Recent events have created an unprecedented level of awareness and sensitivity by white Americans to the issues confronting black Americans. On Thursday, Saints running back Alvin Kamara posted a long thread on Twitter that provides specific details about his own experiences.
“I’m a 24 year old black man from Atlanta,” Kamara said. “Mother from Africa and an illegal alien for almost [30-some] years until 15 months ago. I’ve seen racism and experienced social injustice personally. Maybe even on a deeper level because my mother had a foreign accent. My license has been valid for as long as i can remember, but for some reason I still peep the rear view a couple times when a cop get behind me… why? Because that’s what I was taught to do.
“I’ve literally been in a bank and had the cops called on me. Not because i was robbing it.. but because i looked like i could have been robbing it. Oh… the teller was the one that called. I only needed like 200 dollars but i pulled out 10k just to play her ass. I’ve been in nice restaurants and been asked to leave because I can’t wear a hat, or because I was dressed ‘inappropriately’ for the dining room. But, y’all know that mean I was just too black to eat in there that day lol.
“I’m saying all of this to say… until you are black in America, you won’t truly understand what it is to be black in America and that’s fine. But don’t act like this doesn’t exist or isn’t real. Black boys go from ‘cute little kids’ to ‘threatening’ within the same breath even if all they were doing was walking home. And a man walking in the wrong neighborhood becomes a casualty simply because he looks like he doesn’t belong.
“I’ve been in enough situations where the color of my skin was seen as a big enough threat to cost me my life. And I know there are countless others that that fit my description that could say the same.
“I can kneel confidently because I know that with just that small gesture, a much bigger message is being conveyed. And also within that gesture the voices of those who no longer have a voice can be heard.”
That last message from Kamara seems to be an indication that he plans to kneel during the national anthem in 2020, a dynamic that could become more prevalent than ever before given the murder of George Floyd and the movement it has created.