Santa Clara 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (yeah, I said it – THEY DON’T PLAY IN SAN FRANCISCO, FOLKS.) abstained from standing during the national anthem during a preseason game a few days ago. Typically, when the anthem is played or performed, as citizens of this country we rise to show respect for our land and those who have fought for it. However, Colin said he didn’t want to stand. His exact words were, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
As a Bay Area girl, I have never wanted a Niners jersey more than I do now.
And many will say, “This is disrespectful.”
“We must respect the flag.”
“People died for this country.”
“Colin is a disgrace.”
All of that is fine. It’s blatant that a piece of cloth is more important to some people than the dead bodies of people who have been innocently killed by the very force that is tasked with protecting our country. A song, written about the glory of our nation’s spirit, is given more respect than a race of people by most who walk the soil of this great land.
Before you crucify me for being a bad American, let me assure you, I AM A TRUE AMERICAN.
This is my country too. And because of that fact, I demand that me and people like me be treated with respect and dignity. Liberty and justice for all…not just those with money. Not just those with light skin. Not just those in uniform. NOT just those with the guns.
My country has failed me. It has failed Colin. It failed Tamir Rice. It failed Sandra Bland. It failed Trayvon…
And until my country gets it right, I also cannot stand up and pledge allegiance to the very flag my grandfather, uncles, and friends fought for. Do not point your fingers of accusatory disrespect at me when there are plenty of other people who have disrespected the legacy of our country with ignorant, bigoted actions. As long as George Zimmerman is allowed to walk free and brag about slaying an unarmed teenager, Colin Kaepernick, and anyone else who feels moved, is allowed to express themselves how they want to over our national anthem and flag.