Did Colin Kaepernick Kill Your Puppy? Why Your Anger At Him Is Misplaced
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Politics and Activism

Did Colin Kaepernick Kill Your Puppy? Why Your Anger At Him Is Misplaced

He didn't, I promise.

Did Colin Kaepernick Kill Your Puppy? Why Your Anger At Him Is Misplaced

I don't really watch football. I'll go to games and I understand general concepts, but when it comes specific athletes and positions, I classify myself as not really watching football. I'm not a football fan. I root for the team my friends root for. Football's not my thing.

I know this about the NFL as of 2016: they've once again nominated a serial rapist to their hall of fame, and Colin Kaepernick. I don't know much about the former issue, but the latter has become increasingly influential.

I don't know much about football and therefore I do not know much about Colin Kaepernick. I do know two things: he is a football player and he has not been standing for the national anthem as a form of protest against racism and police brutality across the United States.

Kaepernick's protest has caused outrage. People are furious that he would dare disrespect the national anthem like this, and that people are following in his footsteps! This not standing for the anthem has almost reached the same outrage as burning the flag. People are finding it extremely unpatriotic and almost treasonous.

On the 15th anniversary of September 11th, I saw many social media posts regarding standing for the anthem on this specific day. Many people declared if one was to not stand for the anthem on 9/11, he/she might as well leave the country and never return because of the disrespect he/she had just shown.

As a New Yorker, 9/11 has a special place in my heart. I understand its importance in our history, and I know it's a day that everyone across the country remembers and honors. However, 9/11 has become an increasingly dangerous day because of the insane amounts of nationalistic rhetoric that are spewed by people around the country. It's important to remember that it is possible to honor the lives lost on 9/11 (and because of 9/11) and be disappointed with American society and politics today. One's standing for the national anthem on 9/11 does not correlate with the respect that person has for the people who were lost.

Overall, social media has lost the meaning behind Colin Kaepernick's protest: racism and police brutality. To him, and many others it feels wrong to honor an anthem that represents a systemically oppressive institution. Friday night, a black man named Terrence Crutcher was shot and killed by Tulsa police officers. He had his hands up. Four police officers ran at him. One of them shot him.

The question is why?

There were four armed police officers and one unarmed black man with his hands up. Was shooting him really necessary, or was he shot because he was black and black men were always believed to be more aggressive?

This issue of police shooting innocent black people has been ongoing for decades. For decades, black people have not all gotten proper justice. This is why Colin Kaepernick and the people who have followed him are angry. This ongoing issue is representative of an American system, and therefore of the nation. It is an issue that cannot be thrown aside. Why should Colin Kaepernick, or anyone else for that matter, honor a country that does not honor them?

Everyone praises America for being the land of the free, but once people start using their freedom to protest inequality, they're suddenly "unamerican"--which is funny because the United States was built on protesting unequal treatment.

Colin Kaepernick and anyone else who chooses to sit or take a knee or raise a fist during the national anthem is being more American than most, and if you are personally okay with conforming to society and never questioning your government, you are the "unamerican" one.

Think about how Colin Kaepernick's taking a knee has infuriated people more than a black man being shot and killed by the people meant to protect us. How is anyone okay with not speaking out against police brutality, but speaking out about Colin Kaepernick utilizing his freedom of expression?

Being mad about Kaepernick taking a knee misses the point of his protest... He doesn't hate America, he feels betrayed by it. Instead of being mad at his feelings, ask why he feels betrayed, and try to help. Afterall, who stands for the national anthem is significantly less important than a black man's life.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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