Wednesday, August 31, 2016

This thing with Colin Kaepernick

"SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has willingly immersed himself into controversy by refusing to stand for the playing of the national anthem in protest of what he deems are wrongdoings against African Americans and minorities in the United States." - excerpted from this story by Steve Wyche at NFL.com

If this bothers you, I get it. I completely understand. If it's your sincerely held belief that every citizen who lives here enjoys considerable freedoms and privileges that come from simply living here, thanks to people who have paid ultimate sacrifices, I'm in total agreement. If you also believe that it's not much to ask that you stand up for two minutes (or however long it takes) at a function where the National Anthem is paid as a small tribute of respect. I'm with you.
Mostly.
Up until where that conflicts with The First Amendment, anyway. I think exercising the right to free expression is more important than symbolism and ceremonies, whether I agree with what's being expressed or not. But for the most part on all of the above, yep, I'm with you.

The problem I have is with hypocrites.

I'm going to (mostly) avoid what I feel is the inherent hypocrisy in the argument against him being able to speak at all, which is the popularly held opinion that Colin Karpernick shouldn't be saying anything about black people being oppressed because he has lots of money and has never been oppressed. Meanwhile, Black Lives Matter protesters shouldn't be out there blocking traffic because they need to get jobs and contribute to society. So, a guy who is employed at an elite level in his chosen profession shouldn't be allowed to open his mouth, nor a whole bunch of people perceived and dismissed as bums. Then who exactly does get to exercise their right to free speech under the First Amendment and express dissatisfaction with a system that many people agree is, at best, not perfect?

This guy, basically.
Even though I'm running out of patience with idiots like this:
Yeah, black people kept their mouths shut prior to 2008 because Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali are all fictional characters.
People who seem to honestly believe that racism is over, that black people woke up on the morning of January 2, 1863, had breakfast at a diner, then hopped in the front seat of a bus where they watched Michael Jackson videos on MTV on their way to playing some Major League Baseball on a perfectly level field. Many of whom believe free speech is something that should only be available to those who say things they agree with. These people simply refuse to GET IT and they're wearing me out.


No, in spite of all those words I spewed up there, today I'd rather direct my ire toward the people who are more upset and "outraged" at the disrespect shown to military veterans by how Colin Kaepernick chooses to express himself rather than actual, real disrespect being shown to military veterans in the form of actual, harmful actions. Specifically, people who will waste time and energy posting stupid, exploitative memes like this one...
If you see a picture like this and think "that would make an excellent meme", you're a piece of shit.
...rather than educate themselves about the existence of situations like this...
"Divisive Senate politics on Thursday (July 14) stalled funding for troops and veterans, and threw the defense budget into uncertainty for the second year in a row." - Military.com
Based on the volume of sheer vitriol and anger directed at Kaepernick over these last few days, I'm betting most people are too busy devouring every word written about him to even bother to click on that link above.
Well, they might not read every word written about him. That would be bad for their narrative.

And that's just the latest episode of the government screwing veterans and nobody really caring that much.

The only logical conclusion that can be drawn from that is most people care about the conduct of "warriors" in the NFL more than actual warriors.
Makes sense, really. Let's face it; in real life, the troops are icky. They wear drab clothing, get all disfigured with their arms and legs blown off and psychologically traumatized and just generally unattractive. Then they come home from the war(s) and they want jobs and money and healthcare so they can have families.
Blech!
On the other hand, football players wear colorful costumes like super heroes, are fit and handsome and many of them have the decency to go kill themselves when we're finished with them.
Thank you for your service.
Plus, it's much easier to show the world what good people they are by slapping a "SUPPORT THE TROOPS" bumper sticker on their car than actually doing it.
Show everybody what a good patriot you are for less than $3? Hey, beats voting!
To sum up: My point is that no matter how much Colin Kaepernick's opinions and the way he expresses them disagree with your opinions, his affect on veterans, compared to the conduct of people whose actions actually have a direct impact on the lives of veterans and their families, is literally nothing. And if you refuse to acknowledge that truth and insist on fighting this battle on this level, you're a grandstanding hypocrite.

2 comments:

SpikeOnThe Mic said...

Well written... But as you pointed out, it's easier to shout and scream USA, USA USA then go home and watch Game of Thrones, than to learn the truth/facts... FYi, if you like wearing stickers to show support, they give out stickers when you Vote...

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