San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the National Anthem on Friday, protesting the treatment of blacks and other minorities in America. The quarterback said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” He went on to say that, “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” If you agree with the American Revolution, you must agree with Colin Kaepernick. If you believe Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry and George Washington were justified in their protests, you must also concede that their grievances are minor compared to those Kaepernick is highlighting. Colon Kaepernick just completely shitted on the American Revolution.
To disagree with Kaepernick’s stance (by sitting) is hypocritical if you endorse the actions of the colonists, who rebelled against Britain. The colonists thought being forced to pay taxes to a nation they found oppressive and unresponsive to their needs, unjust. Not only did they find it unacceptable to continue paying taxes, they went the extra mile of revolting. But Britain did not make a habit of executing colonists who posed no threat to law enforcement. America does that to its darker citizens today. Britain did not deny colonists the capital they needed to build wealth (the early colonists were subsidized by the London Company). It is America’s financial institutions that routinely deny capital to its darker citizens today. How can you find validity in the protest of Samuel Adams but find Colin Kaepernick’s grievances invalid? Further, Kaepernick did not advocate an armed revolt against his country, as Adams, Washington and Henry did–the man just sat down. If you endorse an armed revolt over taxes, how can you find fault in one man sitting during the anthem?
In 1775 Patrick Henry gave a passionate speech, advocating that Virginia commit troops to fight against Great Britain. Henry closed by saying, “Give me liberty or give me death!” The words are laughable coming from Henry (a slaveowner), but moving right along. Henry’s passion was rooted in anger over taxes. Britain began taxing the colonies to help pay for debts stemming from the French and Indian War. Britain’s victory directly benefited the colonists but there were costs and Great Britain looked to the colonies to start pitching in. Since the colonists had no representation in the British Parliament, they rebelled. The colonists may very well have had a just grievance. On the other hand, one could argue that they were acting a little ungrateful after Great Britain helped them fight a war. What cannot be argued is that the colonists were not paying taxes to a state routinely murdering them without consequence. The colonists were not paying taxes to a state which systematically worked daily to impede their pursuit of wealth and prosperity. Kaepernick is complaining about all the above. His grievances are just a bit more pressing than George Washington’s.