North Texas Daily

Colin Kaepernick isn’t un-American, he’s just right

Colin Kaepernick isn’t un-American, he’s just right

Courtesy | Mike Morbeck

Colin Kaepernick isn’t un-American, he’s just right
August 30
23:20 2016

Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, made quite the statement this weekend when he sat during the National Anthem. Since then, his protest has (inevitably) become the subject of controversy and national attention from pundits of all kinds; especially after saying that he refuses to stand up for a country “that oppresses black people” in general. Kaepernick told NFL Media that police brutality and unresolved racism were further reasons for his protest.

Unfortunately, even public figures in the black community have come to Kaepernick’s offense. This is particularly the case with Rodney Harrison, former safety of the San Diego Chargers, who went as far as to say that the biracial Kaepernick “is not black,” asserting that he is unable to grasp what people of color face in everyday life.

Look, I practically abide by the words of Kendrick Lamar: “Grown men should never bite their tongue unless you eating p—y that smell like it’s a stale plum.” That said, contrary to what Harrison or anyone else may say, Kaepernick did the right thing this weekend.

As a black man in America, I can attest to the universal nature of biting our tongues whenever teachers discuss history’s greatest men in absolute reverence. Abraham Lincoln, whose presidency is heralded as one of the best, only emancipated southern states to have more Union slaves. Also, John F. Kennedy didn’t publicly consider a civil rights act until the end of his life. Even Martin Luther King cheated on his wife.

Due to this, the black community is often vocal about how its leaders should uphold their (literal) minority values in a whitewashed media. Colin Kaepernick obviously recognized this and wanted to take a stand on game day; much to the chagrin of overly patriotic Americans and their sort. While American pride for the flag is understandable, Kaepernick’s critics need to understand that not every American harbors their same level of nationalism. Especially us black Americans, who spend our lifetimes cognizant of the nation’s seedy past to educate generations to come.

People seem to have forgotten that history’s greatest fighter, Muhammad Ali, predicated his career on bringing societal dilemmas into the forefront. It’s hard to believe that the same kinds of people hating on Kaepernick’s protest are the same people that were probably saddened over Ali’s passing. Kaepernick is simply following in those footsteps, which is contrary to what Rodney Harrison is doing. It’s okay to disagree with someone, but vocally challenging a person’s “blackness” is senseless when our current president is also biracial!

Attacking America in its dearest tradition was bound to take place within this ongoing race debate. All Kaepernick did was tip the iceberg in a necessary way. The remaining question is what he will do from now on since he’s still active with a lot more National Anthems to face. Will he continue to sit down or ramp up his activism for stronger effects?

I’m not sure, but all I know at the moment is that Kaepernick properly exercised his right to free speech. Just for that, he deserves all the reverence he can get.

Featured Image: Colin Kaepernick. Mike Morbeck | Courtesy

About Author

Preston Mitchell

Preston Mitchell

Preston served as the Opinion Editor of the North Texas Daily from July 2016 to July 2017, and is a UNT graduate of integrative studies.

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