I Sit With Colin Kaepernick
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Politics and Activism

I Sit With Colin Kaepernick

There are times I'm ashamed of being white.

I Sit With Colin Kaepernick
Sports Illustrated

Over the past few weeks, since Colin Kaepernick started his protest of the anthem, I have read several articles and posted to my own social media profile about my opinion. I have had arguments with family members and friends about my opinion. I will continue to do so until the point gets through. Just to be clear, I’m all for supporting the veterans. Regardless of opinions on government and military policy, soldiers current and past risk their lives for us. However, I also support those fighting for justice when it is desperately needed in this country.

I do not stand for the anthem, I do not sing along, I don’t put my hand over my heart, and I don’t say the pledge of allegiance. When I was elementary school we still did the pledge and we sang a song about America, I do not remember what song it was. I stopped wanting to do it when I got to middle school. It wasn’t until college that I could give a reason as to why I felt uncomfortable doing it.

It is my opinion that the anthem and pledge has become idolized in America. People are outraged because they feel Kaepernick is disrespecting veterans who fight for this country. By not standing for the anthem he is somehow saying that he doesn’t care about the soldiers who have and are still fighting for our freedoms in this country. Although Kaepernick has said that is not the reason he is sitting for the anthem, people still say otherwise. If people are so concerned about veterans, why has the V.A had so many scandals about not treating veterans right? Why are there so many homeless and unemployed veterans? Why are soldiers not getting enough pay?

Singing a song and pledging to a flag doesn’t get those veterans homes or jobs. It doesn’t get them adequate health benefits. It doesn’t get soldiers who risk their lives more pay. I’m so sick of hearing people argue that Kaepernick is being disrespectful to veterans. The people who spent money to buy his jersey only to burn it or trash it in some way could have used that money to help a veteran. The amount of time people spend being mad at Kaepernick, they could go help a veteran. Be honest with yourselves, why are you really mad? Can you really give a justified reason? Or is it just because he is a black man protesting a white man’s song? The people boycotting games and mad at the NFL for allowing this protest, out of all the things wrong with the NFL, this is really what you chose to take a stand about? Not some players’ abusive behavior towards woman? Or the fact that a convicted rapist got nominated for the hall of fame? Where is your anger for those victims? No, you’d rather be angry about a man’s nonviolent protesting.

That song that everyone loves so much was written by a slave owner. We may not sing the whole song, but it doesn’t matter, it’s still a part of the song. Just like what this country did to Africans (They weren’t always African-American, they had their own homes) in the past. We made innocent people work for free and treated them beyond horribly. Even if only one person had died, rather than the millions that really did, it still would have been one too many. Americans love to hate Hitler for all that he did, but how is our history any better? Our treatment of Native Americans going back to the beginning, our treatment of Africans, our treatment of the Japanese during WWII, our treatment of Vietnam Veterans during the war, our treatment of African-Americans when they wanted rights in America, our treatment of women when they wanted rights, I could keep going.

It’s true that in present day we can’t change the past. I can’t and shouldn’t be expected to make up for the mistakes of the people involved back then. However, can that really be said for the unjust treatment that’s happening now? When people say racism doesn’t exist they are living in a fantasy world. The reality is that racism is alive and killing today. The comments I have seen from a lot of people makes me hate the fact that I’m white sometimes. It doesn’t matter what color a person’s skin is, they are still a human being. I am very appreciative of the rights I have because I know in some countries I wouldn’t have some of those rights. However, America has a blood covered past that we can’t forget. There is so much that isn’t taught in our history books or we just gloss over it.

Condemn me for sitting with Kaepernick. Condemn me for speaking against the great America. Condemn me for going against the norm. I’m not afraid to be in the minority opinion. I’m more afraid of dying and knowing I said nothing, did nothing, felt nothing about the injustice in the world.

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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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