Kaepernick, helping America admit there is a problem.


Well, it’s football season again. I for one am happy. I love the game. I played football from middle school all the way through my college years. What I loved most about the game was what my High School Coach David Sedmak called “Controlled Intensity” You have to be ready to bang heads and be in physical combat with the other team. But at the same time be thinking on your feet and using the cues you learned from film study to play the best game possible. You cannot let your emotions and adrenaline take you for a ride. The Kapernick anthem protest has raised a lot of adrenaline levels, many people have intense feelings about it. When what we really need is the controlled intensity. The ability to think about the issues, not just let emotion lead. We need people to have the strength to look past their own experiences and realize that we do have a problem when it comes to inequality in America.  Just because it may not be happening to you does not mean that it is not happening. Kaepernick is forcing us to address these issues head on.

Wether you are football fan or not you have probably heard about Colin Kaepernick. A quarterback for the San Fransisco 49ers. On August 26th the media finally noticed that he was not standing for the national anthem. (He sat for two previous games on August 14th and 20th)  Once the media noticed they of course asked him about it. Clearly he was not doing it for attention, so why was he protesting. He said,  paraphrased  “This stand wasn’t for me it was for those do not have a voice, I’m in a position to do something to effect change and I do not want to stand for song and flag that allows injustice to go unnoticed and unpunished.

The next thing you know, we have two sides. So called “patriots” who think he is disrespecting the flag and the troops. On the other end are those who agree with what he is doing. Those that see the injustice and are not afraid to admit that America may  be a great nation, but it has major problems with inequality and the balance of justice.

Americans give Athletes and celebrities a huge amount of status, and we are always badgering them about being a role model. “Kids look up to you” “Do what’s right” “You make all this money, and what do you do for the community” Well, isn’t that what CK is doing ?

I mean, people of color are oppressed in America, police brutality and recklessness is a problem. For the most part people of color in America are not in control of the avenues where their voices can be heard (Do not say “Well we have a  Black president).  Kaepernick is giving the downtrodden a voice. But he has been met with hatred and disgust.

What are the haters saying?

He is disrespecting the troops– Nope. He said that he has friends and family in law enforcement and the military, and that he is in full support of the troops. In fact it was Nate Boyer former Green Beret officer who helped him come up with the taking a knee strategy. There have been heads of state, people from all branches of the armed forces and law enforcement that have come out in support of him. He is just expressing himself using his rights as an American. You don’t have to like it.

The underlying card here is that there is a black man talking about race during NFL Sunday. This creates a visceral reaction from those who deep down wish he would just shut up and play. CK is forcing millions of Americans to discuss and think about something ugly. Something that touches nerves. Especially for people who think America is 100% equal. Yes, some people believe that we have 100% equality, and all these lazy people are just crying wolf.

Another argument is the use of his salary and status as an NFL player against him. Oppressed? He has a 100 million dollar contract. What does he know about oppression?  Let me be clear. You do not have to be experiencing oppression to know that it is wrong and want to do something about it. Look up John Brown, a white man who lead a slave revolt, look up William Lloyd Garrison, or Susan B. Anthony, or John F. Kennedy. The list is large, of people who saw injustice and wanted to use the position they had to make a change, even though they were not the ones being oppressed.

Another way to look at it. If a loved one is ill. Do you say to them, suck it up your fine, I don’t think its that bad.  No you do not. You sit and empathize with them, let them know you understand and want to help. The fact that millions of people cannot do this when it comes to racism and unfair treatment shows how deeply ingrained white supremacy is.

Look at these quotes from real Americans about the CK protest.

“The reason there is more blacks on unemployment is because they would rather sell drugs and kill other people then get off there sorry ass and go find work so sorry but don’t talk about its the United States fought put the blame where it really needs to be on yourself if it’s so hard for blacks it’s because it’s your fault you or your mom or your grandma were slaves so do try to bring that up stop with that bullshit”

“So we can’t all agree that CK is a dipshit? Who here hates ‘Merica. SHOW YOURSELF!!!!!!”

“Every race, ethnicity and religion has been oppressed at one time or another. Also been enslaved at one time or another, So the battle is not worth continuing to fight. It’s an imaginary battle.”

“Slavery? At least as a slave, you’re alive. A whole bunch of Jews (white people) while enslaved in biblical times, were simply rounded up and murdered, not very long ago.”

” he’s an overpaid dick.”

Down playing slavery really makes me upset.

I have a friend who told me that going into a black neighborhood is risky and dangerous. This same person also said “I see blacks being treated well” Really? How would you know if you never go into a black community? It is a huge case of

If it is not happening to me it’s not happening.

You see the hate and lack of information. It’s reprehensible.

The art that goes along with this piece is by Jeff Rothberg. A Brooklyn artist who is using his work to make people really think about what CK is doing.  It depicts Colin Kaepernick taking a knee with American flag running under him. A sun bursts from his back,  shining a light on injustice. The most important part of the piece is the blind fold. It is a play on Lady Justice. An American symbol that depicts a woman with a blind fold, holding two balanced scales. The blindfold is to show the justice should see no color, or religion or lifestyle. It’s supposed to be the same for everyone. But we know it’s not.  Her scales are balanced, but what about what actually goes on in courtrooms (Brock Turner)

so big ups to Jeff for the dope piece

Another stance I agree that there is a problem, but this not the way to protest.

So what is the right way? We had an entire civil rights movement where people marched peacefully. They were beaten and sprayed with fire hoses. People performed sit ins at restaurants, and they got food thrown at them, spat on and degraded. Just for using their unalienable rights.

Then we have the opposite. Like Watts, and Chicago, and LA and Baltimore. Rioting. When that happens its – “See, look at those thugs” So there is a catch 22 here. Don’t protest peacefully or violently. Just shut up, you are not slave any more be happy.

Who cares if you live in fear of the police force whose salary you pay. Honestly I am more afraid a police officer than any so called “Thug” You now why. Most human beings that some call thugs are not instinctually afraid of me. It is a fact that police think Black men are more dangerous, this is a problem. Generations upon generations of Americans saw people of color as slaves, or share croppers, or their nanny, or the person who cleans their floors. Never really having to know them, they just work for us. This mentality is not easy to shake, it gets passed down through generations. I mean there are buildings in New York City today with “poor doors” Doors made for the low income housing units to use. While those who live in the upper floors with lots of money get to use the front door with a doorman.  Sickening. It says, if you are not like us we don’t even want to have to walk past you.  Ugh

Kaepernick is making “Murica” watch and listen to sports commentators and hall of fame athletes not discuss x’s and o’s but instead they are talking about civil rights and history and equality. What is wrong with that? Oh right that song that lyrically supports slavery. Got to pay tribute to it. Even though the department of Defense paid the NFL 10 million dollars to have the players come out and stand for the Anthem. Paid Patriotism.

Where were all these people before 2009? The fact is no one noticed or cared the players were in the locker room. People only care now because a black man is forcing the truth on them during NFL games.

When we really think about it this is nothing new. Jackie Robinson did not stand for the anthem, and came out against it. He was and Army veteran. I do not hear any one bad mouthing him. No one currently would say Muhammad Ali was piece of Sh** for standing up for his values. The fact is a large portion of America thinks free speech is cool, as long as you say things they agree with.

All Kaepernick is saying is that America has problems we need to address so that we can live up to our so called mottos and credos. All people are created equal, and have full protection under the law.

However the same people who say “Make America Great Again” think nothing is wrong. So why do we need to make it great (again). Also when was it great? What year do should we go back to. 1619 when the slaves arrived? Or should be go back colonial America where genocide on Native Americans was all good?  Or should we go back to 1955 when Emmitt Till was mutalated for whistling at a white woman?

In this crucial election year, there is no middle ground. You either care about others and believe in equality for all, or you do not. We need to have open uncomfortable conversations. It’s the only way to make this thing work. People with differing view points sitting down and talking honestly and showing compassion for the lives of others.

If you disagree with me on any point I made here. I would love to grab a beer or google hang out or skype anytime to have open conversation.

I take music very seriously and place a lot a value in its meaning. For this topic I say. It’s just a song. Lets talk about the real reasons he his kneeling. Let’s bang heads thoughtfully with”Controlled Insensity” Maybe we can make some progress.


Aaron McMickle

Aaron McMickle- DJ, Father, Musician, Music Lover. If you like how we connect the dots on this site, please leave a comment. Play the music presented here, and come back often. It's a life long journey

7 thoughts to “Kaepernick, helping America admit there is a problem.”

  1. Very thorough and factual analysis. We encounter so many who simply refuse to believe anything other than their own life experiences, absent of any of the social injustices that are going on today. Because it isnt happening to them it isn’t happening at all.

    1. Lauren. I’m sorry I did not respond earlier. Thanks so much for reading. We have to keep fighting the good fight, even though it may get tougher and tougher. The divide seems to be stronger than ever at this point.

      Keep on Pushing


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