Recently converted Muslim and San Francisco 49ers QB, Colin Kaepernick is refusing to stand for the American national anthem because...America is wildly racist.
America has of course, responded to his allegations with...wild racism.
This can only happen in a culture where the myths of their founding and their symbols are far nobler than their reality. It's also a place where lukewarm "colour blindness" and "tolerance" are practiced over LOVE and ACCEPTANCE.
Kaepernick's doing the same thing Muhammad Ali did when he refused to go to Vietnam and for the SAME reasons. If you mourned Ali, you should stand with Colin.
The Star Spangled Banner was one of my favourite songs. Until I learned about it's horrifyingly racist 3rd verse that no one sings, because it gloats over the deaths of freed enslaved Africans that joined the British Colonial Marines to fight against Americans that wanted to keep them enslaved.
"And where is that band who so vauntingly swore, That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion A home and a Country should leave us no more? Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave, And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave."
The man who wrote the Star Spangled Banner (Francis Scott Key) owned slaves and he got his ass kicked by the British Colonial Marines...then wrote that verse, wishing for their deaths out of spite.
Because how dare they fight for their freedom in the "land of the free".
Coincidentally there's another petty, racist asshole wrapping himself in the flag and leading millions of Americans.
Now, in the midst of all this historical and present day context, Colin Kaepernick refuses to stand because of the SYSTEMIC injustice that has seen more Black people killed in 2015 by police (who are never punished) than were lynched in the worst years of Jim Crow and sees more Black people "under correctional control" than were held in chains at the height of enslavement.
And America is predictably reacting with...racism and indignation.
Who's wrong here? An athlete who's woke? Or a culture that's asleep to the worst parts of itself? So asleep, that it keeps repeating it's sins over and over again?
The fact of the matter is, Colin Kaepernick is right...and has the right to NOT stand for this national anthem.
The fact of the matter is, if America weren't so in love with the convenient cultural myths of who they once were, they would see themselves for who they are and we'd be having a different discussion
The fact of the matter is, convenient cultural amensia is one of the biggest sins in our society today and Kaepernick's a saint for exposing it.