Politics & Race
An Open Letter To Colin Kaepernick From Black People

Dear Colin Kaepernick;

On behalf of most, if not the vast overwhelming majority of Black Americans, minus a midget’s handful of sellout Uncle Toms, I’d like to offer you a heartfelt, grateful “thank you” for telling White America what most of Black America deems self-evident and holds true–the US flag is a symbol of an iron-fisted oppressive, repressive empire, which for us, is merely masked under ”Urban Policing.”

Before you read on, go put on James’ Brown’s “Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud,” because for a while that was considered Black America’s National Anthem, it’ll get your head in the right place.

Let me say to you that millions upon millions of Americans of color understand it that takes a man’s man who’s not preoccupied with appeasing conservative-minded consumers to stand-up to a ruthless nation of rednecks. It demands a man like you, not willing to pacify, placate and make- comfortable White folks by remaining silent and docile, not speaking his mind, by not speaking the burning-bush truth.  It takes courage to take the Tommie Smith/John Carlos stand you’ve just taken, stay strong young man for these SOB’s are mounting-up to come after you. They want to lynch you, metaphorically and literally.  

Watch your back baby bruh.

Young Mr. Kaepernick, I’m sure you realize your NFL career, not merely your position with the San Francisco Forty-Niners, is in jeopardy because you dared to not stand for the playing of the United States of America’s National Anthem. In a nation as undeniably polarized as this one, I think you know–outside of a few franchises–you are regarded as toxic in the eyes of the NFL’s base: White males. Neither Ford, Chevy, Coke or anyone else is going ask you to sell anything. You’re not naive, I think you pondered all this and more,  and still sat down. You’re made of the right stuff son.

As far as “real” Americans are concerned, you’re a contemporary version of Ali declaring “ain’t no Vietcong called me Nigger.” Ali wouldn’t honor that flag, and now neither will you. Colin they believe you’re uppity – not grateful or thankful enough for the life White society permits you to live. Not worthy of the glitter and glamor they allow you to amass. In the small minds of 21st-century Confederates, they figure you’re lucky White men let you play  “their” game, and specifically the Quarterback position, because White men have struggled mightily, to keep their fake, artificial stranglehold on one of American culture’s alpha-male positions. You, along with Cam Newton and Russell Wilson are the examples of how White guys are  failing in somewhat fair and open competition to dominate any of the games they once forbade non-Whites to play.

Go ahead with your bad ass-self Kap! You’ve got the touch, and clearly you’ve got the nerve. Perhaps you’ve ignited this new, long-awaited 21st Century Black Power Movement. Power to the people!

That whole initiate White superiority company line we’ve been fed is a fairly tale Walt Disney couldn’t write. They know it and we know it. Everybody understands the WASP domination we see across the US  landscape has been rigged since 1609 by White men having “cheated” and employed the “if you ain’t cheatin’ you ain’t trying”  mentality. They cheated in sports because they strategically forbid Blacks–their prime competition–to compete, and then proclaimed themselves “World Champions.” Then finally we stepped on the field of play…

I’d like to give you something to hang on to when the ride gets rough, because your thoughts and actions–while bold and truthful–are neither unprecedented nor unique. The esteemed and highly regarded Frederick Douglass, Afro-American orator and spokesperson for Black Americans offered this to White folks a couple of hundred years ago(  and please note that today’s Republican Tea Party holds Douglass as a philosophical beacon, as the ideological lighthouse Blacks should follow home to their party)  for Douglass was a Republican, before the party became the home for angry, racist, sexist and elitist White folks.  

What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is a constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes that would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.

This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today

The US flag and the Independence Day are interwoven together in American symbolism, they stand for the identical ideology, and as Mr Douglass said “To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony.”  That is the exact sentiment and act to which you are objecting!

Colin, you’re a man who believes in his convictions. I think you understand they’re going to convict you for your beliefs and–if possible–some would burn you at the stake. You’re not suppose to think and calculate,  and surely you’re not suppose to have the character to empathize with your fellow Americans of color. You’re supposed to be oblivious to the special treatment and lifestyle your riches and wealth afford you. You ought be commended for not losing sight of your gladiator privilege. Clearly you understand that despite your gridiron accomplishments and the resulting bling– you’re still just a Nigger in the eyes of most White doctors, teachers, loan officers, and cops. Just random  incident away from being just another “dead nigger.”

Kap, I hate to say it, but I’m glad you have the testicles to do this, because their blind hatred towards you will illustrate, in vivid black and white, that–despite your gridiron abilities and skills, you’re still a Nigger to millions of White Americans.

FOX Sports/News is trying to create a lynch-mob  with the nation’s police unions to come after you and the NFL, boycott the league and kill your career. They want to make an example of you so others will reconsider backing you. They’re going to blackball you, Black list  you, and treat you like Black man who doesn’t know or accept his assigned place and subservient role. My hope is you don’t sit alone this weekend. That other players–Black and White– will show solidarity with you.  Mind you Kap, I’m not holding my breath.

Either we sit together or we united we will fall.

What you must never forget about your critics (mostly White folks from the Confederates asking you be shot at sunset and Liberals who think you may have the right to not stand but you went too far ) is that as a whole, generally speaking, they’re arrogantly delusional and detached from both reality and history. Most have concluded that Black, Brown, Red and Yellow folks owe them a “thank you” note in their mailbox, as if they’re due some debt of gratitude because we’re here. How, why and what-for,  I don’t know, but the conservatives in this nation delusionally believe this nonsense and I don’t believe any form of education or enlightenment could change their minds.

1960’s Black Power icons Jim Brown and Kareem Abdul Jabbar are backing you. I’m sure Muhammad Ali and Arthur Ashe would be in your corner if they were still alive. That type of support speaks old school, World Book Encyclopedia volumes about the legitimacy of your actions.

Colin, stand your ground son. Don’t let these SOBs turn you around. Keep on keepin’ on.  A nation of Black folks are asking the Gods to keep you strong and safe.

Rumble young man, Rumble!

About the author Columnist - Desi Cortez, was hatched in the heart of Dixie, circa 1961, at the dawning of the age of Aquarius, the by-product of four dynamic individuals, Raised in South-Central LA, the 213, at age 14 transplanted to the base of the Rockies, Denver. Still a Mile-Hi. Sat at the feet of scholars for many, many moons, emerging with a desire and direction… if not a sheep-skin. Meandered thru life; gone a-lot places, done a-lot of things, raised a man-cub into a good, strong man, produced a beautiful baby-girl with my lover/woman/soul-mate… aired my mind on the airwaves and wrote some stuff along the way.

Related Posts