As a black person and a law enforcement employee, I find this protest does a grave disservice to both groups. Let me explain why, being as concise as possible. This wont be short but please bear with it.
This whole thing started because Colin Kaepernick was upset about being benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert after an abysmal 2015 football season. He threw the grown equivalent of a temper tantrum in the 2016 pre-season by remaining seated during the national anthem. During that time, he was caught on camera and asked about it in an interview after the game.
Not wanting to look like a big baby he says “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” in spite of no prior mention, inclination, or interest in this issue beforehand.
What’s more, the timing was impeccable given his budding relationship with Nessa Diab, (a huge BLM activist, communist advocate, Berkeley alum, and hip-hop radio personality) which had begun in July of 2015. Diab is a proponent of the anti-cop crowd and a closet racist. Her brash words quite possibly costing Kaepernick a spot on the Baltimore Ravens. But that was much later on.
So why does he do law enforcement a disservice? First of all, his claim that police generally target minorities is patently false and has been debunked by a number of sources. Most notably, a Harvard study, conducted by a black professor no less, found that there is no bias in police shootings. In fact, in spite of committing less crime per capita, whites are more likely to be shot. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jul/11/no-racial-bias-police-shootings-study-harvard-prof/
In his diatribe Kaepernick also stated “You have people that practice law and are lawyers and go to school for eight years, but you can become a cop in six months and don’t have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist.” In his extreme ignorance he failed to realize the following:
– The academy is typically 4-7 months but training continues another 4-6 months afterwards in addition to a 12-18 month probationary period. This is an extremely stressful period and maybe 5 out of 200+ applicants make it. Let’s see that vetting process in cosmetology school.
– Many officers (including myself) have certifications, associate and/or bachelor’s degrees in addition to attending a police academy.
– Many officer’s are ex or reserve military with years of experience or specialized training.
– Most police academies are 8 -10 hrs a day 40+ hours/week or live-in. During that time, recruits are subjected to rigorous physical, academic, and technical training, as well as strenuous mental conditioning. I would like to see a cosmetology school half as intensive as a police academy.
He was right about one thing, Lawyer’s are required to attend around 8 years of pre and post graduated schooling. I dated a girl who attended Mc.George law school. It’s no joke. She is also making SIX FIGURES on her own while I’m firmly entrenched in five combined. Cops are indeed required to make instant legal decisions that attorneys get weeks to dissect and tear apart and they are well compensated. Yet, my friend who works as a police detective dealing with dead bodies and living human scum barely makes $16 an hour. Cops in San Jose, where Kaepernick played football for millions of dollars, have to live in their cars and in trailers during the week because they cant afford to live in the city they police. SO, unless he (and the rest of the taxpayers) are willing to pay for 8 years of schooling and the 6 figure salaries that go with it, he just shouldn’t go there.
So, now he’s managed to use ignorance about a hot-button issue to distract from his failing career but has unfortunately had the side effect of distracting from REAL problems that ACTUALLY affect the black and minority communities. Which is why…
…this protest has done a disservice to the black community.
Blaming police for deaths he (and/or his girlfriend) perceived to be unjust (although many have been found to be justified given the evidence presented) is an exercise in futility. Why? Because even if they weren’t justified, they would still only cover a very small percentage of the unnecessary killings of blacks and minorities.
This has the consequence of distracting from the issue of the rate of single parent black households is in the 70% range. Why is this a bigger problem? The lack of stable households has been a key contributor to poverty, drug abuse, and gang proliferation in the black community.
What’s worse. Since Kaepernick has drawn all this negative attention to police, there has been a sharp increase in homicides, particularly in cities with substantial black populations. This increase can easily be attributed to an emboldened criminal population. This is also due to the decrease in police activity for fear of political fallout. Who want’s to be sued, prosecuted, or assassinated because of a media inspired witch hunt? I don’t.
So in other words, more blacks have been dying since BLM and Kaepernick started their protests than before the protests.
As a person of color, this saddens me to no end. As a cop, this frustrates me to no end. My people are dying on both sides and my former favorite QB is partly to blame.
Now at this point the protest has become a middle finger to Trump. I find that and him both childish. The national anthem should not be used as a political chess piece for immature parties to use to inflame each other.
So NO, I DO NOT support this protest nor anyone who participates in it and that’s MY right. YES I acknowledge protesting is a right which I took an oath to defend. However, just because you have a right to do something doesn’t mean you should always do it. Effective protests are thoughtful, well planned, and peaceful as well as have a positive endgame for all parties (Think MLK & Co.) This protest has only one of those aspects.
Freedom is a privilege granted by God. The founders knew this and used that knowledge to frame this country. This protest is a slap in the face to that very ideal because it inadvertently victimizes those those it’s allegedly meant for and it demonizes the very ones who work to preserve the right.
Sorry this was so long. There’s a lot more I wanted to say. IF you read this whole thing, congrats. This isn’t a twitter issue where we can or should say what needs saying in a 140 character statement.