Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the national anthem sends a powerful message – to increase the volume and channel dissenting voices in the direction of a deaf (and dumb) nation.
As it happens, the “Star-Spangled Banner” (with third verse lyrics celebrating the death of the British and freed Black Americans), was written by Francis Scott Key, a slave owner who championed America’s attempted grab of Canada from the British in the War of 1812. Amazing isn’t it, how false flag events, then and now, turn into politically patriotic anthems? But I digress.
There’s no denying that continued sit-downs with a threat of revenue generating player boycotts hanging over the heads of “owners” and Television conglomerates would ensure and further the discussion of racial and ethnic inequity and injustice in the country. Along with the clarifying objectives of instituting Civilian Police Commissions with the power to subpoena and investigate police misconduct. And acceptance of a new reality, that of a changing demographic, demands of equal footing and opportunity for jobs, education, land, home, position, influence, and power.
As with all inspired and PEACEFUL revolutionary moments, it begins with an individual act, progresses to others joining in, and morphs into a movement that challenges the privileged, moneyed and powerful interests in society. An outing (cleansing) occurs. People choose sides, battle lines drawn. Naysayers scrutinized, hypocrites are exposed, the collaborators held to account; and as always bank accounts weigh heavy on both the oppressor and the oppressed. And with any luck, maybe, just maybe, a civil rights past, long abandoned by the co-opted, becomes prologue.
So I ask you, who has the power? A corporate, nationally militarized police force or professional athletes?
On the surface, it seems clear. If the battle were to be played out in the streets, weapons and body armor would beat down helmet, shoulder pads, and protective cups. But this is a clash of human rights, accountability, and justice. And it just so happens that the terms of engagement are on athletic turf, and by and large, by athletes with guaranteed contracts. Advantage: athletes.
It’s undeniable that one force, the police, has State, and Federal sanctioned power to murder with impunity. The other force, the athletes (if they so choose) has the nationally sanctioned power to “sit at the front of the bus (bench).” Anthem, notwithstanding. Two forces. One cognizant of its muscled impunity and the benefits derived from it. The other, a sleeping giant, awakening to its weight and sway. Pulitzer Prize author Alice Walker righteously opined, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”
To contextualize this further, let’s not forget that Sport, especially professional football, is but a socially engineered mechanism to mollify and defuse the alienated energy of the disgruntled masses. It’s a ploy to divert peoples’ attention from everyday survival. It’s a contrivance to fragment, vent and deter revolt – and is critical to maintaining ruling authority, power, and control. The Romans, with their gladiator spectacles, knew this. So too, does America’s ruling class.
I’m suggesting that athletes have the power to unleash mass awareness and discontent PEACEFULLY; to hold the police and the country to account DAILY. They have a platform from which to demand justice from willfully ignorant captive audiences day after day, week after week, season after season – and the media, has no other option but to report and cover it. In this extraordinarily unexpected window of opportunity, athletes could provide the voice America’s elite don’t care or dare extend to the disenfranchised among us – at the risk of amplifying the criminal, sanctioned police murder of American Blacks and people-of-color.
Apparently, Colin Kaepernick had an epiphany. I don’t care why, where and when it hit him. His smoldering act of rebellion unleashed a firestorm. And here’s hoping that the fuse he lit crisscrosses the country, to colosseums big and small, and into the mindset and consciousness of his athletic brethren.
As a person-of-color, a veteran, and as an American, I stand, and salute you, Colin.
Rebellion and freedom from oppression – are what the oligarchy fears the most.