Nobody Asked For Your Sit-In.

Because it’s always something these days, we had a major internet kerfuffle because one Colin Kaepernick decided that he had had enough and would be sitting on the bench during the National Anthem because he feels that our flag represents a country that oppresses ‘people of color’. Ok. But at this point I’m dead sick of people appointing themselves as saviors of the non-white races and negating any progress made in America’s continuing racial strife. Don’t work out your problems in my name. I stand for the anthem, with my hand over my American heart, whether I’m welcome to or not.

While talking about oppressed peoples, did you take into account the mother who birthed you, who was abandoned by your black male father? Because the flag covers that particular sin, too. It’s not enough to play the blame game and pull down the stars and stripes because you may have personal issues from not being white in a white family. Imagine being a pregnant teen abandoned by the black man who impregnated you. So people questioned if you belonged on family vacations, how sad. You were still on vacation, due to your ability to share in the white privilege of your family. You lived the Fresh Air Fund fantasy that is America, and now it’s not good enough for you?

I am not sitting here waiting for you to denounce the flag of the country I live in, the country my mother came to as an immigrant. I am not endorsing your so called protest from the privileged perch of an NFL team’s bench, while I sit around wondering how to generate enough income to ensure that I don’t end up in a poor old folks home when I’m old. I’m glad that to you, a bi-racial man who was taken in by a white mid-western family and raised with more money than most, feel entitled enough to choke off my narrative and hijack it for yourself.

Maybe the real problem isn’t the oppressed people you imagine the flag symbolizes, but your feelings about your own racial background. I myself have seen that the flag that you figuratively spit on covers illegal immigrants who flood into America and drain our resources. I look at the flag and see government programs people flood to our country to take advantage of. I know for a fact that there are people in this country, in New York, in Brooklyn who can brag that because of welfare, SSI and SSD they have never worked a day in their lives and don’t intend to. I know for a fact that Section 8 puts a roof over the heads of ex-convicts and drug abusers who are also the people of color you speak of.

Sit down all you want, I’ve seen the people you claim are so oppressed up close, and they are not worth your efforts. And I know you’re not fighting for me, because I have been told all my life by black people that while my skin is dark, I am not Black. My oppression is something you can’t even comprehend, because it comes from the same people you think you’re standing up for negating my very existence. The Star Spangled Banner isn’t the symbol of their disenfranchisement, it’s a song written to celebrate the battle that freed our country, the home of the brave and the home of the free. Any person of color, black, African-American or whatever that lives here and doesn’t feel stirred to be part of that is just a self-pitying whiner.

There are other athletes who have stood up for their beliefs, and while it makes for great photo ops or pull quotes, the change you seek isn’t going to come from grandstanding. The NFL is not forcing you to stand, so that makes your statement even more suspicious. Nobody said that you couldn’t sit. And as far as this sweeping change that non-whites seem to expect to happen overnight, it’s not going to happen. Why? Because it takes more than sitting on a bench or fighting the police. It takes unity as a country. It takes hard work. And it takes everybody believing that they are a part of every star and stripe.

You want to stand up for me? Sing the fucking song and work tirelessly to play your little game for the people who pay money to see you. Use your platform as an NFL player to create educational opportunities, jobs, real things that impact people’s lives. I know you volunteer and work with kids, yada yada, but your little grandstanding negation of America’s anthem makes me wonder about your real motives. Last year you were using racial slurs, this year you’re protesting. You converted to Islam just before you did all this, too. Funny timing. What’s your next move, bringing a bomb to the Superbowl?