We are going to be on the same subject for a while. Mostly because it’s not solved and there is an entire faction in this world that thinks it is solved.
There’s another post coming about the police but today we’re talking about Kaepernick.
I was a huge fan. I thought the 49ers mishandled a man who could have been one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. And then he took a knee. And the 49ers continued to mishandled the situation. And then the NFL mishandled the situation and then everybody misunderstood the situation. And now he’s a lightening rod for everyone’s racism. And it shows.
Let’s talk about protesting for a minute. Do you think the town of Boston was fired up about some radicals dumping their tea into the harbor to protest the British Tea Act? No! They weren’t. They didn’t have any tea until the next ships came in. It was uncomfortable. The radicals were right, and here we are.
Emmit Till’s mother insisted that his body be in an open coffin. The young boy did nothing but was murdered by a lynch mob for looking at a white woman. That was damned uncomfortable for all concerned. It was a turning point for this country.
The Anti-war movement of the 60’s was not comfortable at all. Every night we saw two distinct images; a war with no end in site and protesting in the streets.
Stonewall, which just celebrated it’s 50th anniversary was not comfortable. Homosexuals were the most marginalized sector of the population at that point. They fought back a police raid and rioted in the streets. Ten years later the rioted in the streets again after Dan White got a slap on the wrist for murdering George Moscone and Harvey Milk, the nations first openly homosexual politician. Damned uncomfortable.
The Montgomery bus boycott, Selma, Berkeley, the riots in Detroit, South Central, Compton, Chicago. Protest is never comfortable. It’s not supposed to be.
Which gets us to Kaepernick. He took a knee based on the third stanza of the Star Spangled Banner. No one even knows what the words to that are. Kaep did.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
The third verse of our National Anthem actually celebrates the death of slaves who were promised freedom by the British. So Kaep takes a knee. And the entire country loses their shit.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. … There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
His protest is the most beautiful protest I’ve seen in my lifetime. No violence, no damage, no police lines, no one gets hurt but we are all extremely uncomfortable over it. We should be moved to action, but we’re lost.
Thankfully we have the talking heads to tell us what we should be upset about. He’s not respecting the flag by kneeing during the National Anthem. No, he’s protesting how African Americans are treated in America. He’s only half black what’s his big deal anyway? Showboater. Obama was only half black but he was our first black President. How does that work? He’s a has been. Well, no, the 49ers let him go after a series of bad coaching and personnel decisions which the 49ers are famous for. We all miss the days of Carmen Policy and Eddie D. Jed York is a complete numbnuts. Always has been. The NFL colluded to keep him out of the league and were successful. Would they have done that to a white player?
Our racism remains the elephant in the room. We haven’t fixed the problem. I’m reading The Color of Law by Richard Rosenstein. Every white American should read that book. We are unaware of a lot of the blatant and covert racism that lead to where we are today. The idea that the African American population of this country should just dust themselves off and get on with their lives is total bullshit. They are still being discriminated against in this country through overt and covert actions of our government including and most outrageously through some of our policing. Kaep is right. Until we step up as white America and say “Not in my name!” this will not end.
I say “Not in my name!”