I Stand With Colin Kaepernick

As Colin Kaepernick sits and others join where do you stand
I Stand with Colin Kaepernick
Source - https://pixabay.com/en/bald-eagle-eagle-raptor-eagles-fly-140793/

Colin Kaepernick makes me proud to be an American, and as others kneel in, I swell in allegiance.  I hope you allow me to explain.

One reason I can so easily overlook the sit down is my deep skepticism of patriotism. I attribute this to reading a lot of history.

The past is replete with powerful people acting barbarically in the attempt to exert control beyond their own borders.  All countries are guilty, and American is far from innocent.

Of course, you cannot wage war and such without a populace that is willing to engage.  So a cause must stand in for the

often duplicitous designs of those in charge. Patriotism provides a familiar vehicle, and leads me to conclude that it’s a far more negative force than positive. 

But this doesn’t mean I don’t experience and mark its occurrence. One particular form happens as I go to work every day in a local after school program.  There’s a unmistakable pride and possibility exuded in the eyes of our many new immigrants that I cannot overlook.  The light brings me back to what my grandfather must have felt as he struggled to complete his journey and make a better life for himself and his children to come.   

As for others, I know stories from parents and grandparents about WWII cause a justified swelling of its own, and so do blatant freedoms right before us.  But this should not negate knowing more.

Growing up, I knew the divisiveness that still surrounded the Vietnam War as I entered college in the early 80s. Despite it being the most important issue of our time,  I had only superficial understanding. I actually considered it my duty as an American to learn what had happened.  

You might say the exploration began my descent. Thus, the ease I can accept Kaepernick’s choice. No matter, if you call someone a traitor, make sure you are living up to the standards you insist upon. 

A patriot would put himself in Kaepernick’s shoes, and those he’s giving a voice to before reserving final judgement. I mean, there’s a tremendous amount at stake here, and it

is a long historical stretch to say that African-Americans have been given equal footing by the criminal justice system.  

You need look no father than mass incarceration.  White and Blacks use drugs at a similar rates but Blacks are far more likely to land in prison.  At the same time, if convictions were not returned in Ferguson and Baltimore, scathing abuse of power reports were.  This certainly implies the possibility of a so called smoking gun in regards to incidents such as those just mentioned. Nonetheless, is that enough justification for Kaepernick to set down?

The closest parallel was the black fisted salute by Tommi Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics. But while I wonder what side of history you would have been on, I admit that segregation is more easily defined and reviled

The dialogue goes that police departments consist of good people who want to help their communities.  Regardless, a mistake by well meaning police officer could result in the deaths of innocents - including the officer in question. Very few of us face such a demanding job requirement, and sorting out the complexity in court is not a job I’d want.

On the other hand, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray - one thing is certain. These communities exploded. 

Might something be a miss? Given the ambiguity of any police shooting, I think clarity will always be a problem, but the racial history of this country should help circle you back and merit answers today.

Colin Kaepernick agrees. You would feel the same if just the kindling existed in your community. He’s taken a stand, and I stand with him.

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  • AmosTheCat  15-09-2016
    Good Article. I served in the U.S. military many years ago and while in training in San Antonio, TX a friend of mine, who was black, and I decided to go to the movie. The black soldier was from the north where movies were not segregated. When we went to the box office to pay the lady informed us that my friend had to go to the balcony. When I asked why she just mumbled something about that being the law. I cannot describe for you the extreme pain it caused the man I was with. He was embarrassed, shamed, hurt, humiliated, and on and on. I went to the balcony with him but I doubt that either of us remember much about the movie. I had been raised on a farm in the midwest in a township where there wee no blacks at all, so I was not very familiar with the situation in the segregated south. In fact I was not very familiar with the situation for blacks in the nominally integrated north. I have a feeling that north or south, life was no picnic for black people. We ran into it again when I was taking a load of soldiers from San Antonio to New England for Christmas furlough. We took a route through the south and we had one black soldier with us. We soon learned, after some devastatingly threatening looks, that we had to bring food out to the car for our black companion. We have improved since then but why should we settle for just improvement? We need full equality for everyone.
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  • vks1000  15-09-2016
    Americans are proud because of their technological progress which has helped create jobs and attract immigrants to fuel the economy. We must not forget that the white Americans eliminated te native Red Indians and usurped their land and wealth without payment/
    reply 0
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