This little girl is so adorable! I’m impressed with her resolve and her heart. She just wants to be nice, not just to animals but to people. Notice that she doesn’t ask her mother to make special arrangements for her. She’ll “eat whatever’s on the table.” Such a sweetie! I’ve been quoting her for days in my Mrs. Doubtfire voice. “I won’t eat that either,” she says of fish. She almost has me persuaded, LOL! Almost …
O’ say can you see … Most folks, even the most patriotic of us, don’t realize that this is more than the opening verse of our national anthem. It’s actually a question. Colin Kaepernick has gotten himself in a fresh load of trouble for saying what he sees. Until that day, no one cared or noticed that he was African American. He certainly wasn’t on my radar, as I don’t watch football. One commentator actually stated outright that CK wasn’t black (for which he later apologized). Oh, but he is, and he proudly displayed his tall afro at the next football game so that there could be no doubt. He is black and, more importantly, he is identifying himself with the struggle. Bravo.
My daughter and I had a conversation about why he and actor Jesse Williams (also half black) would come down on this side of the argument, given that they have families who are not wholly black and may have even had a privileged background. I speculated that it was because they, perhaps even more than some of us who fully identify with the race, may have had negative experiences which made them see the differences between how white America and black America are being treated. It could be something as simple as being looked at a little differently when in a public outing because they’re obviously not like the rest of the family. Actresses Halle Berry and Lisa Bonet, both of mixed heritage, stated in interviews that their white mothers were the recipients of dirty looks while escorting their black child. So yes, they are black enough and may have more of an ax to grind because they see, firsthand, the inequities. Williams and Kaepernick are more than qualified to speak on our behalf.
But how many of those who are the product of biracial parentage can actually step outside of the perceived safety of their family, go against the grain, swim upstream, and rage against the very machine of which they may, if only by association, receive beneficial treatment? Not many, I think, for it is a very courageous thing to do. It’s to bite the hand that feeds you and not care for the consequences. You will likely be hated for your effort, as we see in the case of CK. Instead of pretending that all is well, which he could have continued to do, he used his position to take a stand against injustice. He has brought more attention to our plight eloquently, non-violently and in a way that is undeniably effective. And now other athletes are joining in the fight.
Even President Obama has addressed Kaepernick’s stand, stating that the football player is doing what all of our young people should be doing, engaging in the democratic process. Yes, this generation should be outraged about the things that don’t make sense and work to CHANGE them. It’s their world, too. We celebrate people around the world when they take a stand, venerating them even if it results in their death, as in the case of the epic unknown protester in Tiananmen Square. But when Iesha Evans took a similar stance against police brutality in America, she was arrested. It’s shameful that we, who routinely call other nations to the carpet, would ourselves need policing.
Today, I considered Moses, who stepped outside the comfort of his palace life and changed the future of his people. It couldn’t have been an easy choice, considering all he would lose. I imagine he must have thought about it for some time, watching his brothers and sisters be mistreated on a regular basis. Unfortunately, it’s a sad reality that those who are in power have a tendency to abuse such. After some time, it’s actually considered a normal part of life, not wrong. But not to Moses; one day he snapped as he witnessed an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave. All of that festering resentment suddenly boiled over and Moses reacted in the strongest way possible to right the wrong. He committed murder to vindicate his kinsman and put himself on the side of the Israelites.
Many fellow Americans are supporting CK. With their money they’re taking a stand. Sales of his jersey have skyrocketed. Because we’re tired of it all. Let’s put an end to this foolishness. I am disheartened by the misguided folks who have deified the national anthem at the expense of the lives of our citizens. Let your passion, instead, drive you to enter the fight and wave your flag until true liberty and justice is a benefit enjoyed by all. And to my Christian sisters and brothers who have come down on the opposite side of the debate, I simply implore you to think for yourselves. Don’t give in to mob mentality. Seek God for true direction so that you can be sure that you’re truly on the right side. I’ll leave you with a scripture a friend posted this morning which blessed me:
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)
So my answer to the question: Oh say can you see? Yes. I can and do see. My eyes are wide open. And I’ma need you to get it together America.