Monday, April 19, 2021

Open Letter Calls on Gladys Knight to Stop ‘Buck Dancing and Cooning’

*This is an open letter to Gladys Knight, the legendary singer who is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and seven-time Grammy Award-winner.

Sister Gladys, no one can dispute that as a a singer, songwriter, actress, businesswoman, and author, your career achievements are outstanding. I, along with many African Americans, grew up listening and loving your music. So I write this to you with extreme disappointment as you prepare to perform the National Anthem (“The Star Bangled Banner”) at this year’s Super Bowl in Atlanta.

Sister Gladys, you issued a statement commenting on Colin Kaepernick and defending your position which reads in part:

“I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice,” she wrote. “It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.

“I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3 to give the Anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words, the way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life, from walking back hallways, from marching with our social leaders, from using my voice for good — I have been in the forefront of this battle longer than most of those voicing their opinions to win the right to sing our country’s Anthem on a stage as large as the Super Bowl LIII.”

JACKIE WILSON’S TRAGIC LIFE AND DEATH OF HIS 3 CHILDREN WHO DIED TOO YOUNG

gladys knight - nfl - super bowl

Sister Gladys, the fact that you admit to being a long-time civil rights activist doesn’t make you exempt for being called out if you start cooning and selling your people out in your old age. Your life experiences in the movement should make you know better. NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown another long-time champion of civil rights was also held accountable by our people when he began meeting with Donald Trump and stating his support for the president whose policies have been a disaster for low income and middle class African-Americans. No one is above reproach or exemption because of being elderly and past contributions in the civil rights movements. We called for Brown to stop buck dancing and cooning for white people and now were calling for you to stop it,

As you know, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who sacrificed so much was eventually assassinated for standing up and fighting for our civil rights. King’s work is exemplified in Colin Kaepernick the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback whose refusal to stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner” — and decision to kneel instead — to protest police brutality has made him a modern-day King and drum major for justice. Kaepernick has now been blackballed by the NFL owners.

Kaepernick took a stand for black women, children, and men who were being killed unjustly by police nationwide with no convictions and for all people of color. Kap gave up his plate and I didn’t hear him ask you to give up your plate sister Gladys. Courage isn’t for everyone. I get that. This is about police brutality and the blackballing of a man because he kneeled to bring attention to the police murders of people of color. Kaepernick put millions on the line and sacrificed his career, so people of color could live in peace, without the threat of state sanctioned murder.  When the NFL or any corporation punishes a man for standing against police brutality then that means the league and that company or corporation is in favor and a supporter of police brutality!

So, we can’t give our talent, time or money to any business that doesn’t support black and brown lives and our issues. Sister Glady’s what black people need to understand is Kaepernick is in a position like what Rosa Parks faced and what helped give birth to the civil rights movement you stated you helped participate in.

CARDI B TO REP FOR PEPSI IN SUPER BOWL 53 COMMERCIAL

colin kaepernick - nfl boycott

The reality is this isn’t about you singing at the Super Bowl. It’s about you giving cover comfort and aid to the NFL who as a corporation have ignored all the  unjust police murders of black people, racial profiling, police abuse, and the violation of our civil rights that Kaepernick put into the national spotlight. This is about Anthony A.J.Weber, Ezell Ford, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and other unarmed black people who were gunned down by police (and a wanna-be cop). This is about Freddy Grey & corrupt police planting evidence on black people. This is about Oscar Grant & Fruitvale Station. This is about Laquan McDonald who was killed while unarmed by several white police officers in Chicago with only one cop being convicted and sentenced to a slap on the wrist with just six years in prison for killing him.

Sister Gladys you’re doing this for your ego and career. You singing the anthem won’t help unite our nation. Marvin Gaye, Mariah Carey, and several other legendary singers have all sung the anthem during their careers and unarmed black people continue to be murdered  like dogs in the street by trigger happy police. The original national anthem which wasn’t written for black folks in the first place speaks about hunting down and murdering our ancestors, plain and simple. Try actually going to Google and reading it in its entirety along with its racist third verse.

Kaepernick exposed the lies and hypocrisy of Americans who believe in free speech but only for white men and black people who prove that many of us are woke only in our opinions but not in our actions. That’s why it’s time to draw a line in the sand. Sister Gladys, do you love the NFL and its racist owners? Or do you love black people more? Kaepernick proved he loves his people. And is now being blackballed by the NFL. Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Tyisha Miller, Sean Bell and countless other brothers and sisters who were killed unjustly won’t watch the Super Bowl or anything else ever. So, I’m still with Kap.

Those that choose to continue to support the NFL boycott will be on the right side of history. Those that choose to support the NFL (Negros For Lease) have chosen to support the NFL plantation and clearly love a game more than they love their own people. Where would the Montgomery bus boycott have been if black people did this back then? They walked miles to work for over a year. Yet here we are today benefiting from their sacrifice but unwilling to stick together on such an issue for one night.

Understand, not a single team hired Kaepernick. They remain in solidarity in their decision.  I have no respect for anyone performing in the Super Bowl. Sistah Gladys, based on your civil rights laurels you boasted about, your betrayal of the movement and your own people are shocking. Just say you want the check and stop pretending you’re doing this for us.

 

Najee Ali
Director of Project Islamic HOPE
https://www.facebook.com/NajeeLAactivist

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33 COMMENTS

  1. This is all a solution without a problem. Get over it. These millionaires need no sympathy and to their credit do ;its of work through their various foundations. Amazing waste of electrons. Gladys doesn’t need to apologize to anyone for this. This whole crowd needs to move on.

  2. This American treasure will not be shamed or guilted into supporting your hypocritical agenda or selective outrage. You can take your cowardly arse to hell!

  3. Even though I’ve never watched a football game in my life, and have only tuned in for three half time performances, Prince, Queen Aretha, and Whitney Houston, this will be my fourth. I quite frankly don’t give a rat’s ass what she’s singing. Ms. Knight could sing the phone book and I would be front and center. On the other hand, I wouldn’t sit and watch Kaepernick play a game of football if it were the only thing on tv. I don’t like football. Let him keep kneeling, let Gladys keep singing and the earth will surely keep spinning. Live and let live. People really are getting dumber by the decade. Just can’t seem to keep their big, fat noses out of other people’s business.

  4. Pathetic article written by a pathetic hypocrite. Where are your letters to the players, employees, vendors, reporters,etc of color that are playing and collecting that paycheck every Sunday. It is not the nfls job to solve social issues. How about you start being fathers to your kids, make your kids get an education, teach them how to be a productive member of society. And the dolt that is dribbling on about NFL players that get paid millions of dollars to play a game a slaves and the NFL as slave masters. The NFL has created more black millionaires than all the colleges put together.

    • Proud American kaTES 1221 Both of you are White so this conversation really doesn’t concern you, you can give your bigoted opinions but no one who understands this, expects you too.. It is DEFINITELY not surprising that you would bring your bigoted opinions here.
      God will judge you. HAHA

      Najee great letter proud of you.

      We always have to remember that there was those in house and those in the field.Sometimes it is sad to see the ones with the house mentality but it’s never surprising. A FEW of the performers in Atlanta,the home of Martin Luther King Jr have him turning over in his grave right now. The get paid mentality rules with them.

      NYLA

      • Don’t be silly. You don’t know anything about me. Remember. People tend to move in the direction they’re looking. Keep looking back instead of moving forward, and you, my friend will always find yourself in the field.

        • kates 1221 First we are not friends, nor will we ever be close to be friends.
          And I look forward to the day when God punishes you and your ilk.
          Yes,I do know of you ,you are nothing special, just a generic plain unenlightened bigoted cave woman.
          Finally I will always have a field mentality(and be proud to have ,trick) something,like I said in my original post, people like you would NEVER understand.

          Nicholas Jackson,nothing but respect to you and yours! It’s so sad ,isnt it, that our beloved Sister Ms Gladys is acting like this? I guess Les Brown was right about her,lol and here I thought Les was foul when he did what he did.

          • Forgive me, but I don’t remember ever meeting you. Judging by the content of your posts, I doubt I have. Otherwise, I would remember a bible-thumping bigot who lies to themselves and anybody else who will listen, about what and who they know. But if this is what it takes to get you through your day, more power to you. Unlike you, I firmly believe in live and let live. Even when it comes to our “beloved Sister” Ms. Gladys.

    • As a black American and law enforcement person with over 30 years experience, I do not think it is the NFL job to solve social issues. I do have issues about your remarks about black fathers when you say, “How about you start being fathers to your kids, make your kids get an education, teach them how to be a productive member of society.” This remark tells me you follow the white misconceptions that black men do not take care of the children they produce. Most Black people are productive members of society and are involved in their children’s welfare. There are criminals and bad people in all races including YOURS! I processed as many white children as children of color. You had white children, who HAD a father in the home, who still went out a committed misdemeanor or felonies. Being a productive member of society is NOT a black problem but a problem for all races. Today’s children have no respect for themselves or others. All parents, no matter the race, need to teach their children to be a light in this world, to have respect for self and others, and to walk it as they talk it. I hope you don’t pass down your racist beliefs to your children. Ps. Read this article as the number of white people and black people on welfare is pretty even: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/americans-welfare-perceptions-survey_us_5a7880cde4b0d3df1d13f60b.

  5. Pathetic article written by a pathetic hypocrite. Where are your letters to the players, employees, vendors, reporters,etc of color that are playing and collecting that paycheck every Sunday. It is not the nfls job to solve social issues. How about you start being fathers to your kids, make your kids get an education, teach them how to be a productive member of society. And the dolt that is dribbling on about NFL players that get paid millions of dollars to play a game a slaves and the NFL as slave masters. The NFL has created more black millionaires than all the colleges put together.

  6. Does Ms. Knight know the entire, unedited anthem? It’s not her job to rescue the system of racism from itself. It is supposed to implode.

  7. I’m sick and tired of every time a black thug or criminal gets justifiably shot by law enforcement of any color, and having a cold murder. The times that is not justified, the officer, of any color, should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. However, just because an officer kills a black man, does not make it Criminal. Take a look at realistic stats on black on black crime. Then we can talk.

  8. I’m sick and tired of every time a black thug or criminal gets justifiably shot by law enforcement of any color, and having it called murder. The times that is NOT justified, the officer, of any color, should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. However, just because an officer kills a black man, does not make it Criminal. Take a look at realistic stats on black on black crime. Then we can talk.

    • Steven look up the history of the police and their role in enforcing slavery and how it’s evolved to today.
      Actually I know you can’t handle that truth. Because no race is more murderous or criminal than the white race of today and in the past.
      Also observe how police treat their own in situations similar to what you mentioned.

      Finally take a realistic look at white on white crime stats,tell me if you see a difference,fool.

  9. Please do not speak on my behalf with your disrespect and malice toward an elder. Your message was totally out of line and does not represent my view as an American of Negro descent. Ms. Knight said she earned the RIGHT through her hard work to sing at the Super Bowl and you call her a coon? How disrespectful. I bet your parents aren’t even American because no Negro child who grew up listening to her sing in the summer would ever disrespect her like this. You are wrong.

  10. Salute to Naji, Cashmoneygenerator, and everyone else who called out this Icon for betraying the cause. I love aunt Gladys, but I cannot support her for doing this nonsense. She doesn’t need this at all. Her career is pat without justifying the NFL owners racist policies. To the crazy white trolls on this thread ESAD. Shame on you aunt Gladys. Seriously…

  11. This article is shameful. It is an example of the “crabs in a barrel” mentality. The author uses racial attacks to tear down someone simply because they disagree. They hide behind anonymity because their real life acheivements are nothing compared to this lady.

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