We hear it all the time, everytime something negative happens in society and minorities, along with the poor and downtrodden riot, we hear "Why do they have to destroy things? Why can't they protest peacefully? Don't they realize that their message and pleas are being lost amongst all the violence and destruction?" As if people weren't peacefully expressing their disdain and their issues before the riot began. Now we have a man, Colin Kaepernick, who is potentially sacrificing his pro football career and endorsements doing just that, protesting peacefully, and people still have an issue with it. And not only do they have an issue with it, they aren't even creative enough to use a different excuse. Media and those alike are regurgitating the same old thing, "His message is being lost because of the way he is protesting, it's disrespectful!"
Well you know what? I have a question for all of you naysayers who are throwing about these excuses to hide the real issue. Those issues are the injustices and inequality for minorities that you want to ignore, the same injustices that Kaepernick is "PEACEFULLY" protesting. That question is "Why don't you say what you really mean, what you really mean is that you don't care about the plight or misery of minorities and the poor. You want us to shut up and be okay with the maltreatment!" Because that's what you really mean without having enough courage to come right out and say it.
Essentially no matter how we choose to bring up the injustices or try to change things, you don't like it and won't accept it because it destroys that status quo and rocks the boat of your privilege. Some of you are deathly afraid to see anyone else that doesn't look like you and or in the same tax bracket as you, be treated equally and afforded the same inalienable rights and privileges. I've heard complaints by some that taking a knee during the National Anthem, which was written by a man who was pro slavery in Francis Scott Key, is disprespectful to the U.S. military. But I'll make the argument that not allowing someone the right to freedom of speech or a peaceful protest is more disrespectful since those rights are what the flag stands for, not any one entity such as the military. Denying someone the right to peacfully protest means that all of those men and women who died fighting for that very flag, died in vain.
But then again, freedom of speech isn't what this country has an issue with is it? It's okay for the Ku Klux Klan, people like Donald Trump or Ann Coulter to spout nonsense and racist diatribes because America has no problem when the speech is aimed at disparaging or disrespecting minorities and anyone not afilliated with the dominant white culture. But the first moment one of these minority groups or individuals calls out this racist power structure, then, only then is freedom of speech an issue and needed to be examined more. Only then should freedom of speech come with stipulations about how it should be used and expressed. You think I'm joking? When USWNT soccer player Megan Rapinoe decided to show respect to Colin Kaepernick by taking a knee during the national anthem, what did the Washington Spirit soccer organization do? They decided to play the anthem ahead of schedule to make sure she didn't have the opportunity to show her support for his protest when her team came to play against their franchise.
U.S. Hockey Coach John Tortorella claims to not have issue with the reasoning behind the protest, but in the same breath threatened to bench any player who refused to stand for the anthem. People like him expect you to believe that they have no racial biases or tendencies but show more outrage over the act of sitting or kneeling during a song and tradition but show no disgust, anger, nor the same amount of outrage when minorities are killed and jailed at a disproportionate rate, given less opportunities, and treated like second class citizens in general. Where are you during those moments Mr. Tortorella? How about you Washington Spirit organization? How about all of you who keep hiding behind the excuse that it disrespects the military when U.S. veterans themselves have come out to support Kaepernick and even those who don't agree with him have said that the flag itself doesn't stand for the military, but the nation and the values it's supposed to exhibit?
All your complaints are there to hide your racial biases, but don't worry we see you and see through your flawed explanations. We see that the real reason is minorities, in your opinion, should stay in their place. That we should be okay being second class citizens and be grateful for the below standard rights that we have experienced so far. Do we have it better here than some people in other countries? Yes, but we still don't have the amount of rights that we deserve and the rights that we were sworn to have in the U.S. constitution. Some of you, not all of you, but many of you will strive to no end to make sure we don't recieve those rights. And it is you, and you only, who bring disrepct to the flag and what this nation is supposed to stand for. So until you can sum up enough courage to atleast admit your bias, don't say a damn thing to anybody else about what it means to have honor, give respect, and be true to a tradition in which you have not yet truly honored to this day. And that comes from me, the son of two parents who served this nation proudly.