IN LITTLE ROCK: At Hoover Memorial United Methodist Church on 12th Street, where white and black politicians were among the speakers before a crowd broiling in the sun. (Brian Chilson photo)

People took a knee all over the United States today to say silence was no longer acceptable and that Black Lives Matter.

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At the end of the rally at Hoover Memorial United Methodist, the group walked  past  the nearby 12th Street police station chanting “thank you for your service.” White people added, “Please protect them.” Black and Latino people added, “Please protect us.”

They knelt, too, in Fort Smith, with police joining in.

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Speaking of Little Rock police, I introduced you to a black officer, Kendall Harper, earlier today. He had things to say about Black Lives Matter. Meet a white officer, who also has things to say.

Crowds are huge in cities across America today, including Washington, D.C., where the mayor has Donald Trump’s number.

First with the Black Lives Matter display on the street leading to his door.

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Then renaming the street.

Kneeling was particularly in vogue. Colin Kaepernick was right. I hope we never again have to endure a demagogue Arkansas politician denouncing a college athlete who takes a knee in solidarity against injustice. Shame on all those who did.

Now even comes NFL’s Roger Goodell to say “we were wrong” for not listening to NFL players. It’s already being scorned as woefully inadequate, a business-saving bunch of words.  He didn’t apologize to Colin Kaepernick. He didn’t even mention him by name.

Goodell is not alone in issuing hollow words. They are popping up all over, including in Little Rock. One local nstitution that issued some solemn words on unity this week was a group instrumental in the takeover of the Little Rock School District because it wanted to oust the black majority board. It has worked historically against equal pay and treatment of rank-and-file workers. It works to elect politicians who protect the status quo.

The status may be changing.

May many more be made to speak their names, whether Kaepernick, Floyd or so many others. Maybe it’s time, for example, for that editorial tribute the local daily news’paper’ somehow forgot to write on the death of John Walker, another drum major for justice.

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