Kaepernick and September 11th

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Colin Kaepernick has created a lot of controversy, because he has not stood at attention during the National Anthem. He is protesting the treatment of Blacks in this country, and police brutality. Unfortunately, his message has been lost, because everyone is upset that he dare protest during the National Anthem. It is worse now, because he may continue his protest during the national remembrance of September 11th. I think he should.

First, here are my credentials: I am from New York, and was on Long Island when the towers fell. I was supposed to go into the city that day, and I had friends on the subway. This wasn’t some event that happened across the country for me, it was my life. I had house guests – people who couldn’t get back to their houses so they stayed with us for a while. This was something that was very real in my world. And I believe that it is an event that has been used as justification for some very bad decisions, such as the PATRIOT Act, but that’s a discussion for another day.

I have heard people announce that there is no reason to continue the protest. His point has been made. One sports talk host announced on the radio that Kaepernick has gotten them to talk about the issue, so it’s okay now. Well that’s a load of crap. This issue hasn’t been resolved. Talking about it, that’s just the first step, and some of us have been talking about it for a while. But just talking about police brutality isn’t enough. Actually working to come up with solutions, and actually working to stop the killing of young black men is the goal. 

Of course, as others have said, this Sunday is different and you can’t protest this Sunday. People died on September 11th. That was Michael Kay. So protests are not allowed? Well, people are dying now, and that’s the problem. People are being shot and choked to death. But those deaths are getting pushed to the side.

This is a complex issue, I won’t deny that. But the protest of Colin Kaepernick highlights a problem in society, and it is getting people talking. To stop because it makes people uncomfortable, well, that’s the point of the protest – to make you uncomfortable. Because I am willing to wager that he isn’t comfortable either. But he is standing, or kneeling, for something that he believes in. And this Sunday, more than ever, it is important that people talk about this issue.

People died on September 11th, and they are dying today. We can fix that, so let’s make a difference

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