Why Colin Kaepernick is Absolutely Right
Colin Kaepernick is making headlines this week for his refusal to stand for America’s national anthem at a football game. Colin reportedly sat in protest of the unfair treatment of the Black community.
That’s right, friends. A celebrity used their platform to express how they feel about an issue.
This is newsworthy since it’s never been done before. Ha! This is done all the time. The difference is that Black people in power have traditionally not been outspoken in their defense of the Black community, for fear of the repercussions for doing so.
Daring to Speak
What we are seeing is what I call The Jesse Williams Effect. The Jesse Williams Effect is powerful Black people using their platform and influence to advocate for the Black community. I know Jesse is far from the first to do this, however, he is the first in my generation to have a widespread mainstream impact with his voice.
He wasn’t brushed off as eccentric or crazy, he was embraced. He shocked many of us, myself included with the boldness he used to speak against the oppression of the Black community.
His bravery is spreading and now other celebrities are daring to stand up and speak.
“Now the thing is, though, all of us in here getting money — that alone isn’t gonna stop this. Alright, now dedicating our lives, dedicating our lives to getting money just to give it right back for someone’s brand on our body when we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies, and now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies.”
Jesse Williams was certainly right about one thing, America has no love for us, unless it’s to take from us, and discard us.
“We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil — black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though… the thing is that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.”
America Wasn’t Built For Us
In the last week alone, we’ve seen Colin Kaepernick and Leslie Jones the targets of all out assaults driven by racial hatred.
Why do Black people who dare to speak become public enemies? Because America wasn’t created for us.
The Declaration of Independence and the Star Spangled Banner, America’s national anthem, were created at a time where Black people were property. The foundation of this country is built upon very few people actually having the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Which makes a whole lot of sense when you consider very few people actually have it.
Here we are in 2016, still asking to be accounted for in the American dream.
Whether Colin knows it or not, him sitting for the national anthem was deeply symbolic of America’s failed promise to the Black man.
Side note: Don’t respond with some bologna about how he disrespected the military — Colin didn’t disrespect the men and women of our military in anyway. If anything, the injustice against the Black community in America is a slap in the face to our veterans who’ve served to protect this country and the freedom it stands for. The freedom that our vets died for wasn’t supposed to be conditional.