I just finished reading an article that was posted on CNN.com about Colin Kaepernick’s protest, which he displayed by sitting during our national anthem. Why do we seem to be so divided? Have we always been this way? Will we always be this way? Racism did not rear its ugly head, in my life (at least not in any ‘real’ sense) until I was in the seventh grade. Or at least that’s the first memory I have of hearing the “N” word shouted out in such a disgusting manner that it frightened me. I can only imagine how frightened I would have been if I was someone of color.
I would like to think that racism is something that was laid to rest so many years ago, and that we should all focus on our true enemies, which seem so determined to destroy a country that I love. What saddens me about Colin Kaepernick’s protest is that it seems to be so one-sided. Are we truly as horrid as he is making it out to be? Is our country truly so horrible?
When I participated as a member of a jury, I stood side-by-side with people of both genders, various ethnicity, and of different race. I knew not who among us was a doctor or lawyer simply by visuals, and I meet so many successful people who do not seem to be oppressed. I am a woman, and I have been treated ‘less than’ quite often, and I’m quite aware that I used to be considered property in the eyes of the law. I am also aware that in many countries, outside of the United States, women are still treated in such dismal manners. At least, I see it dismal which might be a display of ethnocentrism. Rather than focus on the past, I choose to look at how far we’ve come and do my best to demonstrate my willingness to grow.
What bothers me about Colin Kaepernick’s protest is that he’s doing it now. Why now? Hasn’t he always been bi-racial? Did he just wake up and realize he would like to become political and make a statement? What prompted him to display his disgruntle manner at this time? Is America so bad?
Sometimes I would like to ask those who protest about oppression if they ever stop to think about how people similar to themselves perpetuate the problem by viewing things in such a narrow manner, by failing to focus on the totality of circumstance. When I walk into an Emergency Room, I look around and I do not see that all doctors are white. When I sit in a courtroom, I do not see that all judges are white. When I look at police officers that make up the highest ranks, while covering an event, many of the highest officers are not white.
What’s wrong with our national anthem? Thinking about Malcolm X, and his dismay about the U.S. Constitution, I am reminded that not white men, but men of color, slaughtered him in front of his family. We should all remember that all lives matter, and also be mindful that united we stand, divided we fall.
So what will the National Football League do about Colin’s protest? Should he be permitted to sit during the national anthem during games? Did he accomplish his goal by getting people talking about the matter? Are the lyrics to the song appropriate for a national anthem? Should we be singing “God Bless America?” Of course, somebody else will likely have an issue with that …. stay tuned.