As we near the end of year 2017, all I see on the media outlets is outrage of predominately Anglo-Americans brooding over this NFL kneeling protest. President Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States of America, is stoking the flames of a fire that has been burning for a long time. Colin Kaepernick, former quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, was the first athlete to sit during the national anthem. When questioned why Kaepernick refused to stand during the anthem he stated:
“I am not going to stand to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”- Colin Kaepernick
That stance was taken during the presidential term of then President Barack Obama, 44th president of the United States, known to all as the first black president.
Sitting during the anthem infuriated most of the military veterans who took it as a complete disrespect of the military. One of those veterans who disagreed with Kaepernick was former Army green beret Nate Boyer to discuss a plan of action because of the perception of disrespecting the United States Military.
The kneeling during the Anthem was something Kaepernick did as a way to honor military vets who risked their lives for this country. However, the damage was done to most people who take pride in the American flag. Kaepernick was flayed by media, both left and right when he commented on if he would vote in the upcoming election:
“I said from the beginning I was against oppression, I was against the system of oppression. I’m not going to show support for that system. And to me, the oppressor isn’t going to allow you to vote your way out of your oppression.”
A lot of political pundits on the left and right gave harsh criticisms of Kaepernick, even sports journalists were tearing Kaepernick apart for his statements:
NFL having a paid partnership with the military, decided that Kaepernick was to be blackballed the remainder of his career. The NFL would suffer a major public relations blow if they showed athletes like Kaepernick kneeling before during the anthem. Many Americans would consider the NFL brand too unpatriotic and disrespectful if they allowed Kaepernick to continue this protest. As the following NFL season starting in Autumn of 2017 began, many social media personalities from all sides decided that they would refuse to watch the NFL. Let me explain each ideology.
The pro flag advocate: “I’m not watching this damn NFL. They are letting a bunch of ungrateful crybaby millionaires cuck them into the liberal agenda. I don’t give a damn about how you protest, just keep it off the football field. Play the game and keep politics out of it. Either you stand for the goddamn flag, or get the hell out of this country. Trump is spot on about this insane nonsense. It’s not about race all the time. I’m never gonna feel guilty for being proud of this country. This is such bullshit! I’m not watching another football game of these damn idiots kneeling to disrespect this country. Fuck the NFL!”
The woke community: “We need to boycott the NFL for suppressing the voice of African-American athletes who want to bring attention to the injustices of police brutality and systemic white supremacy. The NFL is 70 percent Black American and the blackballing of Kaepernick solidifies their disdain for African Americans who voice concerns relating to state sanctioned violence of unarmed citizens. Stick to politics? The national anthem is political in itself. The constitution protects American citizens from refusal to stand during the flag. Veterans also fight for a constitution that protects American citizens who don’t share the same political views. If you don’t like the kneeling, debate with the constitution. Until all citizens get treated fairly, I will continue to support players who kneel on American soil. I refuse to watch a league that panders to white supremacist bigots who use patriotism as a guise to mistreat people of color.”
President Trump knows that the country is divided on these issues, and he continues to stoke the fires of bigots who want America to go back when African Americans and other groups knew their place.
African-Americans have been systematically mistreated post-slavery that the government actively participated in from: the FHA housing discrimination, redlining, reverse redlining and blockbusting. The predatory lending practices made by check cashing businesses located in poor communities, which mirror sharecropping in a way. The CIA’s involvement with the iran-contra drug war funded by the crack epidemic happening in poor black neighborhoods. The FBI’s involvement in the murders of countless black leaders. The coyly 13th amendment Clinton backed Three Strike laws that started the mass incarceration of black men. The state sanctioned murders of unarmed citizens. The pooling of non-black jurors who overwhelmingly refuse to convict police officers that murder black lives, despite video evidence. The media who refuses to call white intra-racial violence out as white on white crime, but uses Chicago as a hub of black on black crime. A media and goverment that refuses to call domestic terrorism out on white men and white racist groups like neo nazi’s and ku klux klan members. A media that attributes the vilest criminal behavior by rogue criminals in the African-American community to all black people. A media that paints Dylan Roof as a kid that was a lone wolf shooter, compared to two Black Chicago drug addicts who grotesquely tortured a autistic boy, labeled as Black Lives Matter kidnappers. A gun rights advocate group that remained quiet during the Philando Castile murder, despite Philando being within his second amendment right to carry. A popular Christian preacher with the largest congregation in Texas, being ambivalent on whether he should provide shelter for poor citizens affected by the hurricane. Environmental racism, which is African American communities being placed in areas where air pollution is rampant from living near industrial plants and landfills. Black communities are more likely to be located under sea level in flood zones, similar to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana. In Flint, Michigan you have a black community impacted by water pollution. To be frank, if you were a black person being mistreated by a country that treats black citizens under the Dred Scott law, would you stand for a flag that isn’t about “Liberty and Justice for ALL”.