Colin Kaepernick is a black man who happens to be a football player who makes $15 million. Let’s say that again. Colin Kaepernick is a BLACK man who happens to be a football player who makes $15 million. It seems as though to people that the money he makes cancels out the color of his skin. It seems as though people believe that because he makes money he is not allowed to make a statement about the injustice and inequality people of color consistently have to deal with. It seems as though because Kaepernick was adopted by white parents and receiving the benefits/privileges of having white parents that he can’t possibly understand what it means to be black or to be profiled, discriminated, or demeaned because of his race. He can’t possibly.
But the reality of the situation is that he can, is, and does. Wealth does not end discrimination or racism. Making $15 million does not absolve you from the color of your skin. Having white parents does not make your blackness disappear. I should know, because I come from having a white mom and living with the privileges that come with having a white mom and coming from a background of wealth. But, those privileges mean nothing when I am walking by myself at night, when I have to think twice about wearing a hoodie, when I have stay at an even keel or not get angry so I am not thought of as the “angry” black women.
The statement that Kaepernick made while sitting down during the national anthem is the same statement Muhammad Ali made he fought being eligible for the military draft. “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so- called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?” Ali asked. “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong.” It’s the statement John Carlos and Tommie Smith mad when they raised their gloved fists at the 1968 Olympics. The venom all three mentioned above is the same venom Kaepernick is getting. When you make people uncomfortable and do not protest in a nice dignified way people get upset.
I am a huge proponent of standing silently during the national anthem. I truly believe in using that time to think about the people who have died to allow me to stand there and the respect they are due. But on the other hand I am a huge proponent of making a statement against racial inequality. I am a believer in you have to take risks to stand up for what you believe in.
It seems that no matter what way people of color protest against racism and discrimination that it isn’t the right way, unless of course they want to bring up their ace- MLK. MLK is the go to when talking about movements, but seem to forget he made a lot of people upset with the civil rights movement. We can’t stop traffic; we can’t sit during the national anthem, we can’t do anything that will draw attention to reality of what is continuing today in a way that isn’t polite and doesn’t put people out. People want protesting to be done in a nice contained area with the correct permits and licenses. If we step out of line we are looked down upon. They people who deal with the injustice are being told they aren’t doing it the right way by the people who have the privilege.
How about you be more worried about what is happening in the world and within your own country then being upset about how the protest occurred, because when I hear you are only interested in telling me how it is being done wrong, I hear someone who isn’t trying to make it right.