Colin Kaepernick is Not Your Tap Dancing Coon

Usually, Colin Kaepernick becomes the chagrin for things that he doesn’t do. A lot of people don’t care for him because he has a knack of lacking fundamental quarterback skills. Or, there is some type of concern for his decision making. And there has yet to be a great return on investment in him as a player. Thus, much of Colin Kaepernick’s football criticism has been warranted.

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick

In recent history, a lot of Kaepernick’s unwarranted criticism has arrived due to something beyond football. During the Friday night preseason football game against the Green Bay Packers, he sat during the national anthem. His reason? Well, he doesn’t appreciate the way African-Americans have been treated in this country:

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppressesBlack people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL.com “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

During a summer of renewed athlete activism, Kaepernick’s protest is the first of its kind in the NFL during this new season. The NFL’s conservative messaging, dedication to patriotism and known blacklisting of players who speak out about political issues makes the black quarterback’s protest complicated. [1]

And of course, this may not sit well with many on his team and in the San Francisco 49ers front office. Needless to say, Colin Kaepernick isn’t concern for personal feelings when there are lives on the line.

Now that the line has been drawn, there has been a lot of racial rumblings about his decision. Throughout social media, many fans (mostly white) has expressed their displeasure. Some of this displeasure has been awfully racial in content. Other condemnations have been reeking with classism. It is almost as if one would think Colin Kaepernick worked in a pillow factory with so many ruffled feathers.

There is one major lie that needs to be dispelled: Colin Kaepernick is not America’s “nigger” toy solely for entertainment.

Why Colin Kaepernick Did What He Should Have Done

In any society (partially) defined by class, it would only make sense for Colin Kaepernick to stand up for his beliefs. Any man of stature should actually take the time to address the issues that affect him and his family/friends/loved ones. The amount of commas in his bank account will never replace the fact that he is a black man in a country that oppresses people off the color of their skin. In short, classism has never fully replaced the effects of racism.

Alas, many (white) people want him to throw footballs, say “yes’suh, Boss” and tap dance in the end zone like his name is Chifferobe.

And isn’t it ironic that so many of the responses has been racially charged? Shouldn’t it be quite confounding that many of the people criticizing his political/personal moves bring up his race? One would think that calling him a nigger would actually justify his position. Yet again, we keep seeing how most racist people aren’t that great at critical thinking. If someone wants to disagree with Kaepernick, the last thing he/she should do is demonstrate that the man actually has a point.

Still, it only shows that people like William C. Rhoden were right: black athletes are “40 million dollar slaves”. Oh, they do have freedom. But let these athletes ruffle any feathers that disrupt the fabric of our racially oppressive society and their careers can become instantly altered. Let these men/women speak of how things need to change for their beleaguered brethren and it may be a curtain call for their careers. Consequentially, speaking out typically leads to being spoken, and broken, down.

It has happened to Craig Hodges. It has happened to Black Jack Johnson. And it damn sure can happen to Colin Kaepernick.

Colin Kaepernick Stands For Something

The road ahead may become rough for Colin Kaepernick. Or, this may become a blip on the radar of his career. People out there should take note of how things evolve for him after this point. Our society may be forgiving of those that go against the grain of racism. Nonetheless, it remains to be seen how racists will treat a black man that didn’t want to stand during the singing of a song written by a racist and adored by racists.

It is funny like that in the ‘hood of Amerikkka sometimes.