Writers Face Off: Colin Kaepernick

Why this QB is actually standing for our country

Al Alley, Staff Writer

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“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” … “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.”
Colin Kaepernick, the 49ner’s quarterback, spoke those words ,after kneeling during the National Anthem in an act of peaceful protest, when asked questions about the football teams final preseason game. This protest has caused a lot of controversy and backlash towards Kaepernick himself. One thing is for certain, everyone has something to say about it, whether they support it or do not .
Why are people more aggravated at a peaceful protest than the fact that police are to jumping the gun, no pun intended, when it comes to people of color. When I ask people who don’t support what Kaepernick is doing, I have received a lot of different answers from all kinds of people. Some say they see why he is doing it, but do not agree with the way he is doing it. Others tell me they think the whole thing is farcical, but I can not see why someone would want to show pride in a flag that has let Emmett Till ,Amadou Diallo, Abner Louima, Oscar Grant III, Sean Bell, Gregory Gunn , Philando Castile, Brendon Glenn ,the long list of names is tragic, but has let them die for something they could not control. From years to months ago, it is still happening, racism in the police force is not a thing of the past. Racism is still a very real thing, and no, I am not saying all police are racist, or all police are in the wrong. We have some great policemen, but not all law enforcement officers are alike. We need to change the fact that people of color have to be afraid when they move to pull out their wallet or I.D, that they have to be aware how quickly some officers moves to put a hand on their gun.
Colin Kaepernick was right to sit during the anthem, a right to sit in the face of our flag, and in my eyes it was not showing disrespect towards our veterans. Our veterans fought for our rights, and that includes the First Amendment which simply states: we the people have the right to petition. That is phrasing, but it’s still there, right along with the freedom of religion, and the freedom of speech and press. So, even if others do not agree with the way he is doing it, no one can tell him he should not or can not be doing it. How can it be disrespectful to veterans when they fought for freedom, for equal rights? They fought for everything that America is supposed to stand for, and is not. How can we say America is the totem of equality and that getting better when we still allow untrained or bias policeman get away with being too quick to pull the trigger just because it is someone of a different race.
The problem is still alive today, and it is sad that people only started talking about it after the Michael Brown riots, not even the shooting itself. Only when the media began making a negative light on the organization. Now, those same people are complaining about a peaceful protest that is harming no one Media brings up questions like: If a black person is murdered by the law enforcement in the night and there’s no one else but one now dead black person and said law enforcement to see, do they still make a sound? Can you even blame police, even of the evidence was tampered, even if they made a homicide suicide, even if the law enforcement lies? It’s sad how some people have this mentality . How dare there be anthems and cries of “all lives matter” when since the start of America as a country, has showed colored people that their lives aren’t included in the “all lives” statement, clearly not when their deaths paint our streets throughout our history. At this point, is a death even recognised? Can we even call a death a death if almost everyone refuses to recognize the black men and black women’s lives? Not by their accomplishments or college scholarships and degrees, if media just throws out pictures of the most “gangster” picture of them? It’s sad how many things can be seen and unseen at once, like breath, and death, and like the people of color dying in our streets and the police brutality that runs underneath it all.
So how dare we, how can people sneer and boo Colin Kaepernick but so easily turn a blind on people dying in the streets over something they never could change, letting media be the tinted window they see the world through. There are two sides of the story, and I believe that some police are also being unfairly discriminated against, but that is no excuse to ignore that lives that have been taken due to the color of their skin. Racism is still racism, oppression is still oppression, no matter how many people refuse to acknowledge it. Murder is still murder, no matter who’s pulling the trigger or whether the person dying is black or an officer. We can not so easily dismiss the killing of either, no matter what society or media chooses to say.
So, can we blame Colin Kaepernick for finding a way to protest peacefully? Can we
blame him for doing what he believes is right? My answer is no, but it’s up to you to
decide.

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Writers Face Off: Colin Kaepernick