A 28-year-old man born of a single, white, 19-year-old woman and an African American father had a rough (to say the least) upbringing. Now that he is doing well financially and at the same time gaining in consciousness, Colin Kaepernick speaks up and speaks out.
He, like many Black, White, Latino, Asian and any other color Americans sees the truth . . . and it hurts! Not perhaps as well read as many of we who study history through the prism of empire, Kaepernick has focused more on the injustices leveled against ‘people of color’ by the white law enforcement community. OK, let’s stop there for a breath.
He was clear in his points that the majority of white (and even Black and Hispanic) police officers are not out to gun down or harass people of color . . . especially unarmed ones. Too many videos of too many unarmed Black men and women being gunned down is just too obscene to bear . . . Period! So, he protests the National Anthem, as that is the gateway to our American Exceptionalism mindset.
Here is what Colin Kaepernick, if more well read on our nation’s history, should have focused on: An empire on steroids that celebrates militarism and phony wars. Ask yourself this: Why is it that before every sporting event we have not only the national anthem, but honor guards and giant flags spread across the field of play? During WW2 our nation was at war, thus the constant reminders of our patriotism and national pride. Folks, they, meaning the masters of empire, wish to make you believe that we are now at war, but we are NOT!
Even during those hysterical and fear implanted days of the so-called Cold War our media was used to propagandize this extreme patriotism. After all, as any baby boomer can attest to you, we kids spent many an afternoon in the ‘50s and ‘60s crouched beneath our desks or up against the hallway walls of our elementary and middle schools. Those A bomb drills were forever upon us, as at any moment the Russians could attack. If Mr. Kaepernick had experienced the above situations, perhaps he would have included the empire in his protest.
Two friends of mine at the simulcast center where we watch horse racing engaged me the other day on the Kaepenick protest. One fellow, a 90-year-old WW2 vet and usually a mellow as can be guy, was taken aback by my agreement with Kaepernick’s protest. He actually said that the guy ‘should be executed for treason’! Another friend, a 60-year-old guy, called Kaepernick every invective he could think of, and wished that ‘Those San Diego players and fans really give it to him tonight’ at the pre-season game. He called him a rich full of shit phony who deserves to be released from football. Both guys told me how our troops deserve better treatment for all they are doing to protect our freedoms, etc. I told them I did not recall Kaepernick speaking of our troops and I got pissed and added, “Well, maybe it is more patriotic to protest a government that sends our troops to those Middle Eastern countries to kill and get killed, where we don’t **** belong!”
The masters of this empire will always work to polarize we working stiffs with fake rhetoric and shallow arguments. You know, like during the Vietnam phony so-called ‘War’, whenever we protested it here came the same harangue: America, love it or leave it! or If you don’t like it here why don’t you go and live in Russia? Sad how during this whole debate on what Colin Kaepernick is doing, never ONE word about how those myriad of unarmed people of color have been gunned down by police. Not one word!
Philip A Farruggio is a semi-retired baby boomer born and bred in blue collar Brooklyn NY. He is the son and grandson of Brooklyn longshoremen, and educated at ‘free tuition’ Brooklyn College, class of ’74. Philip has written over 300 columns since 2001 and his work is found on many fine progressive sites like World News Trust, Nation of Change, Information Clearinghouse, Intrepid Report, Sleuth Journal, Dandelion Salad, Counterpunch and Dissident Voice. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.