The Right Time to Protest

The Right Time to Protest

A Story by CEOCaples

Although protest seem to make people uncomfortable, I feel it's the intent to. But for does who object to protect, tell me, is there a right time to protest.


Lately, peaceful protest have America up in a frenzy; many so called patriots are up in arms making the past actions of Colin Kaepernick more about the flag, the national anthem, and the distaste towards military personnel. As a result, he and his sympathizers have been labeled and mislabeled with disgusting derogatory terms. This uproar began when Kaepernick decided to kneel rather than stand during the playing of the national anthem. Although the narrative has changed by so called patriots, he did so to protest injustices against Black folks. Despite the backlash, Kaepernick said, [I am] going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me, this is something that has to change, and when there’s significant change " and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, and this country is representing people the way it’s supposed to " I’ll stand. From that point on, Kaepernick has been accused of being a traitor, disruptive, a self-glorifying narcissist, and a hateful human being who disrespects the military. Clearly, it is still difficult to talk about race in an informed and intelligent fashion. Its also clear that conservative forces are arrayed against athletes, making it difficult for an athlete of color to forge ties to his people and to speak out about issues that affect a significant portion of his fan-base. Kaepernick has been heavily criticized for his lack of patriotism. This accusation is nothing new. Black folks have been viewed suspiciously throughout American history because of their willingness to be critical of the nation even as they love and embrace it. How many of you who claim that Kaepernick is unpatriotic realize that many Black men wore an American uniform and fought overseas, only to return home to be rejected and denied the same rights for which they fought? How many of you realize the black soldiers who had fought valiantly for American liberties sometimes returned home to die hanging from a lynching tree because racist Whites resented them for wearing a uniform or hoisting the same American flag? Maybe I’m confused, but as I recall, Blacks have fought in every war for this country just as whites. In-addition-to wars, what have Blacks fought for in this country that Whites haven’t? Oh I get it, maybe its patriotism, is that’s what causing such an uproar- such a weak argument. In hindsight, I know that Black folks throughout American history have displayed their patriotism and at times criticized the nation for its shortcomings. And they, in turn, have been roundly criticized as well. The great abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who fled from slavery, offered a famous oration on the meaning of Independence Day, asking, What to the American slave is your Fourth of July? I answer a day that reveals to him, more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. The great Black poet Langston Hughes grieved in verse, There’s never been quality for me, nor, freedom in this homeland of the free. When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., said that America is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today, and opposed the Vietnam War, he was branded a traitor who, according to Black journalist Carl Rowan, had created the impression that the Negro is disloyal. Muhammad Ali was stripped of his title and run out of the ring for his conscientious objection to the Vietnam War. People, none of these black figures hated the nation, and once again, so many so called patriots are missing the point. So today, lets turn the other cheek; since America itself was founded out of protest will you criticize your founding fathers? Since, the Confederate soldiers fought against what the flag represented, do you consider them unpatriotic? Keep in mind, the men who fought under the Confederate flag renounced their citizenship in the United States; they were enemies of the United States. Those soldiers of the Confederate Army declared war upon the United States and the men and women they killed, were both civilian and military people of the United States. Therefore, in my opinion, Kaepernick is the best kind of American there is: one willing to criticize his country precisely because he loves it so much. Kaepernick believes so deeply in this country that he was willing to offer correction rather than abandon the nation- and to donate a million dollars in support of racial justice causes. Therefore, we must see Kaepernick’s criticism as love " the tough love that America needs even though social protest remains a vital, valid gesture.

© 2017 CEOCaples

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Added on December 24, 2017
Last Updated on December 24, 2017
Tags: Protest, rights, America, freedom



Gautier, MS

High School Educator-History “The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special an.. more..