The Minority Report | Ashley kim

Photo Credit: Bobby Jones

When Tim Tebow famously took a knee to pray during football games, Americans applauded him for being brave and standing up for what he believes in, for being a devout and passionate Christian, and upholding American values. His pose quickly went viral, inspiring people to be photographed “Tebowing” in obscure locations.

When Colin Kaepernick took a knee for arguably the same reason he is called unpatriotic, unappreciative, and he’s bombarded with death threats instead of selfies because for some reason, it is easier to mimic a white man who is applauded by the majority than stand behind a black man who stands up for the minority. The latter is not favored because it holds white people responsible for the elephant in the room—the racial divide in America.

“Injustice and blackness remain grossly synonymous”

It’s in the response to Kaepernick and the attitude of the President of the United States, who calls athletes “sons of bitches,” where the problem should be obvious. Yet, even despite the current political climate, people refuse to acknowledge that America operates on a system of injustice and oppression that favors the majority.

It has been over a year since Kaepernick first took a knee during the national anthem, emphatically proclaiming that he would not “stand up to show pride for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” It took a year for Kaepernick’s beliefs to bleed further into the mainstream, to be recognized, and birth a larger movement. This past weekend, dozens of athletes knelt in solidarity with Kaepernick further proving that injustice and blackness remain grossly synonymous.

The message is crystal clear: America needs to do better.

To say that Kaepernick and other athletes taking a knee are unpatriotic is to misunderstand the core of American values, and the Constitution entirely. We have forgotten that Americans are entitled to free speech, even if that means not speaking at all. What’s happening is not disrespect for the American flag, or American values. This is a civil rights movement exposing the difficult truth of oppression and racism in America, and it’s being exposed in the most American way possible.

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