The conversations surrounding Colin Kaepernick’s silent protest of the National Anthem has gone way past ridiculous. People are burning his jersey, calling him un-American, and the Santa Clara police department has even threatened to stop patrolling 49ers games.
Oh, the irony.
Since common sense is rare these days, let’s clarify some of the information that’s floating around the media.
To be in protest of police brutality does not mean you are anti-police. These are mutually exclusive ideas.
This protest is not about the law enforcement officer who does his job to the letter of the law. It is about their peers who don’t.
This protest is has nothing to do with past and current members of the military. Thank you for your service.
The United States flag is not God.
The National Anthem is dripping with racism. Its author was a racist. These are facts. Just because the third stanza is not used does not mean it doesn’t exist.
Change does not come without sacrifice. Muhammad Ali is revered as a legend, but he was vilified for many years due to his protest of the Vietnam War. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is revered as a legend and even has a national holiday (which is ignored by many of the racist right, but that’s another conversation), but he was arrested dozens of times (and eventually assassinated) due to his protest of Jim Crow laws.
All in all, this is nothing more than another form of unrest from those unwilling to part from the status quo. In the 50s and 60s, peaceful protesters were met with aggressive arrests, and picketers were met with water hoses and German Shepards. Now, instead of burning crosses, they are burning football jerseys.
We have come a long way as a nation, and Kaepernick has acknowledged this. However, we still have a long way to go.
“If you stick a knife nine inches into my back and pull it out three inches, that is not progress. Even if you pull it all the way out, that is not progress. Progress is healing the wound, and America hasn’t even begun to pull out the knife.”
– Malcolm X