Quarterback Colin Kaepernick Isn’t the One Trampling Our Constitution. But You Might Be.

I’ll start by saying how much I enjoy the sarcastic cries of Oh, he’s so oppressed! followed by memes like this and this.

Please read his official statement on why he sat down during the national anthem:

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said, according to NFL.com. “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.”

At no point does he state that he is oppressed.

He’s taking a stand, with his voice that has been given a national stage, for those he feels have voices that aren’t being heard.

Sort of like if I were to advocate for sex trafficking victims. I’ve never been one. That doesn’t mean I can’t, or have no place, lending my voice to their plight.

Now, on to those who feel he is “un-American,” disrespectful of our troops, and that he should leave the country.

(I’m looking at you, Facebook troll.)

What he did is one of the most American things a person in this country can do. No matter what I, or anyone else, thinks of his stance or the actual act of refusing to stand during the national anthem, protesting . . . taking a stand . . . fighting for your beliefs . . . are all as American as apple pie.

Don’t you dare shame that man by saying he is disgracing our nation or our troops.

His right to protest is protected by the Constitution.

It’s the very reason our troops defend our nation.

In many parts of the world, he would be in danger for taking a stand like that.

In addition, his protest was silent and peaceful. If you get mad when protestors damage things, and get mad when they disrupt businesses (even if all they do is march, if businesses are unable to open or people don’t go into them because of protests they are disrupted), in what ways do you think someone can stand up and have their voice heard when he/she feels passionately for a cause without leaving you in vast amounts of butthurt from your perch at your keyboard?

I never heard of this guy before. Now I know, because of an act of silent, peaceful protest, that this means something to him. What better way for someone who has a moment on the national stage to get his point across? If he had put his hands up in the faces of officers there to keep the crowd safe, such as NBA players did, he’d be publicly shamed as they were.

At what point do we admit that by arguing over peaceful forms of protest we are silencing people and disrespecting our very own Constitution?

If that’s your objective, admit it.

I don’t have to agree with his cause. I don’t have to agree with his form of protest (even if it harms nobody). I’m thankful to live under the protection of our Constitution so that people CAN sit if they want without fear of government retribution.

Stop whining about a first world problem and let’s instead have a productive national conversation over something that matters.

Because this conversation?

It’s just a distraction from the real issues.

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Originally published at allisonwrites.wordpress.com on August 29, 2016.