Unless you have been living under a rock, you are at least mildly aware that members of the National Football League have been protesting during the national anthem. This protest has been in the form of kneeling during the song, instead of standing which is customary. Big deal, right? It’s just a few rich guys getting some publicity, right?
Well, yes. But, mostly no.
The face of this protest has been Colin Kaepernick and the seed behind the start of this action was a call to recognize the systemic oppression of people of color in the United States. Since then it has been portrayed in the media as a stand against the nation itself, a disrespectful act towards the flag, and even a slap in the face to our military. With the controversy surrounding this, I decided to ask the cards what we really need to know about this protest and what we can take away from it.
What is real? – The Empress
The reality of this protest is that it is being started by those in a comfortable position to do so. There is no doubt that this is a group of influential multi-millionaires that can likely afford to weather some controversy and challenging press. However, that is exactly who the “little guy” needs to have speaking up. The word “privilege” has been twisted to be seen as a bad thing, but we all have it in one way or another. There is some aspect of our life that is relatively easy for us where others have it harder. When we recognize this, we can use the advantages that we have to help others get closer to where we are. This is exactly why we need celebrities and people of influence to speak up on controversial issues. The voice of the oppressed is often muffled and drowned out by the oppressors. There is rarely a national or even a local stage for them to speak out and be heard. Having a someone with national stage pick up your torch and carry it to the televisions of the world brings a voice to your cause that is extremely hard to ignore.
What is the lie? – The High Priestess
The message that continues to be spread about this protest is that it is a directly subversive act against our nation and our flag. Colin, and those kneeling with him, are (shudder) UN-AMERICAN! How dare they protest against our flag. It represents the blood spilled by our military and the sacrifices that were made to ensure our safety and freedom. This act of kneeling during the anthem has been portrayed as part of a larger, shadowy movement to undermine our nation’s freedom and all that it stands for. The problem is, there has been nothing hidden or shadowy about the motive behind the protest. When asked, Colin Kaepernick gave a clear, articulate answer as to his motives. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” There is no hidden message here, folks. This is a call for change.
What can we take away from this? – The Emperor
We need to be ready. Ready to stand up, ready to speak out, ready to do what is necessary to be the leaders in our worlds. This doesn’t mean that we need to take to the streets and start rioting, but we do need to be prepared to speak up when we see something happening that is not right. This type of protest calls for us to use our areas of privilege, however small they may seem, as a springboard for action and change. It is up to each of us to show those that are struggling that there a people in their corner and that we will not let them down. Now, you may not feel like you have much influence over the world and that there is not much you can do. Don’t let that stop you. Use your influence to make change where you can. Scale it down to where you know you have some sway, then get to it. If you don’t have a national platform, speak out to your state. Nothing at the state level either? Go local. Not even a local stage for you to use? Start at home with your family and friends. Wherever you have a voice, use it.
I am struck by the fact that all three of these cards were Major Arcana images. There are bigger forces at work here than just the mundane struggles of man. While it may not seem apparent in the immediate, I believe history will eventually show that the times we are living in now are drastically shaping our nation’s definition of liberty and freedom. It is also important to look at the overall backgrounds of these cards and see that what is being shown as real and actionable, are the energies that are in the open and visible to all. The lies and deception are in the shadows and shrouded from clear scrutiny. Be cognizant of those that push conjecture and assumptions of other peoples actions and those that are are upfront and open about what they are doing. You may not necessarily agree with their actions, but by getting the story from the source, you can at least trust that they are giving you the real story.