Close Page

The Forum: Colin Kaepernick's protest

Opinion
By Trailblazer Staff
Oct 14, 2016

Kaepernick is now famous for taking a knee during the national anthem before each game as an act of protest. "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said.  In this edition’s forum, students share their thoughts on Kaepernick's protest.

Kaepernick's protest puts lives over symbols

By Joshua Brisco

Colin Kaepernick chose the ideal time, place and posture for his protest. If his biggest stage is not the time for a peaceful protest of injustice, then when is? The problem has never been about Kaepernick’s timing, but the audience’s misunderstanding of his message.

Kaepernick is not protesting the national anthem; he is protesting during the national anthem – before an NFL game, no less. Kaepernick chose to use two American symbols to ask an American audience to acknowledge an American problem. But this is where the mistranslation of Kaepernick’s message often begins.

Because of Kaepernick’s America-soaked form of protest, many people quickly, continually and wrongly interpreted his actions as an affront to U.S. armed forces, which Kaepernick is explicitly not protesting. However, the subconscious juxtaposition of the American flag and the military is understandable. The flag often, though imperfectly, represents U.S. soldiers who have made great personal sacrifice to protect the country. But the military is not the target of this protest. Kaepernick has repeatedly clarified that he is at odds with America’s oppression of people of color and unjust killings by police, taking no issue with the military. Now the burden of understanding falls to us, the observers and interpreters.

Kneeling during the national anthem is not a threat to America, but unjust killings of unarmed citizens is. We must put the importance of lives in danger above the perceived sanctity of a symbol. We must not allow a symbol of this nation to become a symbol of the things this nation claims to stand against. We must not call for silence and complacency when a citizen makes a plea for justice in the form of a kneeling, peaceful protest. The time and place worked – America has taken notice of Kaepernick’s message. Now we must strive to understand his actions and words, remembering that lives will always be more important than songs and flags.

 

 

 

 

 

There is a time and place to express your opinion

By Carlos Guzman

It is a cultural norm and in some cases, a rule, to keep one’s personal views to him or herself when in the workplace. While Colin Kaepernick is completely within his rights to protest during the national anthem, the setting in which he chooses to make his statement is inappropriate.

In a “normal” job setting, what normally happens to an employee when he or she imposes his or her opinions on others while on the job? That employee would be dismissed or severely reprimanded. When Kaepernick protests, it is right before a game, when his entire team is in uniform and ready to “work.”

By purposely taking a knee, he’s deviating from the norm of our society which is standing with your hand over your heart during the national anthem. This can be a huge distraction for the other players, both for the 49ers and the opposing team. He is disrupting the professional environment. Therefore, his actions are out of line in accordance with proper workplace etiquette.

The players, coaches and officials all gather in the same area for one reason and one reason only: to play football. They are on the field to win and provide entertainment for spectators, not to start social movements. The players have every right to use their celebrity status to promote a better society when they are not playing. I do support athletes who are actively involved in the community. I do not however, think it is wise for them to impose their views while in the middle of a competition.

Even before Kaepernick’s anthem controversy, his actions were questionable and even seemed immature at times. During team training camp, Kaepernick was photographed wearing socks with pigs wearing police caps. Why would he ever consider such a childish way to protest injustice?

There are infinite ways Kaepernick can be an ally and voice of the oppressed. He could hold press conferences, march in protests, or financially support organizations fighting injustice. He has taken initiative by donating $1 million to organizations combating injustice. Being a distraction to his teammates is simply not the most effective way to spread his message.

Creative Commons photo by Seatacular seatacular.com.Creative Commons photo by Seatacular seatacular.com.

Trailblazer Staff

- More by this author
comments powered by Disqus
In this edition of The Forum, MNU student Brandon Baker and The Trailblazer editor-in-chief Joshua Brisco debate whether or not it is a good idea to get married while in college.

The Forum: Marriage in college?

In this edition of The Forum, MNU student Brandon Baker and The Trailblazer editor-in-chief Joshua Brisco debate whether or not it is a good idea to get married while in college. (To view The Forum at a larger size, click here.)

New head volleyball coach Christina Ludwick stands in front of last season’s Heart of America Conference championship banner. Now, Ludwick says she is seeking to build on last season’s success. Photo by Chace Owen.

MNU hires new head volleyball coach

As the first full-time coaching hire since MNU lost four head coaches this winter, Christina Ludwick is looking to keep Pioneer volleyball set for success.

Police respond to a shooting at Pulse, an Orlando Nightclub, on June 12, 2016. Omar Mateen was classified a terrorist, and no statement on his mental health was provided by the media. Photo by The City of Orlando Police Department, via Wikimedia Commons.

Holding the culture accountable

What happens when terrorists and lone wolves are separated by skin tone.

A graph showing MNU’s financial trends from the past 10 years. Student payments and grants have both increased throughout the past 10 years at MNU. Graphic by Blake Bradford.

Dealing with student debt

The reality facing MNU students and how to come out on top.

 

Video: Cross-breeding flies in MNU biology department

Dr. William Morrison gives insight into a fly cross-breeding experiment and sophomore biology major Carlos Guzman collects flies to determine genetic patterns. 

Donald Trump visits Hershey, Pennsylvania in December 2016 on his post-election victory tour. Trump’s rise through the Republican Party has effectively silenced any moderate voices within the party. Photo by Michael Vadon, via Wikimedia Commons.

New GOP leaves no room for middle ground

The Republican Party is becoming dangerously hostile toward moderate conservatives.

Last year’s SERVEteam Squad 66 operated under the leadership of Kevin Borger and Kayla Cook, both of whom resigned this semester. Ana Brunk and Andrew Cornelius will be returning to the team this summer. Photo by Andrew Cornelius.

SERVEteams left with uncertain leadership

The 2017 summer SERVEteams are currently without leadership following the departure of department head Kevin Borger. The teams are heading into the summer with no replacement.

Shelby Frans bats in the first home game of the season against Washburn University (Kansas). Frans said she admires the fact that interim head coach Rob Wade makes an effort to build a relationship with every player. Photo by Jim Smith.

MNU softball rides coaching carousel

With two official and two interim head coaches in eight months, softball seeks to stabilize in 2017.

The MNU track and field team poses for a photo with its new banners and trophies. Both the men’s and women’s teams won the 2017 Heart of America indoor track and field conference championships in February. Photo courtesy of MNU track and field.

Inside and out, MNU track and field in the running for titles

Track and field finishes the indoor season with two conference titles and four All-Americans.

Videos / See More