Un-American?

By: S. Davis

AFlag

Disrespectful.

I see you America. I see exactly what you’re saying in attacking Colin Kaepernick’s right to protest (quietly) by refusing to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner.” As an American citizen he has the right to stand (or sit) for his beliefs, regardless of whether it’s popular or not. I guess that a large number of those angered by his choice forgot how this country was founded.

Those feeling disrespected are focused on what he did instead of why he did it. Of course that’s the case because that’s what the ignorant chorus is likely to do….it’s standard operating procedure.

“He’s disrespecting the military.”

Is that true? He clearly stated in his chat with the media over the weekend that he means no disrespect to anyone in the military, past or present, and that he has veterans within his family. Veterans are voicing their opinion and it seems that most disagree but there are some that don’t have an issue with his actions.

When did joining the military drape someone in a halo and a cloak of perfection? So every single person that’s active or former military is above everyone else? The professions I hold in the highest esteem are the armed forces, teachers, social workers and firefighters but there’s not a single person on this planet that’s perfect and can’t be wrong.

People are infallible, clearly, and that extends to those in the military. Military members have received traffic tickets, screamed at their children, cheated on taxes, got into fistfights, cheated on their spouses, been incarcerated, etc. You get the point, right? They’re human just like the rest of us. I don’t agree with veterans who call his position wrong but I respect and value their opinion.

America does a great job of disrespecting its own military by not paying them enough and not caring for them post-active duty. How many homeless veterans do you encounter regularly? How many of these soldiers are returning, broken, to a country that does little for all their sacrifice? It seems the best ones love this country more than it loves them. I could be wrong though. The country conveniently ignores the plight of service members once they return to our shores. Why isn’t that un-American?

“He’s disrespecting those that died for our flag.”

There’s not a single person that died for the fabric that makes our flag – which is increasingly manufactured OUTSIDE of America, by the way. They sacrificed themselves for what the symbol represents.

They died so he could protest; so he could speak against wrongs in this country. It’s that simple. He’s honoring what they took up arms for.

What exactly does the flag represent?

It’s a conflicting sight for African-Americans and other minorities. We don’t know how to feel about the flag, the national anthem or the Pledge of Allegiance. The three of them were created by whites during a time when slavery was big business, the main business. The national anthem wasn’t written with African-Americans in mind. The Pledge of Allegiance wasn’t created to include minorities. The flag is a symbol…of something.

There isn’t a single thing about Kaepernick’s position that’s incorrect. He’s right on all accounts. Systemic racism, injustice for minorities… “Liberty and justice for all?” Where is he off-base? America is this proposed utopia…for a select few. Ignorant whites are really uncomfortable about that and they need to wake up and realize there are two versions of America. Informed people – of all colors – understand and don’t run from it. African-Americans, specifically, see the contradictions in what this country actually is and what it claims to be.

Why doesn’t America care about racism?

Why does America continue to oppress non-whites?

I hear the screams about the rich, black, quarterback and how “he needs to leave the country.” I’ve read the outrage about him making “millions” and “cashing his American checks” because I guess being rich overrides his skin tone. Where is the outrage about how divided this country still is? There is none except for those suffering: Americans of color.

Why does the Civil Rights Act even exist? Why did it have to be written into law? Whites didn’t have to fight for the right to vote, ever. Why did minorities? This country was so vehemently against equal rights that millions of black people had to die just so we could gain the same equality that whites are gifted at the time of birth. There isn’t a white Civil Rights Act, it isn’t needed.

Why does the hypocrisy of this country go unnoticed?

I remember paying attention in history class when the topic of World War II was on the syllabus. (Personally, it’s a moment in time that fascinates me. I’m completely enthralled by it. It has so many layers.)  So America finally entered the war, reluctantly, to stop an evil dictator who was killing a select group of people due to his own twisted bigotry and ideal of racial superiority. Thousands of innocent Jewish people where being exterminated for…being Jewish. That’s it.

We were steadfast in our resolve to make a statement and end the racism, oppression and murder that Adolf Hitler was dolling out across Europe. Our troops played their part in ending the war, returned home and America continued to oppress and limit the rights of African-AMERICANS. That was America, then. We fought for the freedom of Europeans but resisted the same freedom for fellow Americans…whose only crime was darker skin.

Is that disrespectful? Is that a symbol of a united America?

America is proficient at this. We fought for our rights when we felt we were under an oppressive regime. We rebelled against Great Britain because they blocked our freedom, our rights to exist, our religious freedoms, our right to form a nation, etc. We revolted against subjugation – and then subjugated an entire race.

I remember asking my grade school teachers about this in comparison to what happened during WWII – and I recall blank stares and a great deal of stammering.

Can we still ignore that? Are you still cool with that white America?

This is directed at white people who keep their heads in the sand or say he’s “un-American.” What does being American truly mean? The answer will differ depending on the person being asked – and their skin tone…and that’s bullshit. It was bullshit during the formation of this country, during the Civil War, Reformation, the Civil Rights Era and it’s bullshit in 2016.

That Kaepernick is an athlete doesn’t matter much. I like that it’s a huge story because he’s an athlete and this country worships sport and celebrity. There’s no way to avoid it but it’s ok, America. The news cycle will churn swiftly to sweep this under the rug. We all know that.

People don’t like that he protested in the manner in which he did, ok. What type of protest would’ve been acceptable? What would’ve made his actions easier to digest? I respect that he stood out, alone, instead of with the backing of other athletes.

Liberty and justice for all? Not if you have a natural tan.

This country loves symbols and maybe that’s why it has such a hard time removing the Confederate flag. Why does that flag still exist? The only place that piece of cloth should hang is in a few museums and that’s it. However its defenders claim it’s a sign of “southern pride and values.” Who do these values belong to exactly? It’s racist. It’s disgusting. It’s hurtful.

People lauded the politicians of South Carolina for taking it down but it should have never been raised in the first place. Does this country want to keep racism alive? Does America want to really end racism? Or does it just need to hold on to these little trinkets to remember that they held that power in an overt way?

Stop making an issue about what Kaepernick did. Please, focus on why he did it. I’ m not rich but I’m black and I’m conflicted about the flag and this country depending on what day it happens to be.

He protested the country and its government. Like it or not it’s American. If anything else lives up to the definition it’s his actions. It’s akin to the time during the birth of this nation when we spoke out collectively and were stamped as “un-British.”

Focus on why he protested. That’s where all the attention should be pointed. The reasons of his protest are the only things that matter here.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Un-American?

  1. jonolan August 30, 2016 / 5:40 pm

    We are focused on why he protested. We’re focused on the fact that he’s just another angry, ungrateful, American-hating Black.

    And you’re just yet another one, though one better spoken and more honest than Kaepernick seems to be. It’s simple. If you conflicted, you’re not of the body of America.

    • sthewriter August 30, 2016 / 9:39 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to write…that. I appreciate the compliment though. You read what I wrote yet you clearly didn’t comprehend the piece.

    • Caleb Gee September 1, 2016 / 9:40 pm

      Here is an example of the twisted fascist mind you were talking about in your piece. He is so brainwashed with nationalist propaganda that he can’t help but see everyone who doesn’t worship at the altar of the United States empire as somehow ignorant or spoiled or “freedom haters” or whatever mindless drivel they cling to today.

      • sthewriter September 3, 2016 / 11:12 pm

        Exactly, Caleb. It boggles the mind that some of these people are so dug in that they have the nerve to say someone – who they will never be – should be “grateful.”

        I don’t hate whites, or America, but – like you – I can clearly see the hypocrisy of what this country tries to ignore. How can anyone, Caleb?

      • Caleb Gee September 13, 2016 / 2:55 am

        Unfortunately so many people are stuck with the same mentality of not asking questions and blindly believing their country can do no wrong. They honestly don’t believe that racism which is really just a belief in white supremacy exists at all. In their minds they are victimized and discriminated against when people call out their white supremacist beliefs and institutions.

  2. ayse413 August 31, 2016 / 12:41 pm

    Before all this started ..I was at the cafeteria at my daughter’s school, they sung the pledge and all of a sudden I was thinking was this really written for all people in the USA, and I was wondering about the year it was written, but regardless of that the glory does not apply for all people.. So yes ..he had the guts to stand up in the crowed, this is what is America about to stand up for the ones who are not heard. And people are not going to see the message that is behind his actions, because none of the injustice applies to them, so why should they care. Unfortunately we have so many people who does not care, then we have people who are scared to stand up but then we have people who have the courage to stand up in the crowed for equality and justice, which one of those people are you ?

    • sthewriter September 2, 2016 / 2:06 am

      Thank you for your comment. Thank you for being honest about your experience. I don’t understand how people can be so narrow-minded to think the American experience is the same for everyone and i’m glad you had a moment to realize it instead of scream and act defensively. You are the best.

      One of the main issues a portion of America uses to deflect from what his – quiet – protest is black-on-black crime. First, they have NOTHING to do with one another. Secondly, black-on-black crime is an AMERICAN problem, not reserved for African-Americans yet that’s how it’s viewed. This country can be so much more and i’m proud to be American but I can also call it out for failing to live up to its ideal. (That’s what our military truly fights for, not a piece of cloth.) I try to stand for equality and justice by communicating with people of all colors. This country truly works when every voice is heard and respected but sadly we are too often divided.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s