…though he would never sit with me.
When I was a teenager, I trusted my government. Actually, when I was a teenager, I didn’t care enough about government to trust or distrust it. I grew up in a time when, to my knowledge, the worst thing a sitting President could do would be to lie about goofing on an Intern’s dress. It wasn’t until 9/11 that the game changed. I became interested in what politicians had to say, because now–in my supple teen mind–they were tasked with keeping me safe. So I trusted them. Why would they lie and send troops to Iraq just to fight two wars at once, spreading our “heroic” troops thin and destabilizing both an entire region, and our own armed forces? They must know what they’re doing, I thought.
Finding out the government was not only lying to me, but also incompetent, wasn’t like taking the red pill in The Matrix. It was more like eating fast food your whole childhood and then realizing that it’s all literally garbage. It always was garbage. I’m not more “woke” for realizing that. And sometimes, it’s nice to go back, just for a cheap meal and some abrupt diarrhea.
But knowing the government is worthless, corrupt, inept and full of more concentrated diarrhea than a McDonald’s 20-piece nugget isn’t satisfying, and shouldn’t be satisfying, for a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican…or a conservative Democrat or liberal Republican.
…And so I sat. I sat out National Anthems and Pledges of Allegiance, even though my friends berated me for it. And even though I’d been sitting out prayers for quite some time by this point, I became strangely more drawn to the descriptive myopic lies of religion and how this fictional authority of man somehow had more drawing power than the real-world authority of man. I spent time reading and writing and trying to learn as much as possible about the world around me, and how people could burn a flag, but be beholden to pop culture and American industry…how people could preach about the importance of religious freedom and the Constitution but want a 10 Commandments monument outside every courthouse.
In learning about where we are and where we’ve come from, I realized that all pride is dumb, all hero-worship is asinine, but despite our personal and national faults, we do live in a pretty great place; a place that, no matter what race or religion you’re born into, you are more free to shape your own destiny and the environment around you than anywhere else on Earth.
Pride is dumb because being proud of the circumstances of your own birth gains you nothing. Pride and self-respect are not the same. You can be a self-respecting homosexual transgender black woman. But that doesn’t count as an accomplishment. Therefore, your pride is dumb. You can have pride in all of the homosexual transgender black women who made sacrifices and fought for their rights. You can be proud of them, but you can only have pride in yourself for your own accomplishments. You can be proud of your parents and how they made the right decisions, stayed together, focused on your education, and made you into the strong-willed human being you are today. But if you’re melting into a couch smoking weed, bitching about the people who are bitching about Colin Kaepernick’s protest, your pride is dumb.
Hero-worship is asinine because no one is a hero to everyone. The young men and women who volunteer themselves to serve in our military, protecting our freedoms, taking out those who are bent on doing harm to our country, they do heroic things every day. But in that group of “heroes” we’re all told to respect unconditionally, you have cowards, liars, racists, people leaking classified information that could put others in danger, rapists, bigots, people who just really wanted to kill Muslims overseas, and–yes–proud American heroes. Not even our grandparents who fought the Nazis and Japanese were all heroes. Most of them were frightened kids trying not to die…people who had to choose between carrying a gun, or sitting in jail. Most of the time, your heroes aren’t worthy of admiration.
Hero-worship is asinine because not every boy in blue who carries a badge and a gun deserves to. We allow this mythology that “they’re supposed to be better than us” when no one ever made that claim. They should be held to a higher standard, of course. But the reality is that they are held to a higher standard–and that standard is that when they do something that you may find morally or ethically questionable, soldiers and police are given a certain benefit of the doubt that you may not receive. But that comes with the job–and that doesn’t mean that military service members and police are murdering people at their whimsy without repercussion. You’re just picking the worst examples and the facts aren’t on your side.
Hero-worship is asinine because your heroes aren’t my heroes. Your mother may be your hero…but everyone’s mother isn’t your mother. “Moms are heroes! They have the toughest jobs in the world!” No. They don’t. Not even close. I know, I know. Sometimes moms have to do two, maybe three things all at once! How do they DO it?! They don’t. They panic non-stop and write blogs about how they’re overwhelmed and don’t feel like “adulting” today. There is so little to be done that every task feels like an enormous chore. I love my mother very much, and she raised me right, and made a lot of sacrifices and important decisions to do so, but she’d never survive being on a submarine or oil rig. Sorry. Moms, cancer survivors, men who say their feminists, or men who refer to their own circumcisions and genital mutilation are not “heroes.” They’re people who are into self-preservation and doing what they have to do to make it to the next day. Some, more successfully than others.
But then why stand? Why take part in the nationalistic ritual of standing up facing the American flag, hand over heart while some aging pop-star or local administrator belts out the National Anthem? Here’s why I do:
I stand because for a few brief moments everyone around you isn’t separated by what they believe or what their political parties are; what sexuality they prefer, or who they prefer not to pray to. They’re standing as a people of a country that’s free to stand or sit, to pray or not pray, to sit next to a fucking woman in a sporting arena…drinking, of all things. And sure, it’s silly traditionalist bullshit, but it means something to everyone…even if that “something” is pure solidarity in changing things.
I don’t think Colin Kaepernick is unpatriotic. I don’t think he hates this country. I don’t think he’s stupid–he’s a very intelligent and skilled individual, even if his performance has been lacking lately (I don’t give a shit about Football). I think Colin Kaepernick is doing something far worse than all of those things.
I think Colin Kaepernick is lying. And every idiot who sits with him, no matter what they think they’re accomplishing, are lying too.
He’s just one guy on one football team, in the NFL that shoves the stars and stripes down our throats like a force-fed goose. But does the NFL care when everyone is talking about it? Of course not. This isn’t a scandal, it’s free advertising. Christ, even domestic violence, murder, rape, assault charges, gun charges, child abuse and suicidal brain trauma aren’t scandals to the NFL as much as deflated footballs are.
Colin Kaepernick is covered in Bible quote tattoos, which he points to on a regular basis as passages that dictate his life and love for the almighty God. A God who enforces slavery, a God who condemns gays and fornicators with the same iron fist, a God who would rather destroy the entire world than intervene and say…make one individual a fairly decent NFL Quarterback.
Colin Kaepernick can worship that God with all his might, but not stand up with his team mates while someone sings a song about a country that allowed for him to be taken in by a loving and encouraging family when his real family abandoned him; a family and a system of schools, teachers, coaches, peers that made him who he is today–a fucking jerk-off who kisses his muscles with pride while he’s hero-worshiped by millions. You can tell he’s being utterly disingenuous by his body language, as well as the fact that he changes his voice and dialect depending on what question he’s answering. When asked about supporting troops, he sounds like a good ol’ boy from the Midwest. When asked about black lives mattering, he talks like Ice fucking T. All the while looking like Rafi from The League.
The worst thing about Colin Kaepernick is that he’s not stupid. He knows that the government isn’t out murdering minorities, but says it anyway, because his Black Lives Matter-worshiping significant other might not blow him as much if he doesn’t make a public stance. Kaepernick knows what it’s like to be the product of an immature mother and an absentee father, but luckily, he didn’t have to live that life for long. He was given a chance; a privilege.
The worst thing about what Colin Kaepernick did wasn’t that he didn’t seem very patriotic. Cry me a river. He obviously cares about his country and knows what a mess this political system is right now. Again, he’s not stupid. The worst thing about what he did was that he’s now created an environment based on a false narrative of a systemically racist country that makes every single other black player look like they don’t care about black people. It’s a forced and targetless insurrection being led by an individual (Kaepernick) who almost exactly one year ago was fined by the “racist” system for calling an opposing black player a “fucking nigger.” Real heartwarming.
Now this person has created an environment where every other black player is under scrutiny for not sitting during the “oppressive” National Anthem. As if they’d want to be known for doing the activity they’d trained their entire lives for and bring home heft paychecks instead of wasting their time and reputations symbolically representing people who burn down gas stations and shoot at cops.
Colin Kaepernick isn’t unpatriotic. He’s too smart for his own good. He knows that he’s only a nut-hair away from being cut from his team, so what better opportunity to take a stance against a predominantly black system who would dare fire one (kinda) black guy who couldn’t live up to his expectations? And what better way to get in good with your social justice warrior girlfriend, then to become a symbol of this mythical system of oppression?
So all credit to Colin Kaepernick for playing the system better than he plays the game that he makes $19 Million per year for playing.
I sit with Colin Kaepernick, because standing to express pride and hero-worship is worthless to him, even though it means a lot to everyone around him that he goes through the motions.
Though he’d never sit with me, because he’s an ego-maniacal, rich, brain-washed, privileged fuck who would never and could never be bothered to show anyone around him any reason, rationale, or respect unless they’re actively riding his dick…in bed…or on the bench.