The Swamp is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
I would like to preface this article with saying that I am a 30-year-old white male.
Why America Hates Kaepernick
Welcome to America, where football, beer, and hotdogs make a patriot blush. In a world where a Bart Starr and Otto Graham are history icons, where knowing concepts that beat cover two, three, and four shows intelligence, it's no surprise to me the majority of the country reacted in the manner they did after Colin Kaepernick's protest.
As facetious as that opening paragraph sounds, football without a doubt is one of, if not the most underrated game(s) when it comes to the level intelligence a NFL player, especially a QB, must possess—more often than not an aspect that goes highly overlooked. True football fans often quiver with disapproval upon hearing false claims like "Meatheads" or " How smart do you have to be to catch a ball?" Anyone that knows how difficult it is diagnosing 11 players in a matter of seconds; anyone that understands the unpredictability of 11 players and the adaptation to that unpredictability; anyone that knows how consistent fundamentals have to be play in play out; anyone that knows the week of preparation before a game knows how ignorant those statements are.
On August 26th 2016, Kaepernick was televised kneeling during the National Anthem. Though not his first time, it was the first airing of it. On August 28th, Kaepernick started to expand on his protest within the media. Without quoting, he stated his mission was to bring awareness to black issues in this county. He stated he had no ill will towards our military, informed us of close friends and family in the military who he held in high regard, even stated the protest had nothing to do with the military.
However, upon turning on major media networks, you could never have guessed his response was one of which it was —a black man knelt during the anthem. Explained. And all we heard, apparently, was he hates the country.
See, I grew up playing football, which is why I know how ignorant it is when someone suggests football is for un-intelligent meatheads. I also grew up fascinated by history, and for the past ten years, I have dedicated my life to American History, and let me tell you...we have missed out on so much of our beautiful history. Our history books give us nothing in the sense of a grasp on the big picture. Why? Because European-American history isn't the only American history, yet it's the only history that is widely written about.
Without a clear illustration of our history, it is impossible to understand a clear illustration of a better future. For example: Ireland. When Ireland talks about its negative issues of today, it brings up its history of oppression. Because it tells the story, it gives a full illustration. It provides the necessary information to move in the right direction for that specific chain of events. Or a more relative example: Upon preparing for next week's match-up, you look over a team's history of plays. It gives you a better outlook on how to handle them presently.
This is where America has failed its people. Ask yourself right now: How much do you honestly know about black American history? Think about the figures, the events you know. If MLK, Malcom X, Civil Rights, Rosa Parks, are just about all you can think of, you have been robbed of the most resilient story never told. That story is that of black American history—something Kaepernick, I can guarantee you, dove into.
America hates Kaepernick because America has been told we live in equality, which is a claim that one simply cannot make knowing the history of this country. From slavery, to Jim crow, to red summer, to urban renewal, a 300 year freeze on capital—while, on the flip side, a 300 year head start on capital. While I'm not going to elaborate much more on the history, I can promise you, if you have any confusion, reading our beautiful black American history will change that, and I challenge you to do so.
One major note: Black communities have been dealing with deaths by police since the slave patrols well over 200 years ago. It didn't just start happening, which is where there is a real disconnect. For most Americans, this is a new image, which would completely explain why it's such a shock and so hard to believe on a systemic, racist level. However, this has been a reality in black communities for hundreds of years, explaining such heavy emotions within them.
It's not just deaths, either. There has been a major mass incarceration in these communities, completely devastating the families within them. For more information on that, a book written by Michelle Alexander called The New Jim Crow has amazing facts with all of its sources cited.
Martin Luther King is one of the most beloved black Americans in history by almost all American people. Unfortunately, it's highly likely that wouldn't be the case had he been represented correctly. MLK hated American capitalism. He understood the need for social policies because of the socialist manner in which we started this country (ie: Headright program) which you can read about in Tim Wise's White Like Me.
Martin King I can guarantee you would stand with Kaepernick in this moment. He would be out in Baltimore protesting along with the rest of the community that knows the history of this country. When you are the direct descendant of the untold history, you become born into the untold history. You are the untold history, therefore the majority of these communities are very aware of this history and our present situation, making them much more qualified to speak on the matter than someone who learned high school "history."
Yet this is not the narrative in America, and as far as I can tell, it is the only subject we get to know less about, yet have a more correct answer to.
In the same sense that my grandma Amma hates the meathead sport of football, a lack of knowledge and a complete misunderstanding of the situation is why we hate Kaepernick as a country.