Why I'm #TeamKaepernick
It seems like America is constantly in a race war. In this weeks latest #AllLivesMatter shenanigans *rolls eyes*, we have Colin Kaepernick vs. White America.
Kaepernick is the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers and is bi-racial (born to a white mother and black father). His refusal to stand for the national anthem is stirring up all kinds of controversy in the sports world and America as a whole. Kaepernick told NFL Media recently, "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 also states, "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."
His decision to sit during the national anthem has pissed off a lot of people including presidential candidate *once again rolls eyes*, Donald Trump who told Seattle radio station KIRO, "I think it's personally not a good thing, and you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him, let him try, it's not gonna happen."
Despite all the haters (because haters gonna hate), I really admire and respect Kaepernick for standing up or in this case, sitting down for what he believes in.
I completely agree with Colin Kaepernick and here's why:
The "Star-Spangled Banner" is racist AF
It seems like we have been conditioned to show loyalty to a country that has always oppressed people of color. We sing the national anthem and are expected to show patriotism to a country that is deeply rooted in slavery and racism. Do we even think about the lyrics when we sing "The Star-Spangled Banner"?
I decided to do some research and found out that the anthem actually represents white supremacy.
Francis Scott Key wrote the national anthem during the War of 1812. Key viewed black people as "a distinct and inferior race of people". In the third verse of the anthem we sing, "No refuge could save the hirelong and slave/From the terror of flight or the groom of the grave." Key was basically angry about blacks who fought for their freedom.
The fact is that the man who wrote the beloved "Star-Spangled Banner" was a slave owner who looked down on blacks. Researching the history of the national anthem (and not relying on the watered down version I was taught in school) makes me understand why it took almost 100 years for this song to become the national anthem.
Read more about the "Star-Spangled Banner" here.
"...The land of the free and the home of the brave" or NAH
Many people view America as being 'the land of the free' but is it really? This is the country that has consistent racial tension. The country where unarmed black men and women are murdered by white police officers, often times with footage to prove it.
Recently, the Justice Department announced that "the Baltimore City Police Department stops, searches and arrests without the required justification; uses enforcement strategies that unlawfully subject African-Americans to disproportionate rates of stops, searches and arrests...". So, while this might be the land of the free for some in America; it definitely is not for people of color.
Read more about the Justice Department's findings here.
Kaepernick shows bravery
A lot of times people who are in the spotlight, aka celebrities, don't speak up about race relations because they don't want to lose fans, endorsements and/or approval. Kaepernick shows bravery by putting his career and money on the line to stand up for his beliefs. He could care less about being 'politically correct' or the approval of others.
I think that more people, especially people of color with influence, should stand up for their beliefs. If everyone contributes to change, then it will happen.
Thank you, Colin Kaepernick for not conforming to White America's expectations.
What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.