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Take the knee

Discussion in 'Personal' started by DrLinus, Jun 19, 2020.


Will you take the knee as an ally for Black Lives Matter?

  1. No, I do not trust this group's motivations

    42 vote(s)
  2. Yes, I trust this group completely

    8 vote(s)
  1. DrLinus

    DrLinus Lead commenter

    In Great Britain bending the knee connates with feudal fealty, whatever its use in recent American history, and is now used to show people's abidance with and approval of the goals of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

    Whether on a street in public, in private at home, or in front or your colleagues and pupils at work, if asked would you take the knee to show your "allyship" to Black Lives Matter?
    Is this group worthy of your worship?

    Poll above, thanks.
  2. Nealswife

    Nealswife Occasional commenter

    Fuedal fealty - for non historians - and who knows about this today? Symbolic for what? Kneeling in your Master's presence I assume when handing over your tithes?
  3. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Is it all about "owning" a submissive gesture, or is it a mark of mutual respect and solidarity, ie everybody on the same level? Or both? It wouldn't bother me as a gesture of solidarity, but the submissive aspect reminds me too much of church.

    Eric Morecambe could do it in a single bound from standing, which was always quite impressive.
  4. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    In response to your two options, I do trust this group's motivations but there is something about the "taking the knee" gesture that does not sit (kneel?) well with me. I'd be happy to stand in support of their message, but I just don't like the implication that one has to get on one's knees to show this. Plus I actually find it a struggle to get down there and back up again these days.
  5. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Your poll is not well thought out - there should be other options (e.g. 'I'd like to support this, but don't have the opportunity'; 'I'd like to support this but physical infirmities preclude me' 'I won't support this act, but do support the BLM movement' etc).

    And by adding little 'explanations' to your 'Yes' & 'no' options you show your bias.

    So I'm boycotting your poll, and encourage others to do likewise.
  6. alex_teccy

    alex_teccy Lead commenter

    The poll seems pretty straightforward.
    DrLinus likes this.
  7. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    The possible ban on singing Swing Low Sweet Chariot at rugby matches; https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/r...s-BANNED-singing-Swing-Low-Sweet-Chariot.html has got me feeling if not fearful, but very wary of saying, doing or singing anything that can be perceived in the slightest way racist. It seems that many banks, companies, educational establishments and the like have previous associations with slavery and/or exploitation that even the mention of their names can bring accusations that I support their previous conduct or am a closet racist.

    One particular concern is the fact that I belong to a male voice choir that is currently exclusively white although we have had BAME members in the past. It is written in our constitution that the choir is open to all races and the disabled but I wonder how long it will be before someone accuses us of being racist because we have no BAME at the moment and are 100% white. We would love more members of any ethnicity. Also, we sing a number of spirituals which we treat with great respect and dignity being sacred music but will there come a day when we are slammed for singing what were songs sung and written by enslaved people?
  8. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    I feel exactly the same way about 'Taking the knee'. In my perception of the current situation I feel that taking the knee is a symbol of complete support for the current anti-racist aspirations and activities but refusing to take the knee labels you a racist.
  9. DrLinus

    DrLinus Lead commenter

    Feudalism is still taught in British schools, I think, and even those who have forgotten the word will have seen aspects of it in visual entertainment and modern ceremony, or perhaps read about it in fiction.
    People may deride Dominic Raab for his Game of Thrones comment but calls for bent knees run throughout it.
  10. DrLinus

    DrLinus Lead commenter

    It is asked for as a show of solidarity but then treated as a show of submission requiring compliance with subsequent principles.

    There is that.
  11. DrLinus

    DrLinus Lead commenter

    Your instincts are good.
  12. Oscillatingass

    Oscillatingass Star commenter

    alex_teccy and DrLinus like this.
  13. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I wouldn't take the knee. The very name of the action identifies it as an American symbol. I respect American sports people who choose to do this and other Americans who choose to show their solidarity with the BLM movement. Also if British sports teams want to adopt this now when so many black British sports people still experience racism then it seems appropriate if it is something they feel moved to do. I see it as an act of respect for people who have suffered through racism but do not think it has a comfortable place in British culture generally. Not because we don't have racism in our history or now but because I don't think we have that link with Martin Luther King kneeling to pray in 1965. I will bow my head or maintain silence if an act of respect and solidarity with BLM is needed.
    PS I didn't support the clap NHS movement because it seemed easy tokenism which taking the knee certainly isn't. Because I would find it uncomfortable emotionally perhaps I really should consider it.
  14. burajda

    burajda Star commenter

    How about bowing and curtseying, are they feudal fealty or showing due respect?
    monicabilongame likes this.
  15. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    I think your vote should just be 'yes' or 'no'. The comments after this are quite specific and don't apply to all peoples reasons.

    I would say No, but not for the reason you have stated, so will not be ticking the box.
  16. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    My memory of Swing Low appearing at Twickenham was of the explicit actions to accompany the words, it wasn't a hymn of praise and it wasn't a racist jibe in my memory. They could change to the Good Ship Venus.
    guinnesspuss likes this.
  17. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    I no longer kneel in Church and refuse to adopt a convention from Game of Thrones.
  18. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    What a very silly assumption to make of the gesture!

    Some people so insecure in their own self-worth that they are scared of having their (imaginary) superiority toppled, and see existential threats in a group clamouring for the same rights and privileges that they enjoy.

    Perhaps 'taking the knee' is not about subservience of the kneeler but showing solidarity with those who have been kept subservient for decades long past the end of the slave trade; solidarity with those who have been kept powerless in injustice.

    In the pictures below MLK is kneeling before God in prayer before going to gaol, along with many others who are kneeling both in prayer and solidarity.

    Martin Luther King Jr., 1965



    Voluntarily kneeling before one's God in respect and humility is not the same as being forced to 'kneel' before one's oppressors/owners and wannabe masters. Therein lies the difference.

    (American footballers who take the knee during their national anthem are, I would suggest, showing more respect to the flag/country than those who remain standing.)

    The police officers who took the knee in front of standing protestors were wrong to do so, even if they did do it as a gesture of appeasement. There was clearly power play happening there. However, if they had taken the knee alongside kneeling protestors the dynamics would have been different and the gesture more honest, all round.

    However, any gesture remains empty unless accompanied by action. Changes of legislation; awareness of one's own prejudiced, bigoted or racist attitudes, conscious or otherwise and working to change those; calling out other people whose language or behaviour is casually racist (far more difficult to attempt to change those who are knowingly racist and happy with it). So anyone, police, politicians, anyone who makes the gesture of solidarity should also be willing to act on it too.
  19. modelmaker

    modelmaker Senior commenter

    Clearly the government supports the Black Lives Matter Movement, because it brought the entire economy to its knees.
  20. Oscillatingass

    Oscillatingass Star commenter

    You know when you mention changing legislation? Which current legislation in the UK is in your opinion "racist"?
    DrLinus likes this.

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