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Thursday, 29 September 2016

'I Won't Be Silent' Serena Williams on race in America

Serena Williams
Add Serena Williams to the growing list of athletes speaking up against racial tensions, and specifically police-related violence. Writing on her Facebook page, Williams told the story of the fear she felt at having her nephew drive with a police officer nearby.
“Why did I have to think about this in 2016? Have we not gone through enough, opened so many doors, impacted billions of lives?” Williams wrote. “We must stride on – for it’s not how far we have come but how much further still we have to go.”
Athletes have been taking stands in support of racial equality for decades, but the most recent flurry of public statements arose in the wake of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision not to stand for the national anthem. Williams took pains to note that she was not condemning an entire group of people or occupation, but noted that those who are “ignorant, afraid, uneducated, and insensitive” are the root of the problem.
Williams’ participation in the growing movement is significant; she’s one of the greatest, most accomplished athletes in American history. If recent history is any guide, she’ll be criticized and asked what she’s doing with her millions to help solve the problem. How she responds after making this initial statement, and weathering the criticism sure to follow, will help open the door for even more public figures to speak up.
Here’s Here statement:
Today I asked my 18 year old nephew (to be clear he’s black) to drive me to my meetings so I can work on my phone #safteyfirst. In the distance I saw cop on the side of the road. I quickly checked to see if he was obliging by the speed limit. Than I remembered that horrible video of the woman in the car when a cop shot her boyfriend. All of this went through my mind in a matter of seconds. I even regretted not driving myself. I would never forgive myself if something happened to my nephew. He’s so innocent. So were all “the others”
I am a total believer that not “everyone” is bad It is just the ones that are ignorant, afraid, uneducated, and insensitive that is affecting millions and millions of lives.
Why did I have to think about this in 2016? Have we not gone through enough, opened so many doors, impacted billions of lives? But I realized we must stride on- for it’s not how far we have come but how much further still we have to go.

I than wondered than have I spoken up? I had to take a look at me. What about my nephews? What if I have a son and what about my daughters?
As Dr. Martin Luther King said ” There comes a time when silence is betrayal”.