A bent knee speaks


Is it really worth losing our liberties because we don’t like the way someone fights for theirs? When Colin Kaepernik took a knee for the first time last year his motives were quickly put on the back burner. Rather than address the issue he was trying to bring attention to, we as a nation jumped on his “disrespect” of the flag, and have fought that subject into the ground. Mr Kaepernick saw an injustice; he saw a nation that is not extending the liberty and justice so valiantly fought for, to every citizen of this country. So he chose the symbol of that liberty to make his point. He used his high profile to send a message. There are still many areas in this country where minorities are not safe from police brutality. I have every respect for the women and men who serve to protect us. And most police officers are brave, courageous officers. But there is a vein of corruption running through our justice system that needs to be addressed. It is a sad fact. History keeps repeating itself. We are going backwards when it comes to racism in this county. The white supremacists are coming out of the woodwork in droves. Yet I see more outrage at Kaepernick’s bent knee than I did when when neo nazis took to the streets in a murderous, hate filled rage. The irony of it all churns my stomach. It’s ok to wave a flag that represents isolation and hatred, the flag of Northern Virginia when they seceded from the union, and set in motion the bloodiest war in our short history, a flag that does not have fifty stars and thirteen stripes, and claim free speech?!? But it’s not ok to exercise that same free speech and take a knee during the National Anthem?!? It is ok to post photos of people hanging Mr Kaepernick in effigy, (again free speech) But it’s not ok to post a status defending him?!? If your answer is yes than you’re living in the wrong country. I believe N.Korea has laws in place that censor ones right to exercise free speech. This sort of hypocrisy is what got us to this point in the argument. Patriotism and Humanity should not be an either/or. I cannot imagine living every day in fear of men whose skin is a different color than mine. That type of fear breeds anger, and that anger breeds action. But Kaepernick’s action was not violent, nor was it disrespectful. He knelt. He didn’t flip off the flag, set fire to it, or pounce on it, he simply knelt, like you do in church. And the world took notice. But we noticed the wrong injustice. We got stuck on the “how” and not the “why”. We can’t help ourselves. We just have to take a polarizing issue and make it even more polarizing. We had to fight about it. We couldn’t see the forest for the trees. We couldn’t see a bi racial man watching his fellow man getting beaten in the streets for no other reason than being the wrong color, and he is saying “enough!” We are so near-sighted in our anger, we have lost sight of why he’s protesting. So it appears that Mr Kaepernick has lost this battle, literally lost it in our fervent rhetoric. But something tells me he hasn’t given up. He’s put his money where his mouth is and donated $900,000 to various charities supporting education and minority children. He vowed to donate a million dollars and he is almost there. He is unemployed, but still sharing his wealth. He was recently awarded the NFL Players Association’s week one MVP for his charitable efforts. I truly believe he is trying to use his celebrity for good. If we could for one minute ask ourselves- “why would someone risk his extremely high paying job, his status in the sports world, and even his safety?!?” He did it to get our attention. But we were blinded by that bright light of patriotism we mistakenly shone in the wrong direction. Our country was founded by the greatest protest in our history- The American Revolution. So let’s take a breath, and pick our battles. What is more important to you- Free Speech, pure, and clean, even when it makes you mad; or messy censorship, and a whole new set of rules aimed at punishing those that speak out against the current regime?!? If your answer is censorship, and think Mr Kaepernick should be punished, then you might as well kiss your podium, social media, good bye. Again I ask you-Is it really worth losing our liberties because we don’t like the way someone peacefully fights for theirs?

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