Many people are in an uproar about the fact that NFL San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has decided that he will not stand for the national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner. Some are calling him anti-American, among other things. This situation has caused some people to dig deeper regarding the anthem written by slaveholder Frances Scott Key, and as a result, it has been revealed that the third stanza includes some troubling words about slaves.
It is interesting to see how white America seems to have developed a strong case of amnesia regarding Black life in this country. The history of Black people has been anything but smooth. There have been all types of obstacles placed in the path of America’s Black (and brown) citizens, yet, many white Americans are upset about the fact that Colin Kaepernick has made the decision to basically snub his nose at what so many of them consider sacred. Some are even calling for an NFL boycott.
What seems to be happening is an escalation of racial tensions between Blacks and whites in the United States. Because of this, it has become politically correct to not be politically correct! Furthermore, another trend is also becoming evident. A certain group of African Americans is becoming more “conscious.” Natural hair in spikey styles, locs, and Afrocentric clothing are becoming ubiquitous, and along with these outer changes certain inner changes are also becoming evident. Black artists are gaining new recognition, and contrary to popular belief, a number of Blacks are opening new businesses. In spite of Donald Trump’s assertion that the Black community has nothing to lose, the truth is that there is everything to lose when considering recent community gains which are all but invisible if we rely solely on the mainstream press to tell our stories. Moreover, discernment among Blacks about the truth of our condition must be enhanced in the very near future if we are to survive and thrive in America; we have to stop being our own worst enemy.
Currently, there is a stirring bubbling up from the depths of “sociality” in American society and it is not necessarily wrapped in a particular skin color. The fact is that humanity, when judged from the outside, will fall short of truth when it comes to solving social problems. Some Black people are as white on the inside as the whitest white person, and some whites are quite Black inside. There are people wrapped in skin color that obscures who they are, but we often make judgements based on external appearances.
According to an ancient tradition, there are basically two kinds of people; those who focus on service to self and those who focus on service for the sake of others. Both types are found in all color groups on the planet. Because of this, a person may find him or herself in the company of people who share external similarities but who are extremely dissimilar. We will not make any real progress until we are able to discern truth behind appearances. Our closest seeming allies can turn out to be our biggest enemies. A case in point – those in the Black community who, in service to self, focus on the low, base side of life as exemplified by gangsta rap music, drugs, and other negative quick fix social activities are as detrimental to the community as murderous white rogue cops.
Our overarching problem is that we’re up against a national construct with white supremacy at its base. It is so entrenched that it has become a cultural norm not even recognized by those who benefit from it. White privilege has left some well-meaning white people blind to the actual conditions that Black people endure. Because of this, it is a good thing that Kaepernick is taking a stand to sit down, because not only will it increase the consciousness of Blacks, but of their white brethren. A change is coming to America, and we are currently in the throes of growing pains. Our ultimate destiny will depend upon how many people, Black, white and other, band together to oppose the “service to self” White supremacy mentality that is characteristic of American society in order to create one that is truly for the well-being of all Americans. A luta continua.