An unpopular opinion

Let me get a quick show of hands for an informal survey. Just the white people now, how many of you believe that African Americans get treated absolutely equal by this country? Not kind of equal, or equal enough, but exactly the same as whites. Hmmmm scanning the room I see only two hands raised by people who think that Denzel Washington, Barack Obama, Morgan Freeman, and Will Smith are the only African Americans in this country. That means the rest of you are admitting (some with hesitation) that African Americans are to varying degrees getting the shaft. Now that we have that cleared up let’s address the big topic this week, Colin Kaepernick and his national anthem protest.

Last week the somewhat troubled 49ers quarterback decided to protest the plight of African Americans in this country. He did so by deciding to remain seated during the national anthem. It was a peaceful protest that resulted in exactly 0 deaths, and 0 arrests. Judging by the nationwide reaction to his protest you would think that he had funneled money and arms to ISIS, or sold 20% of our uranium to the Russians while pocketing millions of dollars from those acts. Nope he just sat during the national anthem, that is all.

Many of you will say what he did was an insult to the servicemen who fought for for our freedom. While that may be true, the bigger insult to them would be a country that prohibits freedom of expression such as not honoring the national anthem. Another common response is that he is being ungrateful because he has made millions of dollars in this country he is protesting. I have not yet heard anybody mention the millions of dollars he may lose as a result of his protest. Is that because that would be an admission that his protest requires the kind of risk and courage that you do not wish to attribute to him?

Now it’s time to get to the heart of the matter, the African American experience in America. African families were torn apart by slavery. In spite of that the slaves themselves cobbled together new families comprised of individuals from different countries and different tribes. These new families helped them survive slavery and discrimination in the post civil war era. The African American community survived slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, and finally triumphed during the civil rights war (yes it was a war). The ability of African Americans to strive is something that we all should take pride in as it was the ultimate display of the American spirit. So what the hell happened? Along came a group of Do-Gooders who felt that they knew what was better for African Americans than the African Americans themselves. They Declared a war on poverty, that became a war on the poor. They enacted legislation that once again ripped apart the social and familial fabric of the African American community. ( there’s a special place in hell for Lyndon Johnson for doing this) Sadly this time the African American community, and in large part the family unit did not survive and may not ever recover.

So there you have it, a nation that destroyed a culture and heritage. A nation that has done nothing to resolve that problem, and largely ignores the crisis. We have created a subculture in which dozens of young African Americans die in the streets or get sent to prison each week. It’s a situation that we as Americans by and large tolerate because this is not happening in our neighborhoods. Hopefully we will correct this and not wait until this travesty appears on our doorstep to finally wake up. In the meantime we scream bloody murder because a black man sat during a song, and peacefully chose not to salute a piece of cloth.

I personally think it’s time for us to stop whining about a black mans protest. It’s far more important for us to start complaining about the situation that he is trying to bring to our attention. Seriously, stop whining about Colin Kaepernick and direct your anger towards the real problem.

The next time the national anthem plays at a sporting event I will stand to show pride in my country for what it is, and what it can be. I will do so without reservation, while at the same time being glad that anybody at that event is free to sit in protest. My fellow Americans, Colin Kaepernick is the messenger. Don’t kill the messenger because the message is shameful, do your part to correct the shame.


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