Hate the Game, Not the Player: What Your Response Says About You
Colin Kaepnick, quarterback for the San Francisco, 49ers has started a chain reaction of kneeling during the National Anthem as a sign of solidarity to the cause of fighting police brutality and the disenfranchisement of Black people in America. The act of kneeling during the anthem has spread not only amongst other NFL players, but athletes within other professional sports, as well as high school athletes across the country.
And surprise, surprise, people are angry. Shocker!
Kaepernick is kneeling in protest in order to "bring awareness and make people realize what's really going on in this country". He also stated in his address that "this country stands for freedom, liberty, and justice for all, but it's not happening for all right now" and I couldn't agree more.
Ever since that first moment Kaepernick chose not to stand for the nation's anthem, news outlets, television shows, social media...well pretty much everyone and their mom, had to make their opinions known, and I guess I'm no different here. However, I see something very disturbing, not unexpected, but still distubring nonetheless, about the manner in which this "controversy" is being discussed.
Because attitudes on topics such as police brutality, discrimination, and justice (or lack thereof) is so often divided amongst colored lines, I figured, "hey! Why not address my thoughts separately to the two bidding parties?" Not sure how effective it'll be, but here we go!
For those of you who are angry about Colin Kaepernick's protest, as well as those who shout "all lives matter", or try to justify the deaths of Terence Crutcher, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland...(I think you get the point), I have to ask:
Why is it so difficult to simply admit that you don't believe that Black lives matter? Or that you simply could care less that Black lives don't matter in this country? You say things like, "if you'd just comply or follow the law, you won't be harassed or even killed by the police", but what you're really trying to say is, "I don't actually care that your rights are being infringed upon because it doesn't really effect my own".
Too many of you pull all of these tired, hypocritical excuses out of your ass in effort to disguise your bigotry and racism as being "colorblind". You think that because you use coded language that doesn't have any direct implications on a specific race or ethnicity that it pardons you from being labeled as prejudice. And the reason you do this is, to put it simply, the worst thing you can call a white person in this country is racist....even if they are.
Well guess what, that shit isn't going to fly with me and it's about time you guys get called out on it.
So, from here on out, any conversation wit containing any sentiments along the lines of "all lives matter", "there isn't a race issue in this country", and all other invalid points used to justify the racism and discrimination in our society, is now null in void, and I'd encourage all my "woke" Black people to do the same.
P.S. Quit telling us how to protest. Our protests aren't meant to make you comfortable.
Oh, but I'm not finished yet.
Yeah, I haven't forgotten about yal!
We've all heard the phrase, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all", but what are you to do when that "not nice person" decides to speak anyways? Yes, you can attempt to show them a different perspective and hope they have a change of heart, hence forming allies, however, some people really just aren't worth the effort. Although I welcome discussions with people who's viewpoints differ from mine, what you will not find me doing is arguing racism with white people. The reason being is that although you are completely entitled to your opinion, how you feel about racism does not change what we endure. Never will I allow anyone to invalidate my experiences, especially by people who have not and can not experience it for themselves, just so they can remain happy and guilt-free within their eurocentric bubble.
But what I've come to realize, and am hoping you will too, is that the objective of encouraging arguments about racial injustice is to deflect from the actual issue. Sounds kind of funny right? Arguing racism to stop discussions about racism? Well just think about it. ..
The more white people claim that racism doesn't exist, and the more we argue in attempt to prove that it does, the less likely we are to actually finding a solution to our problem. You see the thing is, white people don't mind arguing these facts because the effects of racial prejudice and injustice isn't a major concern to them the way it is for us. And as long as white people can keep from acknowledging that there is a problem, they will remain free from feeling any moral responsibility to it.
So what I'm telling you my brothas and sistas, is to stop trying to convince white people to see what they already know exists, be it consciously or subconsciously. Do not partake in any arguments about racial injustice in which the other party is not even slightly receptive to what you're saying, even if they disagree. This conversation should end when the other person refuses to acknowledge their hypocrisy once it has been pointed out to them because that means they believe their opinion is more important than logic and truth.
You'll find this to be very true when you look at the commentary made against Kaepernick:
You can have freedom of speech, but don't talk about racism. We should be angry at you for taking a knee, but not for your people take a bullet. You can express you constitutional rights as long as you don't talk about your lack of constitutional rights. You are free to protest, just don't disrupt things we care about.
The bottom line is, if you're more upset with Kaepernick's protest than the murders of countless unarmed, Black men and women, you have chosen the side of the oppressor and we have no room for you in our movement and your opinions are worthless.
I commend Colin Kaepernick for using his platform and privilege to discuss something so injurious to the Black community. We often look at celebrities and athletes having these luxurious, carefree lives, and have grown to expect them to be silent on issues that can cost them their fans, endorsements, and even their jobs. When questioned about Kaepernick's protest, we've heard other players strongly agree, intensely disagree, and everything in between.
Regardless of how you may feel about Colin Kaepernick, his objection to police brutality, the method in which he chose to protest, or your views on "patriotism", he has already accomplished his initial goal which was to gain the attention of a large audience to bring awareness to something he strongly believes in.
So Black people, please remember to not allow yourselves to be diverted away from what actually matters, which is finding a solution. And white people, understand that your anger at the protestor and not about what's being protested says a lot more about your character than those bogus rationalizations spewing from your narrow-minded mouths. The problem is racism, not Colin Kaepernick.
Hate the game, not the player.