National Anthem

Dear Colin Kaepernick,

I am Jose Santiago from the state of New Jersey. I am a current 49ers fan since the year 2005. Thanks to my father, Jose Sr., who has been a 49ers fan since the 80’s, I’ve always try to keep track with milestones that are current during my era. I’m writing to you concerning the stand in which you have knelt down during the National Anthem. I know that you are taking this stand because of social injustice. I’m not disagreeing with you and your stand on social injustice, but why during the National Anthem?

During school in the 90’s, the National Anthem was the first thing we had to be a part of before class started. It became a tradition for us Americans to take part in history while being part of the National Anthem. Many Americans have not only fought for this country, but also fought for equality as well. I know that you took your stand and made it very public by knelling during the National Anthem, but did you think of all the Americans who are serving now. America has a diverse military group in which we all see Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and other cultures who are part of this group. I’m not against your cause on social injustice but it is not fair for us to disrespect the one thing the military gets credit for.

Therefore, social injustice has been a great battle. It’s not fair that Americans have to worry about other Americans who are ignorant in their ways. A person who has the courage to speak out loud and call you a spic is very saddening and ignorant. When I was playing with friends in an alley, a dog who was behind a fence started barking, and I started to mimic the dog, a lady opens her back door silently and quickly yells, “ Get out of here spic, get out…..spic.” I became very outraged but kept calm since I knew the lady, a lunch aid at my school. I know how you feel about social injustice and the certain actions that are taken are not fair, like the man who was unarmed and shot and killed by police. I was stopped by police because they thought I was trying to sell drugs at a convenient store, stereotyping and mistaking me with someone else, their excuse at the end was because of my tinted windows on my car.

Without disagreement, I am with you on the social injustice issue. I just do not agree with the platform you chose to do it in. Most of the people I came to meet in this world are from the military and they are the most unique and friendly people I know. For you to kneel down during the Anthem, how would fellow NFL players who serve in military feel? They gave their time, precious ones too that they cannot take back, to help with our freedom. Think of their sacrifice, their families, and their long hours of surviving some of the most brutal training just to serve their country. It is not right for us Americans to take such courage and loyalty and shame it with kneeling during the Anthem.

Colin Kaepernick, I understand your frustration seeing your brother getting mistreated. It is sad that during this era of the 21’st century we still have ignorant Americans who cannot agree in equality. If it is a policeman, a security guard, fireman, or even a bystander, we should not think that every one of them is a socially unjust person. We all grow up in different environments, and learn differently because of that environment. So we cannot think that every unjust official is the same official you will see. During Martin Luther King’s era, he too had Whites that supported him. If you can observe what I have written, please do not become raged or uncomfortable in what I have stated about the National Anthem. I’m not here to add fuel to the fire but to cover some of the burns that have made social injustice make you take a stand during the National Anthem.

Thank You,

Jose Santiago

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