Ending the interminably long silence in our national discussion of racial issues (insert tongue firmly in cheek here), none other than the San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick, the 2nd or 3rd string quarterback behind Blaine Gabbert (who?…exactly!) has reignited the racial firestorm. After his refusal to stand for the national anthem during a recent game, Kaepernick defended his position by saying he is “not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color…There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Boy, oh boy.
Kaepernick’s comments have stoked fierce responses from all points of the ideological spectrum, from those excoriating him as an ungrateful brat, to those arguing that his actions are themselves a form of patriotism. Those who are outraged at his comments are outraged for understandable reasons; they feel his actions and comments are an insult to the millions of Americans who have served in our military and fought and died to defend the freedoms he enjoys; they are outraged by his claims of oppression (he never knew his black father and was given up by his white mother at six weeks, to a white couple who, by all accounts, gave him nothing but love and support on his journey to becoming an NFL quarterback making $19 million a year while riding the bench); and they are outraged at his distorted view of America.