You may have seen many of us sporting the hashtag #IMWITHKAP on clothing and using it in social posts yesterday in support of Colin Kaepernick. If you don’t already know, Kaepernick is a football player turned activist.
I’m fully aware that what I’m about to say may offend some people, but honestly, I don’t care if it does. I would urge those who are offended to ask themselves why and get back to me with the answer.
In my opinion, watching the Super Bowl yesterday was equivalent to taking public transportation during the bus boycotts of 1955. Let me tell you why. By viewing, you invariably chose to support an organization who has stripped its employees/players of their constitutional rights, particularly those who are Black or African American. In 1955, Rosa Parks (who coincidentally would have been 92 today) was arrested because she refused to give up her seat to a white person at a time when segregation was the law of the land. The transit system interfered with the right of African Americans to occupy the front of the bus and did not give them the right to sit comfortably while a white person stood. Spectators, by tuning in, gave millions of dollars to an organization that blackballed an African American football player who simply wanted to bring awareness to the issues of police brutality and racism that continue to plague our country.
Even more than you, the fans, this man loved the game of football. He lived it, he breathed it, and then one day, he could no longer play because he decided to kneel during our national anthem, which speaks of the very freedoms being denied. Can you imagine how difficult this must have been for him – to give up something he had worked so hard to accomplish, not to mention a multi-million dollar contract – for the greater good?
I suppose the infuriating part of it is that not watching the Super Bowl came with none of the economic, physical or social effects of the bus boycotts, which lasted more than one year. It costs us nothing to simply not tune in, yet my social media timelines were flooded with comments about the anticlimactic game and performances that took place during Super Bowl 43. What a slap in the face!
Unfortunately, it came as no surprise. I have often seen the efforts of our people fail for lack of support. But why? It’s because the division within our race is systemic and deeply rooted. We just don’t care until it’s us or someone we love that’s killed, wronged or injured. Then do we call for the masses to join together and fight, and ONLY then do we make the loudest noise and present the strongest voice to end an injustice that before, was not worthy of a single sound because it did not affect us personally.
But, I digress. There’s no need to continue this lamentation. Many, including myself, stand in solidarity with Kaepernick. I’m just thinking out loud.
Happy Birthday to the boldly beautiful, Rosa Parks.