Dear [white] America,
I would like to ask for a favor. Leave Colin Kaepernick alone.
Kaepernick has been vilified in the media for what may I ask? For not standing during the national anthem? Or is it because he dared to challenge the status quo that works for some but not all?
Being pro-_______, doesn’t make anti-______. You can be pro-black and still appreciate white people and their values. You can want women to make an equal wage as men and not be seen as trying to eliminate the male species. You can fight for LGBTQ issues and still respect heterosexual and traditional religious values.
Whenever a person of color dares to challenge White America, they are met with such vile and vicious words attacking their character, intelligence, and in the case of Kaepernick, patriotism.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. … There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”- Colin Kaepernick
Kaepernick made fair points. The fact that you become a cop and fire a weapon quicker than becoming a beautician is a huge flaw in America. There should be a higher standard for police officers.
Why is it when a black person is murdered, they show a derogatory photo of them, yet the police officer who shot them is shown as a decorated officer of the law? The facts matter and the frame of the story matters just as much.
You will be hard pressed to find someone who loves America more than me. Through all our ugly history [and present], the struggles that I face as an African American male, through the struggles other oppressed groups face [women making $0.77 to men’s $1.00, LGBTQ civil rights that are so much bigger than a bathroom, rape and sexual assault and the lens it’s viewed through, etc.], I still believe in America.
As President Obama said during the 2016 Democratic National Convention, there isn’t a better time to be born in America than today. No one can make me love my country any less. The moment you feel less American or that you don’t belong here is when all the racism, bigotry, and discrimination wins.
“If you don’t like America than leave.”
Interesting Kaepernick is met with this criticism, yet a political candidate’s entire platform is based around how bad America is and how he can “make it great again.” There is indisputable evidence that there is different criteria for white people and people of color.
Before we judge and vilify Kaepernick, have you seen the lyrics to The Star-Spangled Banner? Not just the first verse, but the full selection. The excerpt below is from the third verse:
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Kaepernick isn’t being unpatriotic, in fact, he is exemplifying exactly what it means to be an American. We have the freedom and liberty to stand up for what we believe in. That’s exactly what Kaep did during that preseason game. Whether you agree with what he did and how he did it, you have to respect him.
Riddle me this: How is Kaep exercising his 1st amendment right afforded to him by the constitution [you know, that document that claims that all men are created equal] unpatriotic, but Ryan Lochte lying to the Brazilian government and almost causing an international incident passed off as “a kid making a mistake.”
Lochte is 32, Kaepernick is 28. Somehow I feel like the answer to my riddle has something to do with pigmentation, again.
The notion that not standing for the pledge is disrespectful to our armed services men and women is ludicrous. What’s ludicrous is referring to the Commander in Chief as everything besides Mr. President. What’s disrespectful is referring to his wife as a primal creature. What is egregious is judging their children for being just that, children.
Everybody has their own reason for saying the pledge and the national anthem. Whatever your reason is, good. But don’t think Kaepernick made this decision lightly.
Refusing to stand is not disrespectful. America refusing to address that veterans that were in combat make up close to 20-percent of all suicides in the United States is. The fact that almost 200,000 veterans are homeless in America is an equally alarming statistic.
In actuality, veterans, like the rest of us, should be applauding Kaepernick for standing up for those who are maligned and underrepresented. Veterans, like minorities, like women, and like members of the LGBTQ community, have had their issues pushed to the side for far too long.
People have expressed so much anger about this, but where they when Philando Castille and Alton Sterling were murdered? We had more people care about an ape being shot down in a zoo than black blood running in the streets. Sadly, that tells you more about the racial climate in America than anything else will.
Maybe we should finally listen to the claims that black people are making instead of dismissing them? Maybe we should realize that #BlackLivesMatter is needed because there are too many examples of little black boys and girls dying at the hands of the police?
Maybe we should stop bringing up black on black crime as a way to diminish the movement? Maybe it’s time we finally see race and stop pretending it doesn’t exist?
I applaud Kaepernick for his actions. Do I stand for the pledge and national anthem? Yes. But what Kaepernick has done is keep the conversation of race going. And that is the most important thing in all of this.
God Bless America and God Bless Colin Kaepernick,
Jamari K. Jordan