Colin Kaepernicks protest of the national anthem is nothing new. I’ve always sat down during the pledge of allegiance and the national anthem. He is protesting the police brutality in communities of color. Have you read the DOJ’s report on Baltimore police department? I encourage you to do so. I have a link on this blog.
African-Americans have routinely sat down in an effort to stand up for what we believe was right. I don’t speak for all black Americans, but we don’t have this allegiance to the American flag. After all, black folks were enslaved and are continually oppressed in the name of the flag, Native Americans were slaughtered and nearly wiped out in the name of acquiring this land in the hopes of having this flag.
The American flag is steeped in ideology that often does not apply to people of color. People of color were not even seated at the table when the “founding fathers” wrote the United States constitution.
Why are folks so offended when black and brown take a stand for a cause their passionate about? Do we not have the freedom of spech and to peacefully protest. I took a poll and listened to allot of black talk radio and we are no offended by what Collin did, most of us have taken this stand at one time in our own lives. I think the outrage has more to do with the semblance of power and that other people of color may take a simiar stand. Afterall, we are all about signs and symbols. Black were not even allowed to fight in our armed forces until 1776 due to an increase in shortage of volunteers. Black folks werent even allowed to attend higher education until 1856, schools werent desegregated until 1954, couldn’t vote until 1968, suffered from unfair housing practices until 1968 and were enslaved from 1619-1874.
The educational gap between black and brown students in 2016 is still disportinally high considering black people only make us about 13% of the US population. According to a Forbes 2015 article (2011 figures) the typical black household now has just 6% of the wealth of the typical white household; the typical Latino household has just 8%. In absolute terms, the median white household had $111,146 in wealth holdings in 2011, compared to $7,113 for the median black household and $8,348 for the median Latino household. Overall, black homeownership is only at 43% compared to white Americans at 63%.
One of the greatest tragedies is that Native Americans are not even represented in almost any of the studies. A big reason for that is that blacks and Hispanics have far less wealth to start with than their white counterparts — a concept known as the racial wealth gap. On average, blacks and Hispanics fared worse than whites in almost every category. Part of the reason, is that people of color are more likely to work in low wage jobs and they are also more likely to get paid less than their white counterparts in many industries.
Rent is another factor affecting families. If a family is paying more than one third of their income towards rent, they are considered “cost burdened.” Nationwide, 46% of white families are cost burdened compared to 57% of black families and 56% of Hispanic families.
Many black and Hispanic families live in cities like Washington D.C., New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, where the housing markets weren’t impacted as severely by the housing meltdown as those in other cities and rental prices remained high. Wages, however, did not keep pace with the soaring costs of rentals.
I digress, African-American men and women have a host of reason to sit in protest of the American flag. Many atrocities happened and continue to happen under the guise of the symbol of freedom, but freedom for who? Black and brown people were still slaves in 1814 when the national anthem was written, we were viewed ad property or chattel.
Why would any black American stand up in allegiance to the flag or the national anthem?