Lying (or in softer words, heavily exaggerating) about being a victim of robbery at gunpoint in Brazil isn’t enough to earn the collective hatred of white America. You may be stripped of your endorsements and labeled an embarrassment, an idiot and even a silly kid.
Even though your lies could have (and still may hold) severe repercussions for an entire country, many will try to sympathize with you, or at least, try to understand what would drive you to those actions.
Well, when it comes to black people, all that goes out the window when you do this:
No matter if you simply forget to place your hand on your heart or you choose to make a completely legal statement about the racial injustices, you will be vilified if you don’t support your nation’s flag and anthem.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is the latest superstar athlete to fall from grace, after he refused to stand for the national anthem. He was quoted telling the media this:
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. … This is not something that I am going to run by anybody. I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.
Well, needless to say a lot of Americans (read: white people) lost their minds. Kaepernick jerseys were burned, the comment boards filled with hate and social media ridiculed his stance.
Some were, at least, gentle with their criticism, calling his one-man protest “misguided” (refusing to stand for the flag is more of a slap in the face of American soldiers than anything else). While a few (and mostly black people) called his protest admirable (he is bravely jeopardizing his career and endorsements to make a stand about something).
But it seems the overwhelming response to Kaepernick’s protest was outrage. He’s ungrateful. He should be thankful he lives in a nation, where he is “allowed” to sign a guaranteed $11.9 million contract. How “oppressed” could a million dollar athlete really be?
Well, Kaepernick came forward yesterday to reveal what racial oppression looks like—even despite wealth or talents. He detailed to the media his own experience with police brutality, in which he says officers drew weapons on him and his friend because they were seen as suspicious black men moving their belongings in an all-white neighborhood.
That revelation likely doesn’t surprise many people in black America. Many of us know that your talents, money and success usually mean nothing when profiled for your skin color.
But will that admission help white America to understand the point of his protest? Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that there was much more of an effort to understand Lochte’s criminal actions than Kaepernick’s First Amendment right.
Or is it unfair to compare the two athletes? Is there (as it would seem) absolutely no valid understanding for not saluting the American flag?
BMWK, do you agree with his protest or do you think his stance is misguided? In what manner should black athletes use their influence to inspire social change?