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An open letter to Black America: Rally ‘round Colin Kaepernick

September 20, 2017

by J. Bernard Harris

This photo of Colin Kaepernick talking to reporters in Seattle in September 2016 illustrates an April 2017 story in the right-wing organ National Review headlined “Why Colin Kaepernick’s Protest Failed.” It’s up to us to create and claim the victory! – Photo: Troy Wayryen, USA Today Sports, Reuters

Sitting here composing this brief narrative, what I’m feeling is what I will call righteous indignation. It’s not about the injustices that I as a Black man have endured, nor about those heaped upon my race. Neither is it about a system whose life blood is founded upon the denigration and vilification of my race and whose ultimate objective is the destruction of the Black race.

Today it is not about racial profiling; neither is it about driving while Black. Nor will I declare it is about the inequities of a system whose wealth was derived from the blood, sweat and tears of a people whose contribution go unacknowledged and unrecognized in general.

Today there will be no protestation of the murder of innocent men and women of color in this nation – who are murdered by men and women who don uniforms daily who then declare their single purpose is to protect and serve. The rationale for such behavior is predicated upon some fictional imagining that people of my race are criminals or have a propensity towards criminal behavior.

What I’m feeling is what I will call righteous indignation.

At this moment in time I will not hurl accusations at the dominant group, except to shine a light upon its glaringly unjust behavior towards a group of people whose loyalty to this nation is impeachable.

Moreover, I’m not lamenting how blatantly our contributions to this nation are ignored – remember “Hidden Figures”? Neither will I on today call on the God of all for relief. I think we have worn him out begging that he do for us what we must do for ourselves.

As I said in my preface, I’m feeling righteous indignation at the fact that I live amongst a group of people whose response to problems that afflict us all is reactive rather than proactive. How can we turn a blind eye to the plight of a young man who has sacrificed his wealth, his fame, his stature and standing in the world of pro athletes to bring attention to the slaughter of young Black men by the police across this nation?

Today this man has not found a job, and we are preparing to go into another season of gladiatorial combat for the masses. When what we should be saying is, we will not watch a game or buy a ticket until this young man is picked by another team and given the money he deserves along with the respect of us all that he has earned.

How can we turn a blind eye to the plight of a young man who has sacrificed his wealth, his fame, his stature and standing in the world of pro athletes to bring attention to the slaughter of young Black men by the police across this nation?

Could it be our relative wealth and supposed freedom has caused some of us think we have it made? Moreover, to be free is to move about unmolested. To be free is to be able to avail one’s self of any opportunity that society provides. To be free is to have the freedom to exercise your so called constitutional right to dissent whenever we feel those rights are being misapplied or tampered with.

Maybe it’s our fear of reprisal that keeps us from speaking out and up when those amongst us have the courage do so. It’s not you or I today, but make no mistake: We are not so far removed from yesterday that it cannot be you or I today.

What we should be saying is, we will not watch a game or buy a ticket until this young man is picked by another team and given the money he deserves along with the respect of us all that he has earned.

Need I remind you that going from biscuits in hand to biscuits in a can is no reason to think you have arrived; going from mule’s back to Cadillac is no reason to forget our horrific origins in this nation.

Now that we have a president who has declared that not only do Black lives not matter, but that he is hell bent to send us back to a time when the dominant group could beat, kick and kill us with impunity.

My premise is a simple one: Why are we not rallying around Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco football player and quarterback?

Colin Kaepernick has earned our love, our trust and support.

Colin Kaepernick did what we all should be doing.

Colin Kaepernick deserves better. If we do not give it to him, he will not get it.

Colin Kaepernick is worthy of emulation.

Colin Kaepernick made a supreme sacrifice.

My premise is a simple one: Why are we not rallying around Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco football player and quarterback?

Bernard Harris writes from Saginaw, Michigan, and can be reached at cakedaddy@sbcglobal.net.

2 thoughts on “An open letter to Black America: Rally ‘round Colin Kaepernick

  1. Sandra Bailey

    Colin Kaepernick is one of the best American football quarterbacks. And essayrepublic.com is one of the best American writing companies on the web. He is exactly one of those players who has an excellent blend of athleticism, moxie, field vision, intelligence and arm strength.

    Reply
  2. Richard

    I simply don't get it the reactionary's pillorying Colin for making a stand against police brutality racism which does not effect them the song Mister Kaepernick knelt to the star spangled banner when created African Americans were being lynched raped tortured in brutal institution called slavery by southern white racist. Red natives were being hunted down genocide performed on them their land stolen by these same hoards white women could not vote or participate in a government which held sway over their very lives. They were branded witches dunked and drowned just to claim their land! Treasonous traitors American domestic terrorist literally ripped this nation in half wiped their asses with the constitution burned old glory to a crisp and gave a double middle finger to the American way of life. An uneducated lowly informed fake red neck from Michigan in dire need of a boiling bath and change into clean clothes Kid Rock Michigan a state fighting against Southern hate , murdered more American soldiers than Isis ever dared dream of doing. This turd rock made his fame and fortune off black medium rap and rock and this is how he say's thank you?? The little kid wrapped himself in a flag of traitorous thugs, this is your southern legacy? Born of Treason hate violence slavery, If Muslims had have done what these white domestic terrorist did you would hang them upside down by their testicles.

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