We can all agree that it’s quite rare for athletes to take a stand on social issues, so the recent actions from NBA and WNBA players, calling for peace between cops and the black community and advocating for Black Lives Matters, was a pleasant surprise and feel good moment. Privileged black athletes actually giving af? Those folks standing up for other people, was so novel. It was declared that the players were harking back to the days of Tommie Smith and Muhammed Ali with their actions, though on the real; it’s actually Colin Kaepernick who’s invoking that spirit and he’s getting hammered for it.
Standing up for peace is a bold move, but sitting down for justice, equality and freedom is real boss movement-like RiRi in a see through dress at the CFDA Fashion Awards. A problem that America has is its refusal to fully admit to the multiple shortcomings of this country, many of which stems from our history of chattel slavery. Without 400 years of multiple millions of free slaves, America ain’t es aitch eye tee. Ok, hyperbole aside-without 400 years of treating multiple millions of people like animals, breeding them to work harder, working them to death and discarding them like goat-America wouldn’t be America.
How else is a super young country gonna shoot to the T.O.P., so quickly? Becoming the number one superpower, financial engine and leading cultural exporter, in such a short time, was only possible because of the “recently” ended system of chattel slavery. Yes, recently ended. You can fool yourself into thinking 1865 was a long time ago, especially if you place it on the American time-line, with the United States forming in 1776; but 150 years ago is recent. Tellingly, the psychosis that allowed white people to enslave, rape, beat, lynch, sell and kill on a whim or for financial gain, doesn’t simply disappear.
American’s are so consumed with “Military Love”, and embrace it with all their strength, when condemning Colin Kaepernick and his decision to sit for the National Anthem, that it takes the focus off the message that spurred his action. Saluting a flag and going through the full pageantry and ritual, with song and heart and all attendant emotions, as means of celebrating and honoring a country that treats you, at every turn, inhumanely, is actually quite sick and shows a full blown case of Stockholm Syndrome.
It’s very much a love of convenience between America and it’s military, because it’s rah rah rah, bleeding stars and stripes when they are across the sea on the battlefield, but once they come home…well you know what happens, you read the news. Treated like es aitch eye tee at every turn. Homeless on the street, can’t get medical and psychological treatment for months, and don’t receive a reply when they apply for financial compensation. Traumatized for life and treated like pariah. Where do you think America learned to treat war veterans like that? To treat them like they’re not even human? Yup, that psychosis developed from the base inhumanity of chattel slavery
All the while leveling hate at Colin Kaepernick for disrespecting the military by sitting for the national anthem, which is a diversionary tactic in its purest form. Keep the conversation on the military to drown out and waterdown the actual message. America still treats black people as second class citizens and the national anthem says that it treats everybody equal, so sitting for it is to not attest to the lie.
The NFL goes to great lengths to align the shield with the military, wrap itself in the flag and dip the league in patriotism, like it was fondue. Yet, because America is America, the NFL also charges the military fees for those touching tributes, which they returned, under pressure. Simply put, America has issues and the biggest may be it’s refusal to fully address those issues-so hopefully Colin Kaepernick can get people to start having real conversations-even if it begins by him continuing to sit down.