Why Does Colin Kaepernick Care about The Oppressed?
According to The Richest, Colin Kaepernick is worth $22 million. He was adopted by a White couple, excelled in both academics and sports in his younger years, and graduated with a degree in business management from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Regardless of how you may define what privilege is, most people agree that Kaepernick is living a very privileged life. He's smart, rich, and a successful football player. What does he have to complain about?
After refusing to stand for the national anthem before a preseason game versus the Green Bay Packers last week, good ol' American patriots (not the team, the ones who own at least one Ford pickup truck) have burned Kaepernick's #7 49ers jersey in protest and expressed their outrage on social media.
Kaepernick defended himself in a post-game interview:
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
Completely ignoring the reasons why Kaepernick decided not to stand for the national anthem, the good ol' American patriots think Kaepernick is ungrateful and should leave the country if he doesn't like being here (because "n***** go back to Africa" is too literal).
Kaepernick has stated that he will continue to sit during the national anthem and does not care if he loses his job or endorsements. He's willing to loose his millions while gaining the hatred of millions for his own beliefs.
Freedom is a natural right, meaning that the United States does not give this right, but protects it under its constitution. Everyone, including Kaepernick and his patriotic critics, has the right to speak out, disagree, protest, be angry, be frustrated and be rebellious, so as long as they are not causing harm to others or property. Kaepernick isn't hurting anyone or their property by sitting down during the national anthem. The good ol' American patriots have the right to be upset, but they look ridiculous for doing so because they fail to see that freedom is a two-way street. The right to be patriotic or outright anti-American is allowed and protected in the US, therefore the outrage over Kaepernick is overblown and unnecessary.
Kaepernick is willing to face the backlash of his protest because he understands that freedom is a two-way street. He also understands that this street in the United States is full of potholes, misleading signs, and dead ends. Kaepernick cares about the oppressed because he is empathetic. He knows not everyone has the same access to the same opportunities he has. Kaepernick is living the American Dream while refusing to turn a blind eye to other's American Nightmare.
And the outraged should stop using veterans as a blanket to cover up the real issues Kaepernick is talking about. Kaepernick's protest is not about veterans. There are almost 50,000 homeless veterans in the United States as of 2014, making them about 8.6% of the total homeless population. Where's the outrage over that?
Patriots care more about the symbols of America than actual Americans.
Edits to this article have been made for emphasis and clarity.
© 2016 Tara Marashi