America Begins to See More Clearly Now What Its Black Citizens Always Knew

Thousands of protesters march from downtown to the site of the arrest of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn., June 5, 2020. (Eric Miller/Reuters)
The present round of protest is different. The participants are people of every race, ethnicity, sex, age, and religion.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE F our years ago, in the last week of my 20-year military career, a fellow officer pointed at the flat-screen television mounted on the wall of a classified Pentagon conference room and asked, “What do you think about that?”

I glanced up to see a cable news segment about Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers at the time, kneeling during the national anthem, the closed-captioning sputtering out blocks of text with his rationale. The summer of 2016 had been filled with more than a hundred Black Lives Matter protests in several dozen cities following the police killings of Alton

Theodore R. Johnson is a senior fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice and author of the forthcoming book on national solidarity, When the Stars Begin to Fall.

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