If you use the Internet, surely you've heard of the latest scandal. An NFL player by the name of Colin Kaepernick decided to sit down as the national anthem was played.
I'll say it now, so that I can save your time in case you disagree and don't like hearing opposing opinions, but I stand (or sit) by him in his protest. I'm sure I'm deserving of certain labels that determine my morals, gratitude, and loyalty, but isn't it only fair to hear a different side of America? To attempt to understand or get a glimpse of the side with an opinion of an America that has failed it's people?
One of Kaepernick's main reasons for his protest was that black people are getting killed in the streets and the killers are getting off free.
This, of course, has been lost among most of his detractors. Most say that he's not exactly wrong for protesting, but he's wrong in the way he chose to do it. But since when has a protest ever been seen as "right?" Historically, protesters were either looked down upon from protesting, or on the wrong side of the law in their protest. Comparatively, his protest is quite tame.
The question is, why did it gain so much attention? So much outrage?
I suppose by not showing respect for the anthem - the way others show respect to it - he's disrespected American soldiers and is therefore ungrateful of their sacrifice. They laid down their lives so that he could have the freedom to protest in that manner, but why would he want to? It's disrespectful after all, and that places us in this weird situation that implies that he's forced to "respect" the anthem whether he wants to or not or else be subject to the scorn of his fellow Americans. Is that freedom? I think I might understand the outrage (and correct me if I'm wrong here), but I think it's wrong to hate him for it.
I've seen many people give him disparaging names for simply sitting. The hate is felt in their words when they talk about a guy that has the simplest of motives for just sitting. I understand that the anthem represents a lot of good things, but he's chosen to protest it because a good portion of what it represents is the marginalization of many Americans. To sing and idolize that anthem with that knowledge, along with the knowledge of the current situation that certain communities are in, leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
Lets be real; The black community isn't doing too well. A lot of the issues have been deemed systemic, and as a result, protest happens in an attempt to fix the system. Of course, if you fall outside of the community (or have little to no emotional investment in it) then you wouldn't actually have to protest considering you don't see (or are completely unaware of) the effects of a broken system. It should be clear that there are accounts of two Americas being talked about right now, but one of those accounts are continuously silenced in favor of the positive one. I encourage you, dear reader, to engage in conversations with others with a different account, because immediately hating a person for unharmful actions shouldn't be acceptable, regardless of how you feel about those actions.
In closing, I'm not telling you that you should be with him in his protest... yet, but you shouldn't decide his character because of it either. You should look into the "why" of his protest. We live in a very white-centric America. That's seen in our history, so why not check out the history of the other Americas? What have you got to lose?