Freedom of speech is an amazing liberty we have in the United States. Many countries in the rest of the world do not allow their citizens the opportunity to express the opinions our citizens do. We should protect this Constitutional right for the eternity of this magnificent country. It is one of the strengths of America.
This freedom gives each and every citizen of the United States a voice, and with that voice, we wield power. We should use this power with discernment and responsibility, however.
There is a lot of validity to the topic of unequal treatment of black Americans and other people of color n the United States. Regardless of what you think about the issue and its causes, this problem is backed up by hard statistics.
So despite San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick having more opportunity and privilege than the vast majority of Americans will ever experience, if he feels the need to attempt to bring attention to this cause, more power to him.
But if Kaepernick is trying to bring people together to address the situation, he picked a horrible way to do it.
By not standing for the National Anthem before an NFL football game, he and the others who have joined him specifically and directly offend many people he should hope to convince to take up his banner. Moreover, he deflects attention from his cause by putting a spotlight on himself and the controversy surrounding him through his very visible action.
Kaepernick is in a great situation to incite change. For some reason, society tends to want to listen to what celebrities and pro athletes have to say about society, though I’d question how the ability to throw a rocket pass down the football field gives a person the wisdom to advise us on governmental affairs.
But instead, he blew his opportunity.
Instead of using his platform on a national stage to focus us on a real problem in America, his action is ultimately dividing America further. Instead of sparking new ways of thinking, he has sparked outrage, with many people confused about why he is kneeling in the first place.
Martin Luther King Jr. focused on racism and the plight of black America in an enlightened, inspiring way. Even as a young white boy in the Midwest, when I learned about Martin Luther King Jr’s history in grade school, I was inspired that we should make every effort as individuals and as a country to treat everyone equally, regardless of the color of their skin. It was a seemingly obvious message, but one MLK presented so clearly to the world. MLK deserves the recognition given to him for his life’s pursuit.
No statue will be erected for Colin Kaepernick. If he wants to unify us… if he wants to see real equality among the many races and cultures in the United States, he needs to educate and inspire, not offend and divide.
– D. Thalmann