Colin Kaepernick Detractors Cite His Privelege, Ignore The Point Of His Black Lives Matter Protest

Colin Kaepernick Detractors Cite His Privilege, Ignore The Point Of His Black Lives Matter Protest

Colin Kaepernick recently took a stand for the Black Lives Matter cause by refusing to stand for the national anthem. Now, fans and foes are divided on their opinion of the NFL quarterback. Some of Kaepernick’s detractors have gone so far as to take aim at him because they believe the San Francisco 49ers quarterback shouldn’t speak out about inequality considering that he’s a multimillionaire who enjoys the many perks of being rich and famous. Does his luxurious life mean Kaepernick can’t protest police brutality against black Americans in whatever way he chooses?

Sarah Palin recently spoke out against Colin Kaepernick for his refusal to stand during the national anthem. For those who may have missed it, at the last San Francisco 49ers preseason game, the quarterback opted to sit on the bench during the song, and it really made a lot of people angry. Palin’s argument against Kaepernick is basically that he has no right to protest Black Lives Matter or police brutality because he personally is not oppressed.

Palin went so far as to call for violence on Kaepernick for speaking up for a cause that he feels strongly about. Oh, the irony in calling for violence against someone who wants to stop the violence. Mediaite reported on the former Alaska governor’s recent tweets about Kaepernick.

The former vice presidential hopeful took to Twitter and wrote, “America – let’s sack this ungrateful punk. Kaepernick – yeah, you’re really ‘down with the oppressed’ in this…”

Palin called Kaepernick out for daring to stand up for something that he believes in. Apparently, she believes that his $114 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers means that he can’t know what it feels like to be discriminated against or to feel marginalized because of his race.

Sarah Palin even managed to defend her remarks by calling on every military veteran she knows when she told Colin Kaepernick to “get the hell out.” That, in itself, is interesting because many military vets have spoken up in defense of Kaepernick and his right to sit or stand or protest in whatever way that he pleases. The whole point of fighting for freedom in the United States is so that Americans can do as they please, whether it offends the likes of Sarah Palin or not.

Is that where we are in the United States now? If someone doesn’t like the way their fellow citizens are being treated and they decided to stand up against something that is very, very wrong, then they are told to get out? What gives one American citizen the right to tell another that if they don’t like the way things are done here that they should leave? They they are no longer welcome?

Never mind that the United States was built on protest. If we hadn’t taken a stand for right and wrong, this country would still be controlled by the British. Or better yet, we would still be clinging to slavery, telling women they cannot vote, and the civil rights movement would never have happened. Protest is essential in order to change the status quo, and in order for it to work, it has to be uncomfortable and it has to get everyone’s attention.

Some have criticized Colin Kaepernick for the way he chose to protest even though it is his right to refuse to stand for the national anthem, which he clearly has an issue with at this moment. There have been suggestions that Kaepernick should have written a letter to his state politicians. Would that have done any good, though? Would it have received any attention and would they have even bothered to respond?

Sarah Palin wasn’t the only person to speak against Colin Kaepernick. That is their right, just as his was to sit down during the national anthem and use his celebrity to bring Black Lives Matter back into focus and work toward changing the huge issues that the United States faces right now with the way people of color, black men especially, are handled by law enforcement.

Everyone seems to think there is a better way to support Black Lives Matter. Those who stand up for what they believe in are condemned for organizing rallies, they are condemned for sitting through national anthems, and when they take to social media to talk about their outrage over the disparate treatment of minorities in America, they are criticized for that too.

The reaction of Sarah Palin and many others to Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem is no different from the reaction that protestors faced during the civil rights era. It is no different than those who opposed allowing women to vote or the abolition of slavery.

For those who have criticized Kaepernick’s right to protest or who have voiced their opinion that he should protest in a different, less obvious way should really take a moment to consider why they feel the way that they do. Is this really the land of the free for everyone and not just white males? Does it really matter if Kaepernick has a $114 million contract and lives in a mansion? Must the only ones standing up for Black Lives Matter be those who can’t afford to make a huge statement or only those who have been personally affected by it? True change won’t happen until many stand up from all walks of life and demand true equality for everyone and start to hold others accountable for the way they treat minorities in the United States rather than tell people how they are and are not allowed to protest.

[Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images]

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