elders would have figured out how to fully and righteously lead by example. This is certainly not the case; and until this happens there will continue to be a need for our youth to stand up. KJ Buffen, D.C. Davis, Brain Halums, Louis Rodriquez, Devontae Shuler, Bruce Stevens, Breein Tyree and Francio Miller Jr., I salute you. And kneel until those elders who suppose to stand-up for you decides to.

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