Ok, White People: About Kaepernick…

Boy, I  get riled up talking about Colin Kaepernick and I remember why I wanted to go to law school. My Aunt Glenna got me lit up just mentioning it. (Thanks, Aunt! As well as for the coffee.)

There’s two things you have to understand:

1. Freedom of speech cannot have limitations.

2. Freedom of speech does not mean you can make hateful comments about gay people and not lose any television contracts — it only applies to
the government.

It means you’re not going to be hung in town square or stoned to death for speaking out against the President, the nation,  or even the government. Which means that one absolutely has the right to protest the symbol of that government, which is a flag.

So, white people,  stop saying Colin Kaepernick needs to get out, find another country,  and, most importantly, stop he needs to stand up. 

What you need to say is: “I hate what Colin Kaepernick is doing.”

Or even, “His display disgusts me.”

At the same time, you have to acknowledge that he absolutely has the right. Otherwise, we might as well be North Korea where disrespecting Kim Jong-un and his government gets you 25 years hard labor.

And above all else, if you still think that soldiers died for a flag or a song, you fail to understand their sacrifice. They gave their life for the freedom of expression that goes along with the First Amendment, and soldiers gave their life and swore under oath to uphold and defend the Constitution — which grants said freedom of expression. The Supreme Court has ruled that burning a flag is actually protected under the First Amendment, if one — for whatever reason — wanted to do such.

It’s okay to not like what Kaepernick is doing — people didn’t like that Muhammad Ali refused military service either, but we now praise him — but what’s not okay is to tell Kap he  should “get out of this country” or cease his display.

I would never not salute the flag, but I damn sure don’t want to live in a nation that dictates it. It also amazes me that we’ve had white people disrespecting our president for years — loudly, and on television, and (most aggravating) from a position of power — and they don’t think they need to stop, but a black man disrespects the flag in protest and he needs to get the hell out.

And the nation loses its collective damn mind.

Freedom of speech doesn’t just go one way, white Conservative people.

Maybe — and here’s a radical idea — enraged white folks should care more about the injustices befallen on people of color like Tamir Rice, John Crawford, and Anthony Hill than they do a display of protest,  and then Kaepernick wouldn’t have a reason to need your attention in the first place.

Would he?

Just a thought.

* sigh *

(This is exactly why I quit reading Facebook News Feed years ago. Some white people give me heartburn.)


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