Before I begin, let me say, most importantly, we should love people no matter what their political association. We should love them no matter what their views about racism, social injustice, equality, or police brutality in America are. We should love them no matter the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, or any other specifics in their life. We should love black, whites, and all the colors in between because it is the right thing to do and it is the foundation of peace and justice. We should love and pray for the best for others—all Americans. It’s about common decency and humanity.
That being said, the world (my country included), is experiencing an unprecedented time. The year 2020 has brought many troubling challenges including a global pandemic, political turmoil in America, and social protests the likes of which America has not ever been seen together. There is the worldwide acknowledgement of the plight of Blacks in America, systemic racism, and the ongoing struggle for justice for all people of color. Open, unabashed, and unapologetic displays of racism from leaders and people of influence is on the rise. Our local and federal governments are in crisis; and people are confused and without clear guidance and leadership during this critical time. There are both internal and external threats to democracy and decency. Rampant godlessness and every evil imaginable seems to be the norm. Time will not allow me to expound on each of those threats to peace, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I just want to talk about an insight that the Holy Spirit has impressed on me.
Colin Kaepernick’s brave and heroic action in football in 2019 was not about the flag. It was not about disrespect, disloyalty, or disdain for our flag or our country. It wasn’t’t about testing freedom of speech. It wasn’t’t about fifteen minutes of fame. It was not about becoming a martyr. It was about love—love for a fellow man, a people, self and country! However, Colin Kaepernick’s actions sparked a movement along with a vicious and revealing sentiment of public opinion and opposition to the needs and cries of a large part of the American population. Just take a look at the rise and response to BLM art, police brutality artwork, and black pride apparel. The many negative comments on the streets, on social media and from the White House prove my point. Who would have thought that one man kneeling before a football game would expose both ignorance and the dark underside of White America? Who would have thought that one man’s convictions would also reveal the concern, brotherhood, and humanity of many quiet White Americans aware of America’s hidden “other” side? In dealing with the ugly, I also want to commend the beauty, understanding, and concern of the White minority within the White majority. I salute and applaud you—every White American who has bought African American art, an “i can’t breathe shirt”, or supported a Black Owned business.
Kaepernick’s kneeling, a Malcolm X t shirt, a “say their names shirt”, or football players locked arm in arm is not about disloyalty or disrespect. It’s not about a call to arms and violence. It’s about injustice within the judicial system, systemic racism, and the police brutality perpetrated against Black America and all people of color. It is a rallying cry for justice and equality. It was and remains an invitation, and opportunity, to dialogue as people of reasoning. However, that didn’t and hasn’t happen in a country of educated and “smart men”. What happened was The Leader of the free world and the greatest country of modern times—Donald Trump—took time away from major world issues to denounce and curse, one man’s actions on the sidelines of a football field! It revealed the ignorance and hateful hearts of White America.
The hate and ignorance that Black America lives with have been highlighted and revealed to the world! Black art paintings, hgc apparel, African American blogs, and social media posts by people of color are expressions of the conditions that people of color deal with every single day of our lives. George Floyd art or a Rosa Parks Nah shirt is not disrespect for our flag, but, a cry for what that flag should stand for. Though out of place in this day and time, the hatred and latent racism exposed is shocking and unpresidential, as well as, not condemned and unchallenged by “checks and balances”. This hatred and latent racism are tolerated, maybe even harbored, by the many Evangelical “Christians” preaching the love of Christ who stand consentingly, or at the least, idly by. But, I digress.
To my main point—it’s not about the flag or patriotism. Many White Americans see Kaepernick’s actions as a disrespect for our flag. Those protesting by kneeling during the National Anthem, have been ridiculed, cursed, suggested they be killed, and told to leave our country—the country that we helped to build—touting freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest. What could be more peaceful than one man kneeling in silence? The ridicule and other bad behaviors clearly expose the hidden inbred systemic racism that really say, “Freedom of speech is not for everyone, just 'gun toting’ ‘flag waving’ White America.” Again, I digress.
Back to my point. The man, and the men, who cry treason and sedition against the flag and country, perpetrate true disloyalty. Their disrespect and despicable acts—adultery, lying, deceit, unfaithfulness, moral depravity, tax evasion, and a complete disregard for their word and responsibility—are the opposite of what truly makes a country great! What they say is no more about the flag for them than what they do is about their respect for what is “right”. It’s not about their love of flag or country. It’s really about ignorance, hatred, racism and the status quo of the racist underbelly of American culture.
It’s not about the flag. If Donald Trump, and the men who cry disrespect and disloyalty, really care about what is decent, why commit adultery over and over and over again? Why lock children up in cages? Why rip children away from their parents? Why disrupt, disturb, and put into disarray the foundation of the society that the flag represents? Why pretend to care more about a flag than a wife, a family, and children? Why downplay and try to nullify the pain that a great part of “your country" faces daily? Why disrespect women, your wife, your word, and your responsibility to all citizens of America and claim to care about a flag—a piece of cloth with no feelings, no sacrifice, and no ability to care? Why get incensed over one man kneeling when you habitually destroy the foundations of a free and great country? The hypocrisy and revelation!
The indignation is not about the flag. It’s not about honor, or respect for life, liberty, and the freedom represented by the flag. It’s about a president’s character, or lack thereof. It’s about the many Americans who harbor racism and bigotry. It’s about men expressing hidden hatred and racism. It’s about the ignorance of white Americans. It’s about selfishness, a disrespect for what truly matters. It’s about inhumanity and lack of respect for the life of a fellow man—a fellow American.
The great outcry against kneeling during the National Anthem is not about the flag. It’s about disdain for what is not “white”. It’s about not dealing with our country’s dark side of racial injustice and inequality. It’s about consenting to excessive force against people of color, especially Black America. It’s about our inability as people to truly care about what does not directly affect White America. It’s about a lack of true humanity and compassion. It’s about a disrespect and disregard for the God of the “in God we trust”. Then maybe again, it is about the god of the “in god we trust”. It’s about the hidden hatred, the racism, and the hypocrisy of those sworn to defend our Constitution. Regardless, when it comes right down to it, it’s about the status quo of the wealthy, privileged white America, blacks and everyone in between.
So, breakers of vows and all that is decent, your feigned loyalty and patriotism is just that—feigned loyalty and patriotism! Because, if you really care about this country, I would not be writing this. There would not be so much hatred and ignorance published on Facebook. There would be no protests or rioting. There would be no internal threat to our—yours and mine— democracy, freedom, and decency; and Colin Kaepernick would be playing football! If you really cared about this country, you would realize that Kaepernick’s kneeling, Colin Kaepernick shoes, or black by popular demand is not about the flag or patriotism. It is about equality, liberty, justice, and the pursuit of happiness for all men. It’s not about the flag!