Different Colors in America

MIKAYLA AARONS

Collin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers refuses to stand for the pledge in protest of the racism and police brutality African Americans face in the United States of America on a regular basis. Kaepernick doesn’t want to show patriotism for a country that “oppresses black people and people of color.” The 49ers released a statement saying that its Kaepernick’s right to not stand for the pledge.

America is different if you are a person of color.  Actions are looked at differently. Gabby Douglas is a perfect example. As a member of the United States women’s national gymnastics team, Douglas has won the United States 7 gold medals and one silver.Douglas is the first African American to
be the individual all-around champion. At the 2016 olympic medal ceremony, it was noticed that Douglas didn’t place her hand over her heart during the national anthem.

This stirred up controversy and many took to twitter to attack and ridicule her.  Douglas tried to diffuse the  situation by stating she meant no disrespect and apologized if she offended anyone.

Kaepernick however has been receiving backlash from Donald Trump, Fans, members of the military, and other athletes. Many of the 49er fans have recorded themselves burning Kaepernick jerseys.Donald Trump was asked how he felt about the situation and he believes Kaepernick should “find a country that works better for him” So what Trump is trying to say is instead of bringing attention to wrongdoings of African Americans, Kaepernick should find another country

Other athletes believed he could’ve found a better way  to protest than sitting out the anthem. Alex Boone , Kaepernick’s former teammate ripped him apart. Although some athletes disagree with Kaepernick other athletes have decided to stand with him. Linebacker Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos also took a knee and made it clear he wasn’t against the military or America but he was against social injustice. Obama on the other hand defends Kaepernick and he’s glad that someone is speaking up.

Although Kaepernick’s peaceful protest upset many military personnel, the hashtag #veteransforkaepernick appeared. The hashtag consists of military personnel supporting Kaepernick and his decision.          

Tweets like this with the #VeteransforKaepernick support the quarterback and his methods

Tweets like this with the #VeteransforKaepernick support the quarterback and his methods

I believe Kaepernick’s stance against police brutality and mistreatment of black people in the United States was the right thing to do, I don’t believe you should stand for a song that degrades your people. Francis Scott Key was the composer of the National Anthem and he was also a slave owner and an advocate for slavery. When Francis Scott Key wrote the National Anthem he wasn’t thinking about the slaves at all he was thinking about the white free men. Below is the 3rd verse of the National Anthem that is often forgotten:

“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“.

Should people really stand for these words? Times are different now, when the National Anthem was writen there wasn’t “freedom” going around for everyone. So standing for a song that was written pertaining to a different time period – and a different sense of freedom – doesn’t seem just.

Kaepernick has made us question who we are as a country and if we’re willing to take the initiative in making the United States not as biased toward black people. America is a great country and has evolved tremendously, however no country is perfect, which means there is always room for improvement.