Monday, August 29, 2016

The REAL problem with Colin Kaepernick's national anthem


In case you've missed it, this passed weekend, 49ers Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick sat during the nation anthem of a game he would later play.

What did his team, the 49ers have to say about Kaepernick? "The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem." 

Kaepernick's coach, Chip Kelly told reporters Saturday that Kaepernick's decision not to stand during the national anthem is "his right as a citizen" and said "it's not my right to tell him not to do something."

The NFL issued a statement saying, "Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem."

When interviewed later following the game, Colin said "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color...To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

How did the nation respond to Kaepernick's right as a citizen of this country to silently protest?

They burn his jerseys and post the videos to social media. 

They leave racial slurs and offensive comments on his socials. 

And basically show that Colin, and other athletes who take a stand against racism such as Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, are actually right. 

We have a serious racial problem here in the U.S. 

It doesn't make sense that the only time a black life holds value is when its entertaining popular culture. How I know that to be a fact is that all of the "good" darkies NFL players are suddenly getting highlighted on Kaepernick's opponents feeds. 

It doesn't make sense that when we as African Americans (or any other ethnicity for that matter) take a stand against the systematic racism, bigotry, or oppression as a people, we are met with injustice ourselves. We are called every racial slur in the book. We get called un-American (even though when you think about it, the African American has to be incredibly 'American' because our people, who were kidnapped, beaten, and forced to build this country on our backs, suffered through unimaginable oppression, and still, even to this day, fights for the equality that is written in a constitution that was never written for them.) 

It makes no sense that more people are grieved by this small act of nonviolent protest than by the violent, destructive, murderous acts that precede it. 

That is the real problem.

It is so backwards that these people who say they are patriotic will curse Barack Obama being their president and then dare be mad when an NFL player doesn't stand for an anthem that was created by a person who may have owned his ancestors as property. It is backward that the only person being a real American in this whole cycle is the person who peacefully protested the murder of his people, not the bullies who load slurs, hatred, and racism upon that person.

And there is something very wrong. 

What does Kaepernick have to say about all of this? "I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed...If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right." 

Amen. 

Colin may not be looking for approval. But, at least from this blogger, he's now got some support. And that is why you are The Reclaimed's Man Crush Monday.