Why wont Colin Kaepernick Just Stand Up?
I’ve heard this question far too many times since the first time that Colin decided to begin his protest. And to be honest, I strongly believe that this is an argument from people who either aren’t willing to discuss racial injustices that exist within the US, or simply don’t care to address them because it doesn’t present a risk to them directly. Needless to say, the option to be “colour blind” to racial injustices isn’t something that people of colour have the chance to do. Before anything, we are seen for our blackness first and everything else is secondary.
An argument that is constantly coming up in conversations is in relation to protesting The Anthem is the countless men and women that have enrolled in the army to fight for the rights and freedoms of those in countries like America; yet they fail to acknowledge that Colin is displaying those very rights.
While I understand the reasoning behind this argument, at the end of the day — it’s still a derailment of the main conversation that we need to be having: and that’s the treatment of black people in America and police brutality. Choosing to make the conversation about anything other than that shows that you don’t value black lives over a song — which also isn’t known for it’s love of black people.
This year, we’ve seen many more public figures being a lot more vocal about racial tensions within America, and the responses have been the same. There are people that would rather claim Beyoncé and Colin are “anti-police” when they discuss police brutality instead of having an issue with the alarming rate of fatal shootings of black men that are officer involved. It’s not anti-police to have an issue with police officers using excessive force, especially when many of these situations didn’t require use of such force in the first place. We recently saw footage of a police officer getting caught for attempting to plant a gun on a black man in St. Louis (Source).
Since Colin first began his protest, there have been a number of black people killed and the number only grows as the days go on. To be frank, I’m incredibly tired of waking up everyday and being introduced to black people because their name has become a hashtag, when they were — and still are — worthy of so much more.
So if you are wondering why won’t Colin Kaepernick just stand up? I have a question for you: Why won’t america just acknowledge it’s own racial tensions and the fact that it’s getting black people killed. If you’d rather wish death on those who speak out then fix the issues at hand, you are a part of the issue. Don’t only love black people when they are entertaining you and have an issue when issues are brought to light.