By Naja Hardmon
I know my rights, do you?
While taking action against the many injustices that are taken against black and brown American citizens, sources such as Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp have come to mind when looking at who to turn to for support and protection.
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you can not afford an attorney one will be provided for you.
When these rights are read, it is important to understand what has just been said. I’ve heard these rights read time and time again on movies and television and reality clips, and they seem simple enough. With recent events in mind, I can’t help but think of the constant dilemma that America has come to face when answering the question: “Who do these rights really apply to?”
The moment we’re currently living in is an important time to know your rights. Taking action against the many injustices that are taken against black and brown American citizens can come in many forms: protests, community organization, or any other methods such as Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp.
The Know Your Rights Camp
The Know Your Rights Camp is a source of support and protection for those in the fight. I strongly support their mission of advocating for education, self-liberation, and the creation of new systems that will empower the next generation of black and brown youth instead of dismantling their value. In my family, a personal value that has been instilled in me by my mother (who was taught by her mother) is recognizing and remembering your rights as a rightful citizen not just among the land of the free, but as a citizen of the world. Basic freedoms like being able to move about without fear of your life being endangered, whether it be at a traffic stop, sleeping in your car, or sitting in a Starbucks are currently not universal to all Americans. Black Americans deserve the right to live without fear of being who they are, no matter where they may walk in this world. The Know Your Rights Camp is working to instill that principle into the next generation of black and brown youth in hopes of it becoming common knowledge.
Since its founding in 2017, The Know Your Rights Camp has expanded outside its inaugural birthplace of Oakland, California to multiple cities (Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; New Orleans, LA; Miami, FL — to name a few) advocating for the education and true understanding of the Miranda Act rights and other key rights. Each city the camp visits hosts a day-long workshop where Colin Kaepernick and an array of guest speakers such as Benjamin L. Crump, a renowned civil rights attorney, and Ameer Loggins, a doctoral student in Africa diaspora Studies are present. These speakers educate people on the historical and modern relationship between black and brown communities and law enforcement.
Do you know your rights?
The main goal of the camp is to educate the next generation of young minds to truly understand the following rights:
- Everyone has the right to be free.
- Everyone has the right to be healthy.
- Everyone has the right to be brilliant.
- Everyone has the right to be safe.
- Everyone has the right to be loved.
- Everyone has the right to be courageous.
- Everyone has the right to be alive.
- Everyone has the right to be trusted.
- Everyone has the right to be educated.
- Everyone has the right to know their rights.
“Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it,” George Santayana said. The Know Your Rights Camp is actively working to instill the above principles into the next generation so the problems we face today will only be temporary.
Amidst their fight for a better tomorrow, the camp’s Legal Defense Initiative is concerned with the injustices of today. The Know Your Rights Legal Defense Initiative is partnered with top civil rights lawyers and defense lawyers to bring legal assistance to anyone in need. The initiative encourages “if you, or a loved one is in need of legal assistance, has been arrested or has been a victim of police brutality while fighting injustice across the nation” to apply for legal assistance on their website.
To support the Know Your Rights Camp and the Legal Defence Initiative, please click here.