#Justise4All No. 23

⟦ On Colin Kaepernick ⟧

Unless that rock under which you live is so big that current events don't reach you, I'm sure you've seen and heard the field day that mainstream media has been having over San Francisco 49'er Colin Kaepernick and his refusal to stand during the US National Anthem before the start of his games. The following are my posts that happened elsewhere on social media, restructured/reposted here in response to his protest. For those still "insulted" by that protest, Kaep just announced his donating $1M to various community-based charities as a followup measure to his civil disobedience, stating: "I’ve been very blessed to be in this position and make the kind of money I do, and I have to help these people...I have to help these communities. It’s not right that they’re not put in the position to succeed, or given the opportunities to succeed.”

Statements below have been edited for grammar and syntax.


To be extremely, painstakingly clear:

The #NFL has had on its roster players who have engaged in all sorts of unprofessional, if criminal, conduct, both on and off the field. From adultery, to drug use, to alcoholism, to serious battery and assault (civilians and other players), illegal gun possession, domestic abuse, accused rape, and much more. To say nothing of the notorious actions of the various coaches, staff, and non-athletic personnel. All of these indiscretions, depending on their severity and the importance of said individual(s), have been, at any given time, overlooked because the team/franchise/organization to whom they belong deemed them too valuable an asset to let their behavior stop them from being a member of their ranks. In fairness, this includes Colin Kaepernick himself, who was connected to an alleged harassment complaint by a woman he met during a party at the apartment of Seahawks wideout, Ricardo Lockette in 2014.

Yet, Mr. Kaepnernick's legally, Constitutionally defensible act of sitting during the US National Anthem is being excoriated by the public and scores of NFL professionals, citing everything from Un-American behavior to outright treason, and judging from those reactions, it's looking like he will not return to the field as a contracted player once his time with the 49'ers is up, not to mention the very real danger he faces at the hands of deranged nationalists. A man who publicly professed his justified critique of this country's racial discrimination is being treated to the worst of its citizenry because of ignorance, hypocrisy, and a lack of education. Whoever continues to say he should be ashamed, or anything like that, should reserve that kind of talk for themselves and their cabal of idiots.

For this kind of unfounded, asinine hatred, and for so many other reasons, I've no problem saying that this entire country should be ashamed.


II. An open Twitter letter to Heidi Russo, Colin Kaepernick's biological mother.

@Heidirn1:  This thread is for you, because you really jumped off the tower w/your response to your son. I’m adopted. By ethnic make-up, I’m an Afro-Colombian adopted into a working class Irish family in New York City. My [biological] mother gave me up because she wanted to give me a chance to have a better life in better conditions. Like you, she made a choice based on the difficulty of a complicated pregnancy and personal life choices. Unlike you, one main reason for my particular adoption was because I was the 4th son to be born out of wedlock. My mother tried to support her three other children, but knew that I would face a sad outcome if I stayed. Today, I am able to be as outspoken about issues like racism and injustice [because] my adoptive [White] family respects my views. By giving up your right to your child, you seem to have forgotten that you have revoked your right to discipline or reprimand him. Even if you still had that right, your son’s desire to speak out against injustice is not, nor should it ever be, cause for rebuke. You’re still here, and you’ve chosen to be “ashamed” of someone speaking their mind about a serious issue. Several, actually. I can’t speak to what my biological mother would say in response to my beliefs, but I do know that if after not seeing her for years she went on the kind of tirade you did over Colin’s statement, I’d have to immediately check her. Consider yourself lucky that the only response you’re getting is from ppl like me. The only person who should be ashamed here is you, ma’am. Chastising your son’s beliefs proves your shame of his existence. I stand with your son, as a fellow adopted Man of Color, [because] being brought into privilege does not negate global oppression. Nor does benefitting from that privilege obfuscate the need to speak out against and restructure a system built on that oppression. It’s clear you made your choices a long time ago, choices you’ve admitted to having to live with for the rest of your life. You made a choice this week, also. I pray you don’t spend the rest of your life regretting it. But the way things are looking...