(Added 10:27 pm: WSB photos. More below)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 10:10 AM FRIDAY: For the third consecutive Friday night, a protest against racial oppression is planned during the pre-game anthem tonight at Southwest Athletic Complex. The last two weeks, the focus was on the visiting football players of Garfield High School. Tonight, before the Chief Sealth-Ballard game at SWAC, the protest will be led by the CSIHS Black Student Union, which sent this statement:
We, the members of the Chief Sealth International High School Black Student Union, are tired… We are tired of unarmed black men, women, and children being murdered and receiving no justice. We are tired of seeing our educational system fail our brothers and sisters of color. We are tired of being silenced; we are tired of being racially profiled; we are tired of being massively incarcerated; we are tired of the racial disparities of income, the racial and economic segregation of our neighborhoods; we are tired of being OPPRESSED, and repeatedly disregarded as human beings.
West Seattle, WA : The Chief Sealth International Black Student has joined other groups in solidarity to protesting the national anthem while it is played. On Friday, September 23rd, 2016, the Chief Sealth Black Student Union organized its first national anthem protest at Chief Sealth’s football game against Garfield. During our protest, many spectators from the stands of many different ages and races joined us in facing away from the field and raising our fists in the air. The Chief Sealth Black Student Union plans to continue our protests at home games during football season. Our protest was nonviolent and we intend to keep it that way.
At this upcoming home game against Ballard on Friday, September 30, the Chief Sealth BSU DOES plan to protest the national anthem, along with those who decide to join us.
We will, again, stand with our fists raised, with our backs to the flag. We stand for the national anthem because we have respect, but we hold our fists up to affirm our power to make positive change. We turn our backs on the flag in a plea for justice; to symbolize the way in which we feel our nation has turned its back on us.
This protest is not to disrespect America or the soldiers that are serving and/or have served this country. This protest is to shed light on the fact that African American fathers, mothers, and children are afraid of their loved ones leaving their homes, that Seattle Public Schools has the 5th largest black-white achievement gap in the country and that they have not even attempted to contact Black Student Unions in the district. This is to spark or continue conversations about Terrence Crutcher, Aiyana Jones, Alfred Olango, and all of the other unarmed black men and women who have been killed by the state without cause.
How are we supposed to stand with America, “the land of the free,” when people are afraid for their lives and treated as second class citizens because of their skin color? As the Black Student Union for Chief Sealth we will fight for the rights of black students and individuals not only in West Seattle but for black people across the country. Martin Luther King once said: “We must never give up infinite hope”. We hope that through our actions we can get people to begin a dialogue, and in turn, change the world. We want Black Lives Matter to be something that won’t have to be said because everyone knows that already . Don’t let the news blind you from all facts of the story, and don’t let traditional racist beliefs blind your judgement.
We want to be heard. We refuse to be silenced.
The Chief Sealth International High School Black Student Union
As mentioned in our daily preview, the game is at 7 pm at SW Athletic Complex, which is across the street from Chief Sealth, at 2801 SW Thistle.
9:23 PM: We’ll be adding photos of the protest – which was joined by some members of both teams – to this story, when we are back at HQ.
ADDED 10:27 PM: In the stands:
And on the sidelines (photographed via phone) – first Sealth, then Ballard:
Game coverage will be in a separate story later tonight.
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