I have been seeing a ton of really ignorant stuff going around about Colin Kaepernick not standing for the national anthem. Really stupid memes and comments that make me embarrassed to call myself a human being, let alone an American. I want to put it into perspective for some people that are obviously missing the point badly.
Argument: Colin has no respect for the flag, the anthem, America or the troops.
This is an argument about racism and inequality in America. If you think he is wrong, and America is perfect and has no racial problems, that is an argument you can attempt to make. But don’t pretend this is about respecting the national anthem. That is a pathetic and transparent deflection, and if you don’t know that, you are dumber than you sound.
People “disrespect” American symbols when they don’t feel like America is representing its own promises like “freedom and justice for all” and “pursuit of happiness.” It is the duty of every American to defend the ideology that made America great, not the symbols. From this perspective Colin is a bigger patriot than anyone jumping in to defend the Anthem. He is defending freedom and justice. You are defending a song.
Argument: Colin is rich/privileged/successful, therefore his argument about oppression is invalid.
His protest was never about his personal oppression. Obviously he knows he has it pretty good. However, allegedly, he can no longer simply stand by and enjoy his privilege, wealth and success while others that he feels solidarity with are oppressed. This is a classic “attack on the person” fallacy and has nothing to do with the point he is trying to make. If you don’t think black people are oppressed, then you can make that argument. But “accusing” Colin of being rich doesn’t refute his point.
Argument: If Colin hates his country so much why wont he leave
There are so many things wrong with this… Firstly, protesting something, or standing up for a cause doesn’t mean anyone hates the country. You can certainly love the country and what it stands for, but still protest something, for example police MURDERING people without cause, or states passing laws about who can get married. Everyone loves “freedom and justice for all” the problem is that isn’t happening for all. Once again, if you think it is, you can make that argument. But telling Colin to “get out” is not that.
Secondly, what if every person who wanted to make America better simply left when they realized they didn’t like something?
Thirdly, even though Colin could leave, he isn’t fighting for himself. He is standing up for people who are not millionaires and cannot just leave if they don’t like it. They are stuck here.
Finally, even if America was the absolute, hands down, best country on Earth. Even if you think it is. That doesn’t mean it cannot get better and the status quo is good enough. Was America the best country ever when it had slavery? Was it the best country ever when women couldn’t vote? IT COULD HAVE BEEN! But I would say it got even better when we fixed problems, and it can and should keep getting better.
Argument: Colin has not been oppressed
So what? I have never been oppressed either, yet I somehow have the NERVE to advocate for racial equality, and so should you. Unless of course you are a racist.
I am sure there are more but who has the time to fend off all the stupidity in the world? Probably people that get paid for it.