At a time when taking a knee has become a symbol of the anti-racism movement and people across the world are doing to express solidarity, West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite has said that it will not bring any change. He has suggested that a change in mindset is required.
After a black civilian was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis, United States of America, massive anti-racism protests have taken place in several parts of the globe.
George Floyd, aged 46, was choked to death by officer Derek Chauvin. He held Floyd down with a knee on his neck though he repeatedly pleaded, “I can’t breathe,” and “please, I can’t breathe”.
To condemn the brutal action of the officer, protesters have made bending knees as a symbol of the current anti-racism movement.
The action has been prevalent in sports as well. NFL player Colin Kapernick had knelt during the national anthem, before one of the games in 2016. His action triggered a movement and black players across many teams had resorted to kneeling during the national anthem to protest against the police brutality and racism.
However, Brathwaite believes ‘legislative’ changes are the need of the hour as according to him, taking a knee seems to be just papering over the crack.
“Taking a knee in isolation or wearing a badge in isolation is not enough, it is the reprogramming and reconfiguring of the mindset. For me it’s just cosmetic – that may ruffle a few feathers,” Brathwaite said on BBC’s Stumped programme.
“The biggest change needs to be legislative and needs to be the reprogramming of the wider society.
“Why is it that we go on a plane and see someone with a massive beard and we think, terrorist? When we see a black guy in the supermarket we automatically think he will shoplift, and as a result have the guards trail him?
“That is a bigger discussion – how we reprogram our mindsets around those sorts of thoughts is a bigger discussion than just taking a knee,” he added.
Meanwhile, the West Indies and England players will wear a ‘Black Lives Matter’ logo during their three-match Test, starting July.