First of all, here is a little bit about me.
I consider myself patriotic; at least I used to.
I have seen both sides of this country where there are ample opportunities, and the other side where opportunities are denied.
I am a United States Marine Corps veteran. I am somewhat of an historian. I could pass the citizenship test, if I took it. I am educated and I am a professional.
I am African-American or Black or of African descent living in the African Diaspora. I am a single father raising a young Black male.
I live in an inner-city or low-income or poverty-stricken area, or whatever you want to call it.
Those who know me know that I love everybody. They also know that I would give anybody anything that I have and that I do my part to make the world a better place.
Here is the thing
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refuses to stand for the national anthem because he says that this nation oppresses Black people. His actions have upset plenty, while others have thrown in their support.
Don’t you people read? Watch the news? Aren’t you all on social media? Don’t you know the history of this country? The history of the world?
Kaepernick is absolutely right that this country oppresses Black people.
Look at the Atlantic Slave Trade. Look at slavery! Even some free Blacks were put in slavery. African-Americans have also often had their land and property taken.
Look at today’s prison-industrial complex and “wars” on drugs and poverty. Look at police brutality and the injustices in the justice system which often gives people of color; especially Blacks the “Big Green Weenie!” Too many innocent Black people being killed by cops, period!
This is America
The thing is in this nation, Kaepernick can choose to do this. This isn’t China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Singapore or somewhere else.
Oh, and disrespect to veterans and those who lost their lives defending this nation?
We have too many veterans who don’t have homes, jobs, healthcare, etc.
This country as a whole doesn’t treat its veterans right or honor those who have served or those who have fallen allegedly defending this nation, its principles, and our way of life. So be quiet.
Proud of him
I’m proud of Kaepernick, a Black athlete who is standing up for what he believes in. (Yes, Kaepernick is Black.)
Too many people get mad when Black athletes, let alone Black people, stand up for something.
Matter of fact, people are too busy being mad at things that they shouldn’t rather than things that they should.
We should be more upset about unemployment, homelessness, injustice, unjust wars, disease, human suffering and others things.
Does this make Kaepernick any less American or patriotic than anyone else? No. Many people say stuff but won’t do anything anyway.
Nowadays too many Blacks who have economic prosperity are too happy and not saying anything while injustice and poverty ensnare many people, including Whites, Latinos and others.
It’s good to see someone step up like Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown and Bill Russell did in their stances against injustice against our people in the 1960s and ‘70s.
Many former Black athletes have thrown their support behind Kaepernick. like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jim Brown. Even one Army veteran and former NFL player has come out and supported him.
He took action
Yes, there are other ways to protest, but at least Kaepernick chose to do something.
Hell, even Congress doesn’t always stand during the anthem during Congressional sessions. There are photos and video footage out there.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been shown in video footage and photos standing with his hand not over heart during the anthem during a Republican presidential debate.
There are so many other people out there doing so much worse.
Andreas Butler is a freelance journalist who writes for the Daytona Times.