Colin Kaepernick: A Stand-Up Guy

I’m tired of hearing Colin Kaepernick railed on. I see the reaction to his protest in the same light I see the reactions to the shootings of individuals such as Alton Sterling. It’s almost as though the knee-jerk reaction to facing up to our own flaws has us quickly needing to find diversion so we can bury our heads in the sand and pretend that it doesn’t exist. “Our society has no flaws. How dare you, Colin Kaepernick!”

My standpoint is this. If Colin Kaepernick is so wrong why has nobody addressed his point? I mean, if his point regarding disparity and, specifically, police brutality is incorrect, we could fairly and firmly close this situation down and return to the journey to the Super Bowl. Or does he have a fair point that we just don’t want to address?

I made a comment on Facebook, pointing out that Donald Trump has also said that America has failed. Yet, those that listen in debate whether he should be the next President of the United States or not. Why? Because it is decided that his content requires attention. If two people make the same statement what would cause us to afford time to one and not the other? It HAS to be the content. Put simply, it is more important for us to address which Mexicans and Muslims are allowed to stay among us, while we make drastic preparations to withstand attacks from countries thousands of miles away, than it is to ask why, to date of this blog, 730 people have died at the hands of our police force this year and why it is your chances of being killed by a police officer are higher, depending on the colour of your skin. Further, Colin asked why we don’t increase the time we spend training our police officers. The only response I’ve seen from senior police officials debates Colin Kaepernick sitting down during the National Anthem with nothing said about WHY he chose to sit it out.

Answering the question of ‘Why?’ gives closure to situations. It helps to put everything into perspective, in order for us to adjudicate fairly and to the correct measure. We did this when Ted Bundy murdered multiple women and we did this when Timothy McVeigh blew up a building in Oklahoma City. We did it when Dylan Rooff shot 9 innocent people in North Carolina and we did it when Christina Grimmie was shot by a stalker in Florida. There HAD to be a reason for such drastic action and we HAD to find out what that reason was. Had the individuals, listed, not had their reasoning addressed there would have been questions constantly asked and pondered over so, in order to retain the peace and as is custom, the ‘why’ was hashed out and dealt with. But not for Colin Kaepernick. There is suddenly this focus on the drastic action but no consideration has been given to the ‘why’. A NFL star sits down during the National Anthem and, even though he gave his reason for drastic action, it’s as if his reason was never spoken. Hmmmmm… Is there some reason why his reason isn’t valid for address? I mean, it’s not like he said something that was a lie. His reason has a solid foundation and the idea of police brutality is extremely concerning. Or is there a reason for it not to be?

In refusing to address the ‘why’ of Colin Kaepernick’s protest, we have allowed ourselves the ability to spin the story to any level we want. His actions are disgrace to the military members out there, dying for our freedom. Yet I haven’t seen anyone give much air time to Colin’s comments regarding servicemen. Let me help you with that.
Colin pointed out that the freedom being fought and sacrificed for was being abused by those allowed to allot it to certain individuals but not others. It is the system that is making a mockery of the sacrifice of our servicemen and women. Not the footballer trying to point out the discrepancy. Then they mentioned Colin Kaepernick’s income in comparison to that of a soldier, as though everything that can be done to bring the messenger into disrepute will bring an end to his message. Some mentioned that he doesn’t share his money. Diversion.
What does Colin Kaepernick’s income have to do with police brutality? If he spent millions building new schools and creating a warm fuzzy existence for black people, does that make police brutality go away? Does that bring back the 730 that are dead? Money doesn’t even have a value and the system knows this. The system knows, all too well, how to divide and conquer, though, and here we are. Arguing and debating drastic action. Scared to argue and debate the basis of it. Almost as if we are scared of the unity and closure it would bring about. Or is it the system that realizes it can only thrive if there is division?

Colin Kaepernick has put his livelihood at risk by observing a standard that isn’t his own. How many people do we see doing that this day and age? How many other men and women out there put their livelihoods on the line in order to see that society is equal and just? Not many.

In a society that chooses to sit down and pretend not to notice inequality and abuse of power, watching their fellow man suffer, a man willing to put his livelihood on the line to see wrongs corrected is a very stand-up guy. I only hope he remains consistent and gains support. Colin Kaepernick, salute.


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