by E.W. Jackson
As an American of African descent and a great grandson of slaves, I find Colin Kaepernick’s behavior deeply disturbing. As a Marine Corps Veteran of the Vietnam era, I took an oath to the Constitution of United States. I love my country and the Flag which represents our nation and our people. It is one thing to protest alleged injustice. It is quite another to say your country is not worthy of respect.
Seventy percent of Americans believe the nation is on the wrong track. Should all 70% cease to stand for the Anthem and salute the Flag? I personally believe that the annual killing of over one million unborn babies in the womb – 37% of them black – is a scar on our national character. I believe Christians are denied the right to the free exercise of religion when government persecutes them for refusing to cooperate with same-sex marriage ceremonies. I demonstrate my disagreement by participating in pro-life, pro-marriage causes, not by dishonoring the Flag or our National Anthem.
The Flag represents our highest ideals. We should not desecrate the sacred symbol of our nation because we fall short of its glory. Should we burn the Declaration of Independence because all men have not always been treated equally? To the contrary, it was quoted by Dr. King in his “I have a Dream” speech because it speaks to the conscience and the dream of the Founding Fathers and the American people.
Kaepernick is a beneficiary of that dream. He lives in “a country” where he makes $19 million a year to play a game. Although he was apparently given up by his biological parents, two compassionate people adopted him, who happened to be white. He was abandoned by his biological father, who is black. Perhaps he should focus his attention on the issue of black men abandoning their children, since he and millions of others are victims of this pathology.
Ironic that he of all people would say, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a Flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” It is a sweeping condemnation of America. Yet we have a black president serving his second term, a black Attorney General, a black Secretary of Homeland Security, a black National Security Advisor, black mayors, black police chiefs, black billionaires, black CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies and the list goes on.
The 49ers QB throws out false rhetoric better than he throws a pass. “People are being given paid leave for killing people,” he says. The facts tell a different story.
According to Bureau of Justice statistics, about 2.5 million black suspects are arrested every year. On average about 113 black suspects are killed. Divide 113 by 2.5 million and you get five one thousandths (5/1,000ths) of 1% of black arrests result in the death of the suspect. On the other hand, the FBI says 40% of cop killers are black. Heather MacDonald’s study for the Manhattan Institute shows cops are 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black man than an unarmed black man is likely to be killed by a cop.
This is unpopular truth, but truth nonetheless. How could an organization as large and influential as the NFL allow Kaepernick to promote a false and divisive narrative, but deny the Dallas Cowboys the right to honor five slain police officers in their town? There can only be one answer, Roger Goodell and the NFL owners have bowed to the far left politics of the entertainment industry.
It is fair to say that the NFL has failed the test of character and integrity numerous times. Now they have an opportunity to redeem themselves. The 2016 season starts this week, and Sunday’s games will be on 9-11. On that day fifteen years ago 2,977 innocent civilians were murdered by people who hate our country, our Flag and what we represent. Seventy-one were police officers, and three hundred forty-three were firefighters. If NFL players refuse to stand on 9-11, Americans should turn off their televisions as a message to the NFL that we will not watch pampered millionaire celebrities trample the graves of innocent American victims and effectively side with those who want to bring down our Flag and our nation. We must not tolerate it.
Under our Constitution, Kaepernick has the right to turn his back on our Flag, but that doesn’t make it right. The NFL has a corresponding duty to say, “not in our stadium, not during our game, not in front of our fans.” Colin Kaepernick is an employee of an industry which made him rich through the patronage of the American people. The NFL should not to allow him or any other players to spit on the memory of our murdered citizens, first responders and their families. The people who pay for tickets or turn on their televisions to watch a football game on 9-11 want proper respect shown. They do not expect to see immature, uninformed, spoiled millionaire athletes insult the nation and people who made them rich. The NFL needs to require that all players stand and show appropriate respect for the Flag and the National Anthem at all games. What they do privately is up to them, but not on our time and not on our dime.
E.W Jackson is President of STAND Foundation, Inc. [www.standamerica.us], nationally syndicated radio talk show host for Urban Family Communications, Marine Corps Veteran, 2013 Republican Nominee for Lt. Governor of Virginia, Bishop of THE CALLED Churches and a retired Attorney.