Two opinion/commentary pieces in the July 3 The Advocate | The Times-Picayune caught my eye.

Sheila Denny's letter concerns two Saints players' opinions on taking a knee during the national anthem. Both publicly expressed their opinions knowing full well they would be in opposition to at least some of their teammates, and they both have every right to do so.

But according to Denny, Drew Brees was simply expressing his feelings, while Malcolm Jenkins was being divisive and derogatory. Besides the racial double standard, the other obvious thing about this letter is that Denny doesn't care about the black lives that Jenkins is advocating for. I'm thankful that Brees now realizes this is about black lives, not about the flag or veterans, and has pledged to help Black lives.

The other piece was Ken Stickney's column in which he calls for us to calmly and objectively evaluate monuments and attach "better, truthful explanations" instead of removing them. I agree that putting racist monuments in the proper context is a good idea but disagree they should be left in places of honor.

However, my main point is that in a column that took up about a half page, Stickney could not find room to mention the most important context of these monuments: the Black lives that were destroyed by slavery and Jim Crow and the Black lives that continue to suffer under today's manifestations of that same racism. Just like Denny, it's obvious that Stickney doesn't care about Black lives.

In most opinions that oppose Black Lives Matter, I find this same indifferent to outright hostile attitude toward Black lives. This tells me that the BLM movement, and all its associated actions from taking a knee to removing racist monuments to reforming the criminal justice system, is very important and very right.



New Orleans