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?