NFL employees risk a lot by expressing their objections to honoring a flag which represents to some of them the opposite of what it means to others. I'm glad they are standing up for their truth, to refute what I take for granted, to remind me that what I consider to be practically sacred is nothing of the kind to them. Remember this too, sweet white America, of which I'm the most guilty, if they could, some would return our policies to the days when our fellow Americans were deprived of the fruits of their labor, denied protections under "the Law" that I all too casually assume belong to everyone, stripped of their basic human rights to be connected to their own families, kicked and slapped and spit on and shot and hung for no reason, and that our precious government did nothing to interfere; indeed our government, you and me, or so we say, facilitated this brutality against our brothers and sisters who did nothing to deserve to be bound and packed and shipped to this hell-hole. (Have you seen the boats that they were shackled into on their journey to this concentration camp! It will make you ill, if you are human.) We better not assume they have no place, no standing, to be furious with America. Bill Walton said if he was black, he'd be angrier than they are. I hope and pray that those who are most embittered would try to recognize that some white folk do care deeply about them and their ongoing plight, that some of us reject utterly the abuse they endured as somehow fair or acceptable, that we would never wish their experience on them. They are our family. Some died in battle for me and you. And to you who have never failed at this thing called being human, you get to be first in line to throw your rocks at others. I apologize to each of them. My mother didn't want children. She did not like me. Never touched me, never read a bedtime story to me (she never missed an opportunity though to read to my sisters until they slept. But, she could curse like a sailor, lose her temper in an instant in a frightening fashion, and terrorize. She was a powerfully built woman, husky, big shoulders, thighs, strong muscular arms, and when she boiled over into a white hot rage, she could have killed many men I know. She was terrifying, I guarantee it. But a black woman came to us for a stretch when mother became ill and she hugged me, she dried my cheeks, she sang to me as she put me to bed as a little boy, and I've never forgotten her. She was my real mom.