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Why Kaepernick, and why now?

05 Oct

30fb8cd400000578-3432666-image-m-248_1454906064915-e1454916991939By Steve Ulrich –

Beyonce gets political at the Super Bowl: Singer performs ‘Black Lives Matter rallying cry’ – as her dancers dress as Black Panthers.

White ‘Black Lives Matter’ Protesters Walk Free After Shutting London Airport

As the protesters received a pep talk and light suspended sentences from the judge, one of the white women protesting reportedly said, “Go, white privilege.”

Donald Trump wants to curb immigration, and build a wall, but speaks for unity after the shootings in Dallas.  “Racial tensions have gotten worse, not better.  This isn’t the American Dream we all want for our children.”

Colin Kaepernick sits on a bench, sporting a new afro, and the 27nba-facebookjumboworld wants to know why.

Kaepernick’s Twitter feed is filled with civil rights messages. His name is now being tossed in with the likes of Jesse Owens, Muhamad Ali, and MLK.  He is certainly not afraid to take the feedback (including death threats) for how he is trying to further the conversation

Phoenix Mercury's Kelsey Bone, right, and Mistie Bass, second from right, kneel during the playing of the national anthem before the start of a first round WNBA playoff basketball game against the Indiana Fever, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) ORG XMIT: NAF101

Phoenix Mercury kneel during WNBA playoff basketball game

The general response from the athletic community is one of unity.  His friends on the Seahawks first sat, then joined arms in solidarity.  At the start of the NBA preseason, more teams than my research could count locked arms in solidarity.  Ladies NBA teams, girl soccer teams, raised fists in the stands.  This has started the movement – again.  I’m sure that it doesn’t hurt that it is an election year, either. 1473627154145

But why Colin?  He said that he has discussed his feelings with his family and, after months of witnessing some of the civil unrest in the U.S., decided to be more active and involved in rights for black people. Kaepernick, who is biracial, was adopted and raised by white parents and siblings.  I myself thought of him as a child of privilege.  Being adopted by a white family must have given him a leg up on the world – right? Good Gemans, with good white siblings, in a largely white town?  Think about it.  He checks into a hotel with his white family, and the receptionist asks “may I help you?” not knowing who he is with.

I had a friend who was the only black person at our small wedding.  He leaned over to me and asked “so I’m the only raisin in the oatmeal?”

At best it is uncomfortable, and being the only “raisin” in an all-white environment, I’m sure gave him some unique experiences.  Not that he was shouted down with the “N” word, although we don’t know that he wasn’t.

With all the injury time and Gabbert getting most of the snaps, he has had a lot of time to sit and contemplate what has gone on in his life, and what he stands for.  He has started the conversation again.  Let’s all work, hope, and pray, that it continues to move towards solidarity.  We have enough division as it is.

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