Understanding Kaepernick’s Protest

October 31, 2017

Many people agree with Trump that Colin Kaepernick’s anthem protests are disgraceful and unpatriotic. But Kaepernick is right ─ there is a problem with racial injustice in our country.

When the police brutalization of a black man or woman reaches visibility in the news, they call it “excessive force”. This assumes the person who has been brutalized is guilty.
I took this picture with tennis pro James Blake less than a day before he was tackled by an NYPD officer who allegedly mistook James for a suspect wanted for a crime.

Neither James’ status as a professional tennis player, his wealth, nor his Harvard degree were able to protect him from being the target of what was reported as “excessive force” used by the police that day. But it wasn’t excessive force, it was wrongful force. James had done nothing wrong. It was the officer who attacked him that did something wrong.

The same with Eric Garner. It was reported that he died after excessive force was used by the police, along with reports that he had sold loose cigarettes in the past. But the brutality that ended his life was not excessive force, it was wrongful force. Eric Garner was not selling cigarettes the day he was choked to death by the police. They did something wrong, not him.

Colin Kaepernick has done nothing wrong either. People who call him disgraceful or unpatriotic are the ones who are wrong. Standing up for your fellow human beings, especially those who are not being treated fairly, and those who are not as fortunate as you, is the right thing to do.

And I’m glad he’s doing it.


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