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“As much as I don’t agree with it, and as much as a lot of people don’t agree with it, that is his right,” said Army veteran Jeremiah Thompson, speaking of Kaepernick, the 49ers backup QB who refused to stand during the National Anthem as a protest against police brutality and institutional racism in America
I haven't been watching football or ESPN much lately, so I found out about Colin Kaepernick via watching people argue about him on social media. I grew up in a military town. All the father figures of my youth (including my dad) are Army veterans. I was raised to love my country and respect the men and women who serve in its armed forces. However, I was also raised by my mom to think for myself, and taught by my history that living in a free society means that freedom of expression is a part of the national identity.
In high school, I was reprimanded more than once for sitting during the National Anthem or abstaining from the Pledge of Allegiance. On those occasions, I wasn't looking for attention, or to disrespect anyone. At that moment, I was objecting (in my heart, silently) to something our government or culture was doing at the time. I never spit in anyone's face. I never barked a manifesto at anyone. It was a quiet expression of disapproval. Nothing more.
Kaepernick's humble act of disapproval is only as big a deal as those who object to it make of it. The right to object is a human right. I don't know anything about Kaepernick's football skills, but no one would notice his protest if not for those protesting his protesting. As it is, he has become famous because of all the outrage. He doesn't seem to me to be seeking fame, but he is not afraid of your scorn either. And that scorn puts a spotlight on him, and gives voice to his objection, bringing more attention to his worldview. What kind of sense does that make? If you really hate what he's doing, your best move is to ignore him.
But I'm not holding my breath...
Samax Amen is a professional Content Developer, Illustrator and Cartoonist. He is the artist of many great comics you never heard of like Herman Heed, Champion of Children, The Brother and The World As You Know It. He even writes and draws his own comics, like Dare: The Adventures of Darius Davidson, Spontaneous, and Manchild when he gets around to it. Because making comics is hard and stuff, he started GhettoManga as a blog in 2006 and as a print magazine in 2008.
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