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OUSD Honor Band Explains “Why We Kneel”

By Elizabeth G. & Nathan N., members of OUSD Honor Band

On September 25, 2017, most members of the Oakland Unified School District Honor Band knelt in protest to play the National Anthem before an Oakland A’s game. It was the second time they did it. This is the explanation of their protest in the words of two student-musicians:

Beginning with the San Francisco 49ers former quarterback, Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protest during the National Anthem last year, the Anthem has become highly politicized. Kaepernick’s silent protest evolved into a national movement drawing attention to marginalized people that have been cast aside by federal policies and fighting for people of color who have no voice, particularly those disproportionately killed by law enforcement. The movement has also become a conversation about freedom of speech.

Already this year, many players, coaches, and others in the National Football League and at least one player in Major…


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