BY WALTER CANADY
Controversy surrounds the 49ers 6 year, $100,000,000 dollar man, Colin Kaepernick. After Colin made the bold and courageous decision not to stand during the national anthem he became one of the biggest figures of 2016. Many disagreed with his decision to do so , saying that it was disrespectful to the fallen soldiers.
When Kaepernick was asked about his reason his only comment was “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” He went on to say to the ESPN media, “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.”
His decision to make this stance has also lead a few other celebrities and athletes to kneel or sit down during the national anthem. In fact on September 11 during the national anthem our own Kansas CIty Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters raised his fist during the national anthem, resembling the 1968 olympics. The decision to not stand during the national anthem I totally agree with especially when we are living in a time where people of color are being murdered wrongfully on and off camera and the transgressors are being let off easily.
Now that African Americans have become more aware to the fact that racism isn’t as dead as the media propagates, many refuse to respect, pledge and stand for a country that continues to demonstrate systematic oppression. I have heard inane comments comparing the United States to other places in the word that do much worse persecution. My response to that is, first off using that argument admits the fact that there is a systematic oppression and mistreatment of people of color. With that being understood, you’re asking victims of this oppression to pledge and stand in pride for an anthem that is supposed to be symbolizing the exact opposite of what going on in this country. As I stated another thing that many people in disagreement with the protest say is that it is disrespectful to vets both dead and alive, as well as soldiers in duty. And after doing my own research you find that this country doesn’t even serve its own vets. Two years ago America identified close to 50,000 homeless vets, and according to N.C.H.V or the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans close to 50% of those homeless are black or hispanic despite them only being about 10.4% of the U.S vets.
Now, you mean to tell me you want me to stand for fallen soldiers and vets to show respect ,but the country they fought for can’t do the same by offering them a place to return to when coming back from duties. As I said the information provided by NCHV showed that black African Americans make up most of the homeless percentage of vets. So we have people in our own black communities going to fight these wars for freedom and equality in this country that are not being provided , and then they come back home only to find they came back to the same situation they left, or in some cases less. Only this time they may be missing a relative due to the inequality and mistreatment that they fought against and maybe even took bullets for to end. They face all of this because maybe a cop in Cleveland decides to shoot and kill a 12 year old over a pellet gun. So, now you cannot tell people such as Colin Kaepernick , Marcus Peters, and many more like us to stand for this country or show respect for the soldiers that fought and or died in war when there is a war going on in our communities where innocent kids are the casualties and didn’t even know they were in a war! Maybe they were refusing to stand not out of disrespect to this country and the soldiers, but maybe they were sitting and protesting to show respect to our own casualties and let this country know we have not forgotten about our own soldiers that died in a war that has been under the radar for 300 years plus.