#IAmMogadishu, but I want us to think of more than simply this moment. We don't think of Paris or London as memorial to atrocity. We can and should write ourselves better narratives than "this is something that happens over there." This is what we owe to Somalia.
Uncomfortable ghosts haunt our dreams, wearing us down. We haze their faces across memory, bright again every time we add to their ranks.
Kaepernick asked us to question our revisions. Asked us to start a larger conversation on race and equality and what freedom truly means. If the oppressor is himself oppressed, how have I not bought into a system in which I know red and blue lights in the rearview mean at most an annoying ticket, and not a death sentence? How can I ensure that to be American means taking a hard look at how we have used our symbols to uphold systems of inequality, oppression, racism, cruelty? How can I help reinvent this system so the self-evident truths of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are enjoyed by all? It starts by taking a knee.
A friend and new dad once told me he was fighting in Afghanistan so his son never would have to. This was in 2011. We have sixteen years to go.
I'm angry because fascism is wrong. White supremacy is wrong. Anti-Semitism is wrong. These ideas represent fundamental denials of human rights. The language these groups use is that of fear, hate, repression. Cleansing, purity, taking "it back,"--what version of America is this? A version minorities have for too long been too aware, now naked and exposed for all. And yet, our President himself subscribes to blame on "all sides?" There are only two sides, Mr. President--wrong and right. Where do you stand amidst history?