Why Are You Really Mad?

As most know by now, Colin Kaepernick choose to protest the oppression of people of color in America. How? He sat down during the national anthem at a pre-season NFL football game.

In the nature of 2016 America, people are in an absolute uproar over disrespect for the flag. I’ve heard/read several arguments on how profane his actions were, and I’m inclined to agree with some. I believe he should honor the flag and our military. The sacrifices they make are unique even unto death. So, I agree there. However, I see a lot of hypocrisy in this situation.

Loads of it.

The argument is that we should respect our veterans. Those that have died, those who are retired, and those who are currently serving deserve our full support. I fully agree. Nonetheless, you can support troops and still recognize issues within our country. Even they recognize that as the military community is divided on Kaep’s actions. Some veterans are in support of the first amendment and Kaep’s right to exercise. Some are not. What baffles me is the fake outrage all over social media. So many people support the troops, but ignore their situation. Some are homeless – living in the streets – but “we support our military!” is broadcasted all over television. Why are we not treating mental health issues (homeless vets who have mental health issues are about 45 percent)? Why are we not truly helping them? Maybe some of you are, and that’s commendable. However, I fail to believe the majority of those who are offended by Kaep’s actions are doing anything other than yelling from their couch. So, I must ask a question.

Why are you really mad?

Is it truly because you think Kaep disrespected the flag and our military? Or, is it the message he sent in his protest?

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” he said. “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.

“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody,” he said. “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.”

  • Colin Kaepernick

Here is a man with some integrity that is, peacefully might I add, standing up for what he believes. I mean that’s what is asked of Black Lives Matters protesters, right? They need to protest peacefully otherwise they are (insert “I’m scared of them” names here). Well, this man, who has nothing to do with BLM, is peacefully protesting and you still don’t like it. Why? “I don’t like the method of protest.” Ok. If he runs around in the middle of the street, then he’s wrong. If he chooses not to stand during the socially acceptable time-frame, then he’s wrong again. How is he supposed to get his message across?

He can’t. You don’t want to hear it.

People who reject the message nitpick the messenger. It’s that simple. Don’t like what he has to say? Find a flaw and exploit it. That’s all that his critics have done. Express fake outrage while sitting on their couch during the national anthem watching the game he’s playing. And he’s wrong? Irony at its finest. Faux patriotism is easy to display on the internet. However, you lack credibility simply by not being a good neighbor to your fellow brother or sister. It’s easy to say “I support our troops” and do nothing to show it.

Maybe it’s not about patriotism or honoring the flag. Maybe it’s the fact that you don’t think people of color are oppressed and you’re too afraid to admit it. Maybe it’s because you just don’t like his message.

Is that why you’re mad?

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Sam Dissette says:

    I am torn on this and could go on and on about why I agree/disagree with his actions but I probably won’t have enough space. My only hope is that this fake outrage that people have does truly turn in to helping those that have fought for our country. I’m not going to hold my breath though …. People don’t realize that sharing on Facebook does not equal solving these problems.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shielders Anonymous says:

    Nice write up Jarrod! Too many people have opinions and too little are willing to have an educated honest conversation about them. Anyone that disagrees becomes wrong and irrelevant only because their feelings matter more than rational thinking. Admitting to being part of the bigger problem is tough for most people, consequently committing to be a positive catalyst for change in said situation is near impossible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jarrod Brown says:

      I believe suicidal media has made it easy for people to scream from home about a large scale situation, but do nothing about it around them. I see this all of the time now.

      Like

  3. Laura Johnson says:

    Just to preface, I almost never comment on anything facebook or otherwise, and yet here I find myself posting on another topic you’ve posted, I don’t know whether to apologize for it seeming like I’m playing devil’s advocate or say kudos for rousing me to deeply muse about these topics? In honesty, I think (hope) that a lot of people are questioning their stance on things and trying to come to an understanding on both sides of these issues, so here’s my stance both on your commentary and the Kaepernick issue.

    Personally, I don’t really care that he didn’t stand and doesn’t plan to stand for the national anthem. I personally choose to do so, but I am also a firm believer in different strokes for different folks. I also can’t really personally fault people for wanting to have an opinion about his decision one way or the other. Can you? Yes we are entitled to freedom of speech (*from the government, mind you), be we aren’t entitled to expect that no consequences will follow, whether they be good or bad. I feel for veterans that feel offended by his decision, however, mainly because they made a sacrifice that neither Kaepernick nor myself can ever truly understand or fully appreciate until we have been there.

    What does bother me about this situation, is that once again it seems like both sides complain about the behavior of the other and yet engage in that very behavior. Let me give you an example. I’ve done some comment section reading on the Kaepernick ordeal, a comment I see a lot is, “well why protest the national anthem, why doesn’t he get out there and do something?” Essentially this is the same issue that you bring up in your essay, Jarrod. Some might argue that him sitting during the national anthem in protest is him doing something–ironically, I think the opposition thinks that standing and saluting a flag during the national anthem is them doing something to support the military–do you see how ironic the parallel is?

    On a side and somewhat related note, turning the conversation from respect for our military and national symbols to the larger issues within the veteran community, like homelessness and mental illness, I find ironic as well. Isn’t this akin to turning discussions of police brutality and BLM to larger issues within the African American community? Just curious, these arguments seem parallel to me. It’s not that I’m against having broader conversations on either side of the debate, but what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right? Seriously, correct me here if I’m missing something.

    And…sorry this is getting crazy long, as a final note, several communities are doing something positive about veterans and it’s pretty cool. You can google Minneapolis Veteran Housing–the TCs are building affordable housing for veterans with the intention of getting every homeless veteran off the streets due to be completed in the next couple of years. Bonus: The housing is right across the street from the VA Medical Center–talk about solutions that work, pretty cool, huh?!?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jarrod Brown says:

      Laura – I love when you comment. You always bring insightful points of discussion. So, by all means, comment away! Also, the goal of my blog is to spark discussion. I’m happy I have been able to do that with you.

      I agree that we are not free from consequences. However, I don’t see a true consequence outside of public backlash. I don’t fault people for having an opinion on the matter. I fault them for the hypocrisy of their opinion. What I don’t particularly appreciate is how we as a society pick and choose what we are going to be mad about. For example, I read a post where a lady was talking about being in the military. They play the national anthem at a certain time, and whenever they play it everything must come to a halt. Since service members know this, some will find a reason to stay indoors or avoid being in public so they don’t have to stop their day. In short, people “disrespect” the national anthem all the time. From Congress to ordinary citizens. So why now are people outraged?

      I love the comparison of “doing something”. I completely understand your point.

      As far as turning the conversation, I see your point. In some respects, I agree. I get irritated when people start asking me about “black on black crime”. I think in this instance, I want to know what people are doing to show the respect they say they have. Broader issues in the in the African-American community may not affect police brutality. However, respect for veterans may drive some people to actually help the ones in need. It’s way to easy to say “I honor the flag” and do nothing. Ever since the Gabby Douglas fiasco (she didn’t put her hand over her heart at the Olympics), it’s come to light that people don’t even know the proper code for the national anthem. So, I guess I go back to the point of why people are truly mad about this.

      Like

  4. Eddie Gilliam says:

    Great voice. as retired vet, I not upset with him exercising his right for justice. if more people stand up for their conviction the family, church, and nation be a better place.

    Liked by 1 person

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