2 Different Americas: The Kaepernick One & The White Privilege One
There are a little over 320 million people in The United States of America; 50 states, thousands of cities and numerous neighborhoods filled with all different types of people of various races and cultures.
The Native Americans are the only group that can truly claim ownership of this country (it was taken from them, but that is another story for another day). How people got to this country varies; some came on their own, many came against their will, but in 2016 we all are in this big melting pot of the good old USA.
But we have a problem, a BIG problem.
The problem isn’t new. People have tried to solve the problem, and while parts of the problem have been solved, more problems have evolved and sprung up. However, the centralized problem is always the same. The people who took this country from the Native Americans (white people) still have an issue with seeing the people who were forced over (black people) or people who came over for better lives (minorities) as equals.
Part of the problem is that some white people have blinders on to the problem. Either they don’t want to see it, believe it or care it is happening. We call that “white privilege” which can be seen as more ignorance than racist.
While people were arguing about Colin Kaepernick not standing for the national anthem, these two quotes caught my eye, and I think perfectly illustrate why we can’t solve a problem if the group causing the problem doesn’t want to acknowledge it exists.
Here is why Colin Kaepernick says he won’t stand for anthem.
It’s something that as I’ve gained more knowledge about, what’s gone in this country in the past, what’s going on currently. These aren’t new situations. This isn’t new ground. There are things that have gone on in this country for years and years and have never been addressed, and they need to be.
I’m going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me this is something that has to change. When there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.
This stand wasn’t for me. This stand wasn’t because I feel like I’m being put down in any kind of way. This is because I’m seeing things happen to people that don’t have a voice, people that don’t have a platform to talk and have their voices heard, and effect change.
I want you to really read what he is saying, understand why he feels strongly about his position and why he is choosing not to stand.
Now, I want you to read this statement from Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett.
“We’re so fortunate to live in the country that we live in,” the Cowboys head coach said Sunday morning. “It’s a great tradition. It’s a great song. In a lot of cases it can become an emotional situation for all of us. You think about all the people who have fought for our country and allowed us to raise that flag as proudly as we do, to live in the greatest land in the world. It’s a special moment for all of us. We want to make sure we handle it the right way.”
I don’t think Jason Garrett is a racist or anything like that, but just look at the wording. Who is the “WE” he’s talking about? Who is the “WE” living in the greatest land in the world?
The “WE” are people who look like him. For them the world is probably great most of the time. I’m not saying white people don’t have problems, but one of their problems isn’t waking up wondering how they will be discriminated against. Kaepernick says he is speaking for those who don’t have a voice, but does it even matter who is speaking when the people they are speaking to don’t want to listen?
Why didn’t Jason Garrett after saying all that address the problems Kaepernick pointed out? It is because they don’t apply to him. Never have, never will.
Speaking of the National Anthem, there are more lyrics to it than most people know. One that refers to slaves as “pollution”.
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
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.
For the record I stand during the National Anthem, all National Anthems. Because I cover many events, especially boxing, I have heard and stood for more national anthems than I can count. Why do I stand you might ask? I do it out of respect for the good people in our country, because there are a lot of good people in the United States. There are people of all colors putting their lives on the line to keep us safe. Standing for the anthem, no matter how untruthful some of the lyrics may be, is a small way to let them know they are appreciated. I also stand simply out of habit, which is what I think most people do. Because when you really breakdown the Star Spangled Banner which was written by someone who viewed blacks as inferior humans, it was never meant for us, so why should we stand for something that wasn’t inclusive of us?
I agree with Colin Kaepernick when he says this.
I have great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country. I have family, I have friends that have gone and fought for this country. And they fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. That’s not happening. People are dying in vain because this country isn’t holding their end of the bargain up, as far as giving freedom and justice, liberty to everybody. That’s something that’s not happening. I’ve seen videos, I’ve seen circumstances where men and women that have been in the military have come back and been treated unjustly by the country they fought have for, and have been murdered by the country they fought for, on our land. That’s not right.
You can disagree or agree with how Kaepernick is getting his message out, but no one should be disagreeing with his message. After you get your opinion out on his act are you asking yourself what are you doing to change things? This is a society that will cheer their hearts for someone like Gabby Douglas, then make her feel like crap for forgetting to put her hand on her heart. However, in the same breath, they will call a 32-year old drunk grown man a “kid” for lying about being robbed and destroying public property.
That’s why minorities get so upset. When we are trying to tell you what is wrong, it gets dismissed and replaced with something that doesn’t matter or just simply made up.
We say “Black Lives Matter”.
You say “All Lives Matter”.
Common sense should tell you if all lives really matter, we wouldn’t have to say BLACK LIVES MATTER.
We say cops need to stop shooting and killing black people.
You say “Black on Black” crime.
Black on Black crime is a totally separate issue that has nothing to do with officers whose main job is to protect and serve are assassinating black people in the streets. When a white person commits a crime against anyone white, black or minority, it is never an indictment on their entire race. When a black person commits a crime, they try to say Black Lives Matter is a terrorist group.
I want you to listen very closely to what I am saying. There are white people in this country that want a group to be seen as terrorists because they are saying their lives matter. Saying a BLACK LIFE MATTERS makes you a terrorist in the eyes of some people in United States of America.
Regardless of whether or not you approve of Colin Kaepernick’s method, he just wants things to get better. What was the response to that?
When Riley Cooper called everyone niggers he got counseling, when Colin Kaepernick asks for our country to be changed for the better he is called a nigger. Think about it.
Some white people want Colin Kaepernick to leave the US because he wants to the US to be a better place, but all the people who spew hate toward President Obama or wear “Make America Great” hats are still here. There is a superiority complex that disregards that a black man can be, and is, the President of the United States. He is still just seen as a nigger to some.
We are living in two different Americas. There is the America that Colin Kaepernick wants and many people of all races want. Baby steps have been taken, but however, our country is still deeply flawed. It is an America that even with all its freedoms isn’t equal to all.
Then there is the America that is so wrapped up in their white privilege they write things like this from Clay Travis of Fox Sports.
What does the United States do to oppress black people? I’m not being obtuse with this question, what tangible decisions does the United States government — currently helmed by a black man as president and a black woman as head of the justice department — make that oppress black people and other people of color? I want actual governmental actions that legally treat black people differently in a negative fashion and that Kaepernick feels need to be changed.
Because when I review federal law, what I see is the exact opposite of black oppression. Everyone is treated as equally as they possibly can be by the federal government. There is no systemic racism in our federal government. In fact, affirmative action is actually a governmental attempt to treat black people unequally — that is more favorably than other people — solely because of their race. If anything, the United States government’s laws discriminate in favor of black people based on their skin color. I’m open to hearing what systemic oppression Kaepernick believes the United States government is undertaking and what he believes need to be redressed.
This is the type of thinking only a person dealing in the universe of White Privilege can have. They see things so simply because they aren’t black or a minority, and don’t want to see the problem. In the white privilege man’s mind, the laws say everyone is equal. You have a black President so what are you complaining about?
Laws don’t stop a hiring manager from passing over a black man with braids. Laws don’t stop a black person from being followed in a store. Laws don’t stop a cop from being trigger happy around a black person, because he has been conditioned by society to see us as a threat. The government can’t stop prejudice and racism, but when you are white and have been afforded every privilege by said government, why wouldn’t you believe in THEIR laws.
Colin Kaepernick was asked did he understand the potential consequences of what he was doing.
Here is what he said.
I think there’s a lot of consequences that come along with this. There’s a lot of people that don’t want to have this conversation. They’re scared they might lose their job. Or they might not get the endorsements. They might not to be treated the same way. Those are things I’m prepared to handle. Things that other people might not be ready for. It’s just a matter of where you’re at in your life. Where your mind’s at. At this point, I’ve been blessed to be able to get this far and have the privilege of being able to be in the NFL, making the kind of money I make and enjoy luxuries like that. I can’t look in the mirror and see people dying on the street that should have the same opportunities that I‘ve had. And say ‘You know what? I can live with myself.’ Because I can’t if I just watch.
And if he thought he would get cut and potentially blackballed from the NFL over this.
I don’t know. But if I do, I know I did what’s right. And I can live with that at the end of the day.
People incorrectly asked how can Kaepernick be oppressed since he is a millionaire in the NFL. First off, he never said he was oppressed, but beyond that, the more you have, the more risk you take by shaking the table, especially when your on field performance has been subpar. As the saying goes the more you have, the more you have to lose.
If Kaepernick does get cut, it is possible he might not get another chance in NFL. For centuries, the way the majority has tried to stop the minority is by silencing them (sometimes that silence included murder in the most vicious ways). If you are white and you are reading this, what are you going to do? There can’t be any change if you continue to put your head in the sand.
Do you want to be Clay Travis? Do you want a world that resembles Donald Trump? Do you want to continue living your life like Jason Garrett said in the greatest land in the world that is littered with gun violence, massive drug issues, homelessness, racial issues, police brutality and more? Will you stand up for change like you want Colin Kaepernick to stand up for the National Anthem?
Look in the mirror and ask yourself that.