Colin Kaepernick: How Can I Be Proud Of A Country That Oppresses People Like Me?

Colin Kaepernick, 49ers QB

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.  -Martin Luther King Jr.

 

If America wants respect, then it’s time for America to respect all its citizens.

Recently, Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers Quarterback, did not stand for the national anthem.

Why? To protest and call attention to dead Black people. The daily unnecessary and arbitrary killing of Black persons and other People of Color,  by police officers sworn to protect and serve all Americans.

Kaepernick said the murder and oppression of Black people were bigger  than football.

Kaepernick wished to call attention to a system of corruption, that not only affects Black sport players, but also their fans.

Murder is murder, right?  No, in the USA, it depends on the color of your skin, your religion,  and your wallet as well as your badge.

Football and other sports fans, and NFL executives, were up in arms. Many angrily protested how dare Colin Kaepernick exercise his constitutional rights? They called him a traitor. They said he insulted the men and women who fought for his freedom.

Yet those fans and NFL executives did not care about the message or the dead Black bodies. They were not interested in a dialogue about change in a system that elevates Whites by oppressing PoC.

For these so-called “patriots”, including news announcers, the message was unimportant because the system of structural racism (which is the foundation of America) is vital for the survival of white supremacy.

Some fans have called Kaepernick a hypocrite, as he has done very well by benefiting from the American Dream. Yet this includes freedom of expression, but fans and some NFL executives seem bent on denying and punishing Kaepernick for exercising his constitutional right.

Fortunately, many of those that really fought for our country’s freedom agree and support Kaepernick’s right and message.  #VeteransForKaepernick

U.S. Veterans Explain Why They’re Standing With Colin Kaepernick:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/veterans-colin-kaepernick_us_57c71aafe4b078581f10ba24

U.S. Veterans Are Coming To Colin Kaepernick’s Defense In Droves:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/veterans-for-kaepernick_us_57c6d704e4b0a22de09325f4

 

Hypocrisy And Double Standards

Then there was Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte who embarrassed his country by committing perjury, plus offending Brazilians. Yet once again, white Americans defended Mr Lochte’s right to conduct criminal activities, by saying he was only 30 years old, a kid who was drunk, to give him a break and make his extreme international embarrassment excusable.

Why? Because he has White privilege, the ultimate hypocrisy and double standard in America that is offensive to justice and getting stronger.

Contrast this with Gabby Douglas, the Black gold medalist Olympian gymnast, who was demonized for not smiling enough or placing her hand over her heart during the National Anthem. White Americans were more angry about her action than those of Ryan Lochte, whose motive was purely selfish and criminal.

There is a reason many Black athletes and other Americans may not want to acknowledge the national anthem. An anthem written by Francis Key Scott to celebrate the victory of Fort McHenry. An anthem that celebrates slavery and was written by a racist slave owner who believed blacks were sub-humans. Would you stand for a song that celebrates your oppression?

Where’s the debate on Francis Scott Key’s Slave-Holding Legacy? Smithsonian

http://buff.ly/2bVO7uj.

Slavery and the national anthem: The surprising history behind Colin Kaepernick’s protest. CNN

http://buff.ly/2bM1N7O

 

The American Dream For People Of Color

Black athletes are reminded they are products of the American dream because of their income, not their liberty,  their freedom or their protection under the American constitution.  A design that considers them second class citizens. One that respects their athletic skills and ability to entertain, but not them as human beings.

At any time, Colin Kaepernick, Gabby Douglas or any other Black celebrity athlete, entertainer or professional can be put in their places as second class citizens and terrorized into submission by police for no other reason but the color of their skin.

As NFL executives  support the Police to shoot first and ask questions later, the next hashtag could be one of their top Black NFL players who appeared to be threatening to a cop.  Why wouldn’t you too take sides and protect your team?

Disappointingly, the NFL executives short sightedness in not fighting for the rights and protection of their players, and Black fan base, make them part of the problem that stole millions of lives under false narratives. In 2015, at least 1,100 people were killed in police custody. As of September 2, 2016, 723 people were killed by police officers.

The Counted: people killed by police in the United States

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/jun/01/the-counted-police-killings-us-database#

Black athletes are unable to voice their concerns of the violence and discrimination that they, their family, friends and culture are subjected to on a daily basis.

Aren’t we all Americans with the same constitutional rights to the American Dream?  Or are we not as many White Americans and many brainwashed Blacks say?

 

Colin Kaepernick Protest

Kaepernick being biracial is deeply affected by police brutality, a violence without accountability or consequences.

Colin Kaepernick is a hero and role model. What he did was a simple gesture of brilliance. Whites may not have heard the message, but the overwhelming majority of People of Color heard and understood.

In his car, Colin Kaepernick knows he too could be stopped for not being White and subjected to demeaning, degrading and dehumanizing behaviors by police officers. Behaviors that could lead to  his imprisonment or even his death.

As Colin pointed out, this problem is bigger than football. I applaud him for risking his career, and life, to raise awareness and call attention to this growing epidemic crisis. Now other Black athletes need to join him and maybe America will finally listen. There are elephants in the room, and unless we stop ignoring them, this country will implode.

Colin Kaepernick is probably more patriotic than his critics because he expects more from this country. He believes this country can live up to its promises that all people are created equal and protected under the constitution.

Kaepernick protests the oppression and murder of people of color by police officers

Author: Angela Grant

I am a first generation Jamaican immigrant whose experiences and accomplishments were made possible by the courage, sacrifices and the heroic acts of many whose bodies have rotted away in unmarked graves. Those are my heroes. Their sacrifices and death paved the way for my children and I. Failure to Listen is a token of my eternal gratitude. Failure to Listen is a tribute those generations of unmarked graves occupied by people of all races whose ultimate sacrifice of life opened the door for me and others, THANK YOU. Failure to Listen https://failuretolisten.wordpress.com/ uses cultural lenses to appreciate and understand the relationships between current events and our values, beliefs and attitudes. Culture is everything without it we are nothing. Failure to Listen will take you on a journey to recognize the beauty of our differences as the seeds to creativity, innovation and resolving disparities. By sharing my personal and professional experiences, I hope to do justice to the perspectives of those who are rarely heard or listened to. This site is not to incite anger but rather to provoke thought. It is my hope that Failure to Listen will work to foster intergroup dialogues and motivate readers to step outside the box and get to know ALL PEOPLE. In the spirit of Martin Luther King, let's join hands and remember his famous speech about a dream... A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. -Margaret Mead

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