I was asked to give a reflection on the Kaepernick situation.
I applaud and am behind what Colin Kaepernick did and if for some reason I didn’t agree with his methodology, I wouldn’t view my opinion as important enough to voice since I have not been able to implement a better solution to the ISSUES that motivated his actions.
And I would view his concern for those issues as far more important than a concern for the etiquette of standing during the recitation of a song which was partially founded on the celebration of killing slaves.
I am as usual, disillusioned with the media because most of its coverage is about an individual’s method of protest as opposed to our collective responsibility to help those less fortunate than us. And I am just as disheartened at many of the athletes and coaches who actually spoke against Colin. Makes me feel like they don’t care about anyone’s plight if that plight doesn’t directly effect their life.
While the police killings he spoke about are the most extreme cases as to why him taking this action was important and a blatant symbol of that pervasive pathology we suffer from called racism, I also think about the thousands of innocent lives still living today who live in a directly oppressive state as a result of mass incarceration due to draconian policies that prey on poor people (primarily black and brown) who have limited capability to defend themselves.
I still think of Kalief Browder (look him up) who spent 3 YEARS IN PRISON WITHOUT BEING CONVICTED of a crime and the only reason he became noteworthy is that he committed suicide.
Thousands and thousands of people living right now are going through the same thing in this country!
Or what about our apathetic attitude towards the sanctity of life for all human beings in the world. How do we allow with little to no protest, drone warfare despite admittedly high misfire percentages on innocent babies, women and men in the name of securing our own comfort because their lives and comfort isn’t considered as important or worthy. How are any human beings treated with so little regard?
The system is broke and so many people’s lives are ruined and destroyed everyday as a result.
I don’t know if we realize that even the ability to debate whether a man should stand up or sit down at the beginning of a sports game may not always be a privilege we have if we continue to neglect, dismiss, devalue, and ignore the downtrodden of our nation and the world.
We should see his position as a wakeup call. We should thank him for disrupting our comfort levels. We should be grateful to him for holding us to a higher standard.
Maybe one day we wont have a choice but to deal with people who we’ve neglected for far too long because they have revolted violently as many caged living beings tend to do when they feel cornered and desperate without options.
That day, all of us may wish we at least didn’t resist the very light protest that was not standing for the national anthem before a football game. And instead, maybe that we used it as motivation to get more serious about solutions to the issues of stark injustice that plague our country today.
Look, I don’t know of a perfect country, community, group, family, or individual. And I love many things about the people in the place I live. But I also know that a major sign of a rotting heart is indignation and arrogance as opposed to reflection and correction when called out on obvious wrongs. The first step to healing is acknowledgement. The alternative is to allow the decay to continue to the point of infection, sepsis, and finally, destruction.