Welcome to THEJNSREPORT’S: America 2017: What’s Changed? What’s Changing?
If you ask this question to most people you come across I’d like to think they’d reply “Well a lot”. In my humble opinion not much has changed. This country’s history is a rich, flawed and abhorrent one from the past till now. Have there been many victories? Yes. Have there been many losses? Yes.
Victory: America elects first Black President of the United States
Loss: America follows by electing Donald Trump his successor.
Victory: Muhummad Ali refuses to be drafted for Vietnam & pays heavy price for his refusal yet ultimately becomes the social conscience blueprint of the modern day professional athlete thinking outside of sports & celebrity to impact others not just his own bottom line. He is immortalized in the minds, hearts, and memory of the historians because of the stance he took at the peak of his celebrity and prime of his professional fighting career. He served jail time and later returned after 3 years in prison to fight and reclaim his rightful title as Heavyweight Champ of the world which was stripped from him for his refusal to be drafted.
Loss: NFL chooses to blackball Colin Kaepernick for exercising his right to protest the killing of unarmed Black people in America at the hands of law enforcement. He chooses to simply kneel in protest of the flag that fails to live up to the simple tenets it’s supposed to represent in the constitution of the United States of America.
NFL owners and their PR spin teams headed by their very own versions of an “Olivia Pope” will say he’s not signed on with any team as a free agent due to poor performance on the field even though his career stats speak to the opposite of that assessment. We all know it’s because he chose to take a knee in protest is the real reason no team will sign him. It’s a loss for the NFL not so much for Kaepernick. Sure for now he’s out of a job in the NFL but that’s not the be all end all.
All the NFL has done is show that what Kaepernick’s stance is for has validity that literally threatens the status quo. If not, he’d be employed. The owners have told us all by his non hiring that his message, his protest, which is to bring light to something we’ve been harping about long before Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, and on and on. The fact that those who say they hate Kaepernick’s form of protest or that they revere cloth more than human life tells you who’s who. Who’s a true American patriot and who’s an “American” in name only, not principle.
They’d rather hide behind fake patriotism and straw man arguments than acknowledge that racism, bigotry, hatred, prejudice, and injustice reign supreme in America. That all of the aforementioned are engrained if not entrenched in the psyche and make up of the American fabric that history has born out. The guilt and the lack of accountability weighs heavy on the collective American conscience. If not there wouldn’t be so much avoidance to say what the reason for Kaepernick’s protest is for in the first place. He’s successfully created a discourse on American and world society at large but especially here in the “Greatest Nation on Earth”.
I once heard a sick freestyle from an amateur MC who said he’d spit on the American flag or any humanitarian fallacy claiming things they didn’t actually live up to. Kaepernick didn’t burn the flag, spit on it, curse it, or desecrate it, he simply said I’ll kneel until you live up to your credo and people address this ever present issue of the killing of black men, women, & children unarmed at the hands of the police. For that he’s been vilified and blackballed. It’s a worthy price to pay and I believe he knew that going in when he decided to first make his protest known.
No matter what happens going forward he’s forever an icon and town crier if not whistleblower, a modern day socially conscious activist pro athlete who thought beyond himself and his celebrity or wealth. Make the flag your argument if you want and ignore the principles behind what the flag is supposed to represent but do so at your own peril. If a house be hollow with sand for its foundation how will it stand even against the smallest of floods?