I thought I understood where Colin Kaepernick and other players were coming from. Black deaths by law enforcement were like a national epidemic. They could have thought, “I should use my prominence to address this national problem; Many words have been spoken, reported, and quietly ignored; I must do something dramatic enough to get real attention.” Disrupting the celebration of the national anthem before a game may not have been the best tactic, but it was a meaningful way to challenge our celebration of America when liberty, justice, and security are so unevenly distributed.
So, how did the story twist so that Kaepernick himself became the issue? As a recent sports page photo flung in our faces, a lot of people even think it is “cool” to hate him.
Can we back up a few steps, stop punishing the messenger and start hearing his message? The message is that we are fractured along lines of color, religion, and class, and innocent lives are being lost.
Thanks, Colin Kaepernick. Thanks, everyone who stands up, speaks out, and works to cure our national disease of shooting people for how they look.
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Darcy James, Boise