Passive Passages for the Careless Caucasian
Last week, digital media outlets everywhere (from the blogs to all of social media to every news outlet all over the country) went into a frenzy all because Colin Kaepernick of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers decided to sit during the National Anthem. His decision to sit down was entirely purposeful and the end results of his actions were exactly what we all expected….
Basically, everyone went nuts. And Kaepernick went from “who?” to “Baepernick” in a matter of days……for me, at least.
Look at Woke Bae! #ThatBeard 🙂
What happened as a result of his protest? Well, of course, people from all over the country, young and old, were upset, the blogs went crazy, and you’d have sworn that he did something really bad like—raping someone or commit some kind of domestic violence or even murder. But nope. All he did was decide to sit down during the National Anthem. That’s it. That’s all.
What else happened? Well because he sat during the National Anthem and caused all of this outrage, he has now run the risk of being cut from the team, losing endorsements, and all other types of penalties. Really, it’s been a very big deal. And honestly, it’s ridiculous.
Why did he sit down during the National Anthem? He sat down because he’s tired of standing for something he doesn’t really believe in, to be quite frank. The National Anthem is America’s false message of freedom for everyone. It’s a song that runs the purpose of sending hope and love to this country through the trials and the treachery and quite frankly, for us black people here, it’s really an inaccurate message for us. So, Colin sat. And he engaged in silent protest. And I am here for it as well as many others. Many military men have supported Kaepernick for his stance as well via the twitter hashtag #VeteransForKaepernick. Unfortunately, there are others that are not.
Everyone has been talking about this and one thing that I’ve noticed is………extreme passivity being used by black people as they talk to white people about this issue. The tone and the message to try to get them to understand why Kaepernick took the stance that he did and how important it was that he drew this awareness is completely different as it extends from the black and white sides and this passivity stems from this need we have to be “accepted” by the majority group, as there is an obvious fear to “not want to step on their toes” when it comes to discussing these issues. Passivity isnt always a weak trait. However, in this instance, it is.
I have a non-melaninated friend who, on Facebook, stated, “I am tired of this racism and oppression BS all the time”. The response from my colored brethren was a passive message to try to get our mutual friend to understand why Colin sat through carefully placed words filled with well-placed intentions, positivity, and a complete dismissing of our friend’s all around “all lives matter” rant. I don’t think that he understood that in real time, that what our non-melaninated friend was really saying was, “I’m tired of seeing the hoopla about race and oppression because it doesn’t affect me. It’s BS and we should stop talking about it because there are other things to be concerned about that includes ALL of us!”
Let’s be clear on something.
People understand what has happened. They understand why Colin sat. People are not dense or uneducated to the basic point of race and equality (or lack thereof) in this country. Do not be fooled. The problem is……..many people do not care. That is a fact. If anyone can call foul on a man for silently protesting for the rights and racial equality for the minority population of the country and scream “all lives matter”, it is because they feel some kind of way about not being included in the overall fight for change. It makes them feel a certain way to know and understand that the very reason why race is such a consistent issue in this country (and this world too) is due in whole because of the trauma, institutionalization, and systemic efforts that their ancestors and even their uncles nowadays have done and continue to do against us. They are guilty. And to combat that guilt, they say “Can’t we all just get along?” and “All Lives Matter”, not caring that they are dismissing what is actually happening and how it is affecting black people as a whole within this country.
They don’t care because they don’t need to care. That is white privilege.
And we need to stop coddling to it. Stop trying to get them to understand. Stop speaking in baby speak to make the issues easier for them to digest. Stop pausing to place your words carefully. Do we need to be militant and angry all the time? While it is way more fruitful than being passive and allowing blatant disrespect, I’m not saying to be angry 24/7. I am saying to be mentally and emotionally strong. If one of your non-melaninated friends are saying “all lives matter” or even being consistently silent on the issues that are directly affecting you and yours, check them on it. Why not? If you can check your colored brothers and sisters and call them “coons” when it fits, what is keeping you from giving your white friends that same verbal chin-checking?
These are real concerns and we need to be forceful and direct at all times. It is literally the only way to see some universal change within this country and beyond and it starts with getting real with the issues with everyone. At all times.