The Kaepernick Issue

Ok friends, as much as I hate to do this, I’m getting political. For those of you that don’t know, let me start by saying that I am a bleeding heart liberal when it comes to my ideologies. I’m as close as you can possibly get to being a socialist without actually being one, so naturally this post is going to be on the left side of things. Now for a disclaimer: If you are planning on spreading hate on my page, get off my site. If you are going to try and start a childish argument, get off my site. If you are going to insult me and/or others, get off my site. This is MY domain that I paid for, so it is MY place to share MY opinion here. As you read this, try to keep an open mind. I am not anti- American or anti-white people or whatever other mindless insult you can come up with. I’m a PERSON. A person with my own opinion, just like everybody else.

So what are we talking about here? What am I writing about? Colin Kaepernick is the name and not standing for the national anthem is his game. I would like to start by saying that I, in part, understand Mr. Kaepernick, because I choose to look away from the flag during the national anthem. Granted my reasons are different from his, I understand the judgment that comes with that choice. I look down because I believe that we have lost sight of the values our founding fathers built this country on. We have lost sight of what it means to be a good person, because we care more about a colored piece of cloth than we do actual people. I have that right, just as Colin does. And yes, I understand that I have that right due to the Veterans that have served our country, however we as a nation have not fought for freedom for many years. Today’s wars are fought for entirely different reasons. You can argue this notion, but then I ask that you explain to me how Iraq and Afghanistan were threats to our freedom. Today’s wars are different than the American Revolution. So to say that those that don’t look down on Colin Kaepernick are “what’s wrong with the country,” are not correct. Because it is the people that can’t understand that we are allowed to believe differently from others are what is wrong with this country. The people that are so quick to judge others before making an effort to understand them are what is wrong with this country. Those that spend their lives spewing hate and negativity into the world are what is wrong with this country.

Kaepernick chose not to stand because of the inequality African Americans are facing in today’s society. Some people say that is wrong or incorrect, and I call crap on those people. In the past week, I have seen three times as many posts and articles about Colin Kaepernick than I saw about any of the African Americans who were murdered in the last month. That is racism. I see people infuriated by Colin’s actions, but not nearly as much anger is directed at the fact that people are being murdered in our streets. That is racism. I see people pulling every example of a “successful” African American to prove that they choose to be oppressed. That is racism. I see people denying that we have a race problem in this country. That is ignorant racism.

The main argument I see against Colin is that “he is in no way oppressed, because he plays on a football team and makes a lot of money.” Why is this an issue we are concerning ourselves with? Why are we questioning whether or not Colin is being oppressed? As a white person, it is not my place, nor is it my right to say whether or not African Americans are being oppressed. Just like a bully doesn’t get decided who is labeled a victim, the majority doesn’t get to decide which minorities are being oppressed. Why do we become so obsessed with defending our way of life, even when we know that way is wrong, rather than try and fix it for the better? We need to stop blaming society for our problems, because we ARE society. You want to see a change in society? Then change your behavior. Stop focusing on these little, minor issues, and start looking at the big picture.

Colin Kaepernick’s life choices are not something we should obsess over and try to prove wrong. His life choices do not directly affect our lives, so why obsess? Whether or not he stands for the national anthem does not change the fact that I have three classes tomorrow. It does not change the fact that I am getting up at 8am and it doesn’t change the fact that my sociology homework is not done. Instead of focusing on the fact that Colin did not stand, look at WHY he is choosing to remain seated, because racism does affect our lives, some more than others, but all of our lives. I am tired of seeing this country take minor issues and blow them into something huge, while we ignore and turn away from the issues that actually matter. A year from now, what will matter more: Colin standing for the national anthem, or whether or not we have made an effort to come closer to race equality? Think about this before you get all worked up about an issue or post something to your Facebook page. What does it matter? How does it affect your life? A year from now, will it still matter? We are all humans here and we are all different. Instead of belittling differences in opinions, embrace them. Diversity is a beautiful thing and we can learn so much from each other. We just have to be open to it. Maybe when we remember what really matters in this world, I will again look to the flag with pride during the national anthem.


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