Since the first game that Colin Kaepernick decided to protest, as a country we have failed to have an honest conversation on why and what reason did Kaepernick take this position on a national platform like the NFL.
When first asked Colin Kaepernick explained very eloquently on why he refused to stand.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Network’s, Steve Wyche. “To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Black men are nearly three times as likely to be killed by legal intervention than white men, according to
the study, that was published in the American Journal of Public Health.
The report, entitled “Operation Ghetto Storm,” by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, an antiracist grassroots activist organization published a similar study showing that a black person is killed by security forces every 36 hours.
So, what does this have to do with the American Flag and the National Anthem? The constant killings of black men by the hands of law Enforcement have become more American than Apple pie.
Colin Kaepernick was right on time with his protest to bring light and awareness to what the American Journal of Public Health sees as a national health epidemic.
While campaigning for Alabama senatorial candidate President #45 urged his friends in NFL ownership to march onto the field and fire players who kneel during the playing of the national anthem. President #45 asserted that NFL owners should when faced with a player kneeling during the national anthem, “get that son of a bitch off the field.”
Unfortunately, for America and the world. President #45 statement, which followed by applause. This should give any right-thinking minded person a glimpse of the Presidents ignorance and the political base that supports him. Kaepernick who is off the field permanently due to his silent protest of police brutality and any other athlete that supports a stand for justice to an be a “son of a bitch”. Many Whites are dismissing our struggle in the frame of a false narrative.
Following the false narrative that taking a knee is disrespectful to flags and veterans, many police unions jumped on the narrative and dismissed the original reason for the protest; unjust killings of Black people.
Historically, police unions have opposed civilian-based police oversight initiatives and policies like Civilian Complaint Review Boards (CCRB) and body cameras. Out of Westchester’s 43 municipalities, there is not one active CCRB because elected officials are afraid to be labeled anti-police by the unions.
Recently, Lohud reported that Police Unions was asking NFL agencies to sit at the table. It’s my opinion that Police Union Presidents should first allow members of the black communities that they claim to serve, the same black community that pays taxes that pay their salaries and benefits. They should have the first opportunity to sit at the table before they think about sitting with NFL players or owners.
I do believe that it is time for honest and open conversation. The fact of the matter is; the dialogue is long overdue. I give credit and respect to Yonkers PBA President Olson for recently participating in a community forum hosted by WESTPAC. Other than Olson, there has been no real dialog from Police Unions Presidents and the Black community on issues of community police relations, police brutality, implicit bias, and oversight throughout the state of New York. Unfortunately, even Black Law Enforcement Union Presidents have been AWOL on honest discussions of criminal justice issues with their own birth communities.
History has shown that Black People, the decedents of a slave can NEVER be unpatriotic to the flag. Black people had tried to prove their loyalty since the Emancipation Proclamation and stayed loyal like an old hound dog even when the flag wasn’t loyal to them. Black people’s sweat and tears built the White House and the US Capitol Building all for free! Decades later, the descendants peacefully protest and are called unpatriotic. This is the mind of White Supremacy dismissing our unbound loyalty to a country that will never really truly recognize us as Americans.
When Blacks protest peacefully in the Civil Rights Movement and were attacked by dogs and water hosed; that flag was there. In the Black Power era when Blacks was hunted and killed because they wanted Freedom Justice and Equality; the flag was there. When Blacks protest against Extrajudicial Killings of Black People and police use military equipment used against them; the flag was there. When Black families found no justice in local, county state or federal court; the flag is still there!
So, don’t tell us we are disrespectful to flag when the flag has watched our atrocities and said nothing, done nothing and has not lived up to the tenets of justice of its constitution that it represents. All along Black people have stood to a National Anthem that wishes death to our ancestors and was authored by Francis Scott Key who was a slave owner and racist.
America would never ask any other ethnic group to stand to a song of their oppressors. Would they chastise the descendants of the Holocaust if they didn’t stand for a song that was pro-Nazi? If not, why do they feel they have the right to chastise the descendants of African Slaves? Because there is no real respect for the descendants of the African Slave. We live in the illusion of inclusion of American Hypocrisy. When a President can freely call Black Athletes who peacefully protest “Sons of Bitches” but make excuses for the white racist that violently protest should shock the conscious of America!
The Kaepernick issue has peeled back the onion on American civility that will refuse to accept, recognize and accept their role in the history of the continuous suffering of black people. Our plight to address these problems is not anti-American, anti-veteran or anti-flag; it’s our right! It is our history! Better yet, it’s American history, and we will not forget it!
Damon has been a guest commentator on New York radio stations WBLS (107.5 FM), WLIB (1190 am) WRKS (98.7 FM), WBAI (99.5 FM) and Westchester's WVOX (1460 am). Mr. Jones has appeared on local television broadcasts including Westchester News 12 “News Makers” and Public Television “Winbrook Pride. You can now hear Damon every Wednesday at 830 AM on WFAS 1230 AM, Morning with Bob Marone Show