Taking a Stand-While Sitting on the Bench
OK, I’ll bite.
Having watched the Colin Kaepernick protest mushroom out of proportion to what it was, an innocuous expression of the personal freedoms for which I served in the military, I feel compelled to add my nickel’s worth of two cents to this non-issue.
Kaepernick had the unmitigated gall to sit during the playing of the National Anthem, prior to the start of an NFL preseason game last week, much to the dismay of various factions in our country, who felt that he was being disrespectful to the military.
Woe is me!
The first thing the San Francisco 49ers did as an organization was reaffirm the reason why the Anthem is played in the first place, and then to state that 49er players are encouraged-but not required-to show their allegiance in this manner.
“This country stands for freedom, liberty and justice for all-and it’s not happening for all right now,” was Kaepernick’s explanation for his lapse in etiquette.
Right now? Seriously, right now?
Freedom, liberty and justice haven’t been happening in this country for a long time now. Is there anyone who doubts this? I’m not just talking about injustices to black people, as Kaepernick was, I am talking about injustice to 50 million plus Americans, who are functioning at or below the poverty level.
That is as heinous a fact as any that could be imagined. In a nation where one family alone accounts for an income in access of 150 billion dollars annually, that such abject misery be allowed to continue, is as much of an indictment of this country as anything else.
What ever happened to common decency? How can the people who run this country not see that by lining their own pockets with ungodly riches, at the expense of so many regular Americans out there, they are blatantly mocking the founders of this country?
This is not a Democracy for the people; it is an oligarchy for the benefit of a small minority. Nor is it likely to change, since the very people lining their pockets are the same ones running the country.
Now an athlete like Colin Kaepernick stands up, metaphorically speaking if not literally, for the downtrodden in America, and he is criticized. Is it because he is speaking his opinion, or is it because he is not the second coming of Joe Montana?
OK, that’s irrelevant and I know it, but I have read criticism of Kaep’s stand, not because of its political implications, but because he “throws a football like a baseball.”
Or how about, “Wise words from a self-indulgent, black, pro athlete, who was raised by white parents?”
Neither is valid as a reason for Kaepernick not voicing his opinion. By taking his stand while sitting on the bench, he opened himself up to criticism, and he says he will continue to remain sitting during future renditions of the National Anthem.
I support Kaep’s right to express his opinion in this manner, just as I support the right of Americans to burn the flag in protest. I know that is not a popular opinion amongst many, but I also coughed up 21 months of my life to serve in the army, so I have earned the right to express an opinion.
If someone burning the flag in public disgusts you, then that’s a real shame. But that does not remove the fact that in a free country, personal expression of one’s opinion, must be tolerated.
I mean, everyone has the right to express an opinion, but having put in my time, I feel that I am backing up my opinion with more than just hot air. You may feel free to disagree with me because that is your prerogative, but just remember, what I am supporting is simply a return to an era when a wage-earner worked full-time, he or she was able to pay for food and shelter for a family, and do so confidently.
Now, two full-time wage earners in the same family, are too frequently unable to accomplish the same goal. This is patently not right; this is not what the founding fathers had in mind.
Is Kaepernick’s protest going to help? Is this piece of writing going to help? They help raise awareness, maybe, but otherwise, no, they’re not going to help.
The grip on the economic control in this country is far too tight. Kaepernick maintains it is not the current presidential race that concerns him, though he pointed out that Trump is openly racist and Hillary Clinton has that pesky “black teens or kids are super predators” statement from 1996 still kicking around.
|I served in the 199th Personnel Service Company, in Korea.|
As long as these two candidates are the best this country can come up with, Kaepernick’s point is well-taken. Who possibly thinks either Hillary or The Donald cares about the minimum-wage earner?
And that is Colin Kaepernick’s point: “This country stands for freedom, liberty and justice for all-and it’s not happening for all right now.”
The question is, what has to happen before our government cares enough about the common people, to do something to help them out?