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Cynique

STARS AND GRIPES

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 OK, Troy, here's your lunch!. Social media is all "a-twitter" over the latest flavor of the week, an uproar stemming from NFL bi-racial quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s choosing to sulk on the bench instead of standing up during the traditional flag raising ceremony that accompanied a rendition of the national anthem at a preseason football game last week  The explanation he gave to avid reporters crowding the San Francisco 49er's locker room after the incident, was something to the effect that America is  mistreating  its citizens of color and this is his way of protesting injustice. Kaepernick is the offspring of a single white mother and an absentee black father and was given up for adoption to a white couple whose surname he took. So the "brother" obviously has issues

Anyway, reaction was immediate.  Patriotic white fans are burning their jerseys in outrage and posting the videos of them doing this on line.  Football purists are reprimanding Kaepernick for committing the cardinal sin of not making his team the priority by creating a distraction that could interfere with winning games! Players all over the league are straddling the fence, but  everybody has an opinion. Pro and con arguments abound, ranging from how people died defending the flag Kaepernick dishonored, to how he is exercising the freedom the flag symbolizes by speaking up for what's right. Many feel he should protest on his own time! As usual, the racial lines are being  drawn.  

Having never been a flag-waving, American cheerleader, myself,  I side with Colin even after I learned more about his back story. Kaepernick has recently converted to the islamic faith of his girlfriend, leading me to believe that this is what influenced his angry gesture. I have little use for organized religion, in general, and the Muslim one in particular which I regard as stealthy,  dogmatic, and misogynistic. Personally, I'd have no objection if this bearded, disgruntled, pigskin passer who looks like a candidate for an Isis bomb thrower, would just fold up his tent, and fly away on a magic carpet with his Arabian sweetie-pie.  I know I'm being prejudiced and irrational, but I don't care. Why should white people have all the fun?

So far, Colin Kaepernick has not been officially penalized or banned from remaining seated during the national anthem, a gesture he intends to continue doing, but undoubtedly subtle repercussions will begin to kick in.  Americans are such sports nuts, and athletes so idolized that who'd have thought these jocks would start risking their futures by taking to the arena of protest to speak out against racism?  I concede that those doing so are worthy of praise, and more power to them. The 2 black Olympic track stars who raised their fists in a black power salute during the medal ceremony back in 1968 must be proud of them.       

 

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John_Carlos-Tommie_Smith-1968.jpgI did hear about this story all over talk radio, which I listen to a lot when I drive.  Both left and right wing stations were ablaze with this "controversy,"  which you've summed up quite nicely.  

This story is utterly and completely uninteresting to me.  Sadly for me it was virtually impossible to avoid. Though I don't mind talking to you about it ;)

I would not elevate Kaepernick to the level of Tommie Smith and John Carlos.  What those Brothers did took actual heart, as well a tremendous athletic ability to put them in the once in a life time situation.

But it gives the media something to talk about, meanwhile it is hitting the fan in the middle east as the U.S. and Russia back opposing factions.  The U.S. really helped make a mess of things in the middle east, but like little children we are easily distracted by talking about Kaepernick's inconsequential gesture--get back to me when he does something substantive.

Now a story that really interests me is the one which suggest the potential for the possibility of the discovery of a hugely advanced alien civilization based upon a signal received!  I heard the tail end of a news story about the subject and I could not believe my ears.  I have not had a chance to lookup additional coverage yet-but what a story!

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Th U.S. is one big cesspool of contradictions, a fascistic democracy comparable to a crazy quilt made up of different ethnicities and opposing political persuasions.   If aliens from another galaxy began to observe Earth, they'd probably be fascinated by the indications of what lies ahead for America. :o

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Unlike many if not most "conscious" Black people in the United States, I consider myself an American.
Many claim we are not real Americans because of how we are treated or say that we are just Africans IN America and love to use the analogy Malcolm X made about kittens in an oven.

I disagree and say we are just as American if not MORE American than even the average White American because our roots go back much deeper in this nation.
Not only are we American constitutionally speaking.....but by virtue of being born on this land, having dozens of generations of ancestry in this land, and most of us having some Native American ancestry.


I don't think it was a good move for Kaepernick
to protest the American flag because not only does it NOT solve the racial problems in America, it actually exacerbates them and angers a lot of non-White and non-Black people around the world as well as inside of the U.S. who see him as ungrateful for the opportunities this nation has given him. Many of these people know that if he would do that in THEIR country he would be imprisoned or even worse.

I totally understand where he's coming from and I respect his right to do what he did, but you have to really sit down and think about what you're doing, why you're doing it, and most importantly what results you're trying to achieve.
If he intended to piss off a lot of White people....he achieved that.
But if he intended to bring attention to the race problem in America.....that wasn't necessary because everyone KNOWS there is a race problem in America.
If his intention was to help Black people in some way.....how?

Again, not beating up on the brother for what he did because he didn't hurt anyone and he exercised his right.....but how does THIS help in any way?
Black people have always known there was a race problem in America so doing this isn't making them more aware than they already are.

As far as his Egyptian girlfriend goes.........
I'm looking at her and looking at him.
He may be mixed but he certainly doesn't look Black, he looks like an Arab.
I'm willing to be that she doesn't even see him as a Black man so she probably is dating him because he looks like the Arab Egyptian men she's used to being around.
Racism exists in Egypt as intensley as it does in the United States between the native Black Egyptians (Nubians) and the Arabs, Persians, and other Caucasians who invaded that land centuries ago.  I wonder does SHE protest her own nation's race problem the way Kaepernick protests his own.....or does she do like most Arabs and deny the anti-Black racism that exists in the Middle East?

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https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/heres-how-nate-boyer-got-colin-kaepernick-to-go-from-sitting-to-kneeling/


Although this feels like an update - here's a new part to the story circulating on social media

 

"For all those who care enough to understand:

Did you know this?

Aug 14, 2016- Colin Kaepernick sits for the national anthem.....and no one noticed.

Aug 20th, 2016- Colin again sits, and again, no one noticed.

Aug 26th, 2016- Colin sits and this time he is met with a level of vitriol unseen against an athlete. Even the future President of the United States took shots at him while on the campaign trail. Colin went on to explain his protest had NOTHING to with the military, but he felt it hard to stand for a flag that didn't treat people of color fairly.

Then on on Aug 30th, 2016 Nate Boyer, a former Army Green Beret turned NFL long snapper, penned an open letter to Colin in the Army Times. In it he expressed how Colin's sitting affected him.

Then a strange thing happened. Colin was able to do what most Americans to date have not...

He listened.

In his letter Mr. Boyer writes:

"I’m not judging you for standing up for what you believe in. It’s your inalienable right. What you are doing takes a lot of courage, and I’d be lying if I said I knew what it was like to walk around in your shoes. I’ve never had to deal with prejudice because of the color of my skin, and for me to say I can relate to what you’ve gone through is as ignorant as someone who’s never been in a combat zone telling me they understand what it’s like to go to war.

Even though my initial reaction to your protest was one of anger, I’m trying to listen to what you’re saying and why you’re doing it."

Mr. Boyer goes on to write "There are already plenty people fighting fire with fire, and it’s just not helping anyone or anything. So I’m just going to keep listening, with an open mind. I look forward to the day you're inspired to once again stand during our national anthem. I'll be standing right there next to you."

Empathy and understanding was shown by Mr. Boyer.........and Mr. Kaepernick reciprocated. Colin invited Nate to San Diego where the two had a 90 minute discussion and Nate proposed Colin kneel instead of sit.

But why kneel? In a military funeral, after the flag is taken off the casket of the fallen military member, it is smartly folded 13 times and then presented to the parents, spouse or child of the fallen member by a fellow service member while KNEELING.

The two decided that kneeling for the flag would symbolize his reverence for those that paid the ultimate sacrifice while still allowing Colin to peacefully protest the injustices he saw.

Empathy, not zealotry under the guise of patriotism, is the only way meaningful discussion can be had. Mr. Kaepernick listened to all of you that say he disrespects the military and extended an olive branch to find a peace.

When will America listen to him?"

 
 
 
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Man, it's hard to believe it's been a year since this thing with Colin started!

My, my, my........




Mel

You know what?

You have just alerted me to someting that has helped me make sense of all of this silliness and CONFUSION.

I've been saying since the entire thing started that Colin's behavior actually causes more CONFUSION and PROBLEMS than it actually solves.

First of all it does basically nothing to solve the problem or racism and police brutality.

Second, all he's doing is pissing off patriotic White people by not respecting the flag....many of whom may not have been ordinarily racist but have TURNED racist because of his behavior.

Third, KNEELING before the flag actually shows more respect for it than STANDING.
So if he wants to protest, why the hell would TAKING A KNEE be the way to go?????



But after reading your post and doing a little research, I now realize what happened.

A WHITE MAN got to his ear and convinced him to do the very OPPOSITE of what he was trying to do.
A WHITE MAN actually fooled him into:
1) showing MORE respect for the flag than he originally intened to show by kneeling for it
2) Pissing off as many White people as he could, which would mean losing potential allies.

He was essentially tricked and this confusion and mixed message has trickled all through out the NFL.

This is why I think a Black power fist or simply sitting would have been a more effective protest.

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Yes he gesture was indeed naused and Colin's intent was honorable.  Real Sports is a smart program and appears to have given Colin's efforts a fair treatment--unlike social media.

 

But again the tools of the oppressor will never lead to our liberation.  Colin served at the whim of the NFL owners.  Having been summarily dismissed his protests has been rendered mute and his  original "protest" has morphed into support for the flag.  That is until the next shiny object is waved before the media and attention shifts somewhere else.

 

Meanwhile, Black sports fans will continue to watch the game, white fans will continue to fill the arenas expensive seats and buy shitty over priced food. College teams will continue to exploit "student' athletes serving as the NFL's minor league.  And those athletes lucky enough to make it can risk brain damage for a 3 year in the NFL.

 

What was Colin protesting again?

 

 

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