Written by Dark Blue.
I do not agree with Colin Kaepernick’s decision to not stand up because my perception of the American flag is different from his.
However, regardless of whether or not you agree, we must all understand why he did it. In this article, I will write about how to apply multiculturalism awareness to understanding other points of view and the problems of believing we still live in a post-racial society.
To better understand the mentality behind those who support Kaepernick’s decision, one can look at a paper called “Voluntary and Involuntary Minorities” written by John Ogbu.
Ogbu describes involuntary minorities as “Involuntary (nonimmigrant) minorities are people who have been conquered, colonized, or enslaved. Unlike immigrant minorities, the nonimmigrants have been made to be a part of the U.S. society permanently against their will.” This definition includes many Black Americans. Unlike the ethnic minorities whose families immigrated to the United States voluntarily, they do not grow up with anybody telling them over and over again that life was worse in another country (it does not exist for them.) Instead, they compare their experience to the life they should have had (the one White Americans have today) due to thing such as the Jim Crow Laws, Plessy Vs. Ferguson and redlining. They see a country where they are unable to reap the rewards of their ancestors’ sacrifices. They see a country that has repeatedly talks about “freedom, justice and liberty” but denies it to them. While I’m aware that Kaepernick didn’t grow up “in the hood” himself, it does not detract from why many people agree with his message. I write all this to show that one can take the time to understand another person’s perspective without agreeing with them.
This is an example of multicultural awareness. Many people mistakenly believe that multiculturalism means being forced to agree to whatever someone else does because they are from another culture for the sake of political correctness and to avoid being labeled as “racist”. I only insist that everyone takes the time to educate themselves on this matter to avoid sounding like a buffoon.
We can criticize Kaepernick because our view of the American flag is different from his.
We can criticize the hypocrisy of complaining about oppression only to wear the shirt of Fidel Castro.
We can express our opinion that he has a rather myopic view of the world.
But we should not pretend that we live in a post-racial society.
Cam Newton is absolutely correct in that skin is only 1/8 inch thick and that we must all see the big picture. However, we must also realize that too many of us continue to fail to see the big picture and that it continues to control how people think and act without realizing it. You cannot solve the problem by saying “We are all one color”. People who are not privy to the problems (let’s avoid the temptation of labeling them as “white people” because many of them are “woke”) have repeated the idea that racism is over ad nauseum. The idea that racism is over is a hilariously moronic sentiment. Rape, murder and incest have been outlawed in most civilized societies for centuries. In contrast, racism (in its overt form) has only been officially outlawed for decades. Yet, when somebody gets murdered, no sane person would say, “hey, get over it, we got rid of murder a long time ago.” American society does not work this way and if it did, Prohibition would have effectively ended alcoholism.
Repeating that “we are all one color” has not given us a world where all people receive the dignity and respect they deserve.
It has failed to protect innocent people such as Tamir Rice, Philando Castile and Charles Kinsey, who have endured atrocities which cannot be sufficiently explained without discussing racism. It has not prevented those who are aware of racism from noticing those who are unaware have ignored their deaths, while continuing to become outraged by a peaceful and not so disruptive protest about the loss of life. The blunders of people who fight on behalf of equality, no matter how terrible, does not disprove the need to identify and solve race-related problems in our society.
A subculture of our country, including organizations such as FOX News and police unions have gone through ridiculously absurd lengths to avoid naming the problem or admitting that racism still exists. This has led to what Maajid Nawaz dubs the “Voldemort Effect”. Like in the Harry Potter books, the adamant refusal to name the problem has only created more hysteria and will only get worse the more people deny it.
This isn’t some delusional sermon you hear on the New York City subway, we have already seen it in the Milwaukee riots. We have seen this in how many fans have turned against Cam Newton because he failed to agree with them.
We have seen unwarranted distrust, hatred and bigotry towards police officers who are only trying to do their job but are powerless to deal with the problem themselves.
We have seen this in many well-intentioned people in the social justice culture who conflate all dissenting opinions as oppression.
Instead of pretending that race does not matter, we must admit that racism continues to play a role in this country, admit there are differences, have intelligent conversations (e.g., NOT calling Cam an “Uncle Tom” because he fails to agree with you or wishing Kaepernick death for hurting your flag’s feelings) about the degree which it still exists and how to resolve the problems, while at the same time adamantly insisting that despite all of this, no people are below dignity (this means rejecting all forms of bigotry including both anti-black racism and anti-white bigotry). This is a lot of ideas to juggle at once, but equality cannot come any other way.
About Author: Dark Blue believes that social justice culture is in dire need of reform in its methods for promoting cultural tolerance, diversity, multiculturalism and combating oppression. The objective of the articles is to explain the rationale of making social justice an outcome-based moral and ethical ideology which unites all people rather than a political one.
Dark Blue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org