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Stealing The Show

Stealing the show

The fight  for the movement and who controls the narrative.

After many days and nights of careful reflection on the issues of race in America that has come front and center as of late because of the protest of Colin Kaepernick Ex-NFL Quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. The NFL Quarterback started a firestorm last season by taking a seat during the playing of the National anthem.  Later in an interview, Colin gave his reasons for not standing during the anthem. Kaepernick said he could not rise for the flag or national anthem after seeing unarmed men and women being murdered by the police and the police getting off scott-free. Colin also raised some other true but disturbing points about the American justice system and the treatment of black and brown people.  He pointed out the fact that basic freedoms were being denied to poor people and people of color in general.  When you look at what’s been taking place over the last few years you would think that no one could fault Colin for what he was doing. If you thought that was the case, you would be sadly mistaken because in America no person of color has the right to speak out against America and the injustices that take place under her stars and stripes.


For a long time, the stars and bars of America have been portrayed as a symbol of the enduring freedoms of America. In truth that would only be the case if you happened to be a so-called white person of European descent. We all know the story of the great Christopher Columbus and how he discovered America but it’s rare to hear the story about the massacre of the aboriginal people who were here before Columbus. It’s even rarer to hear the true story of how this nation was founded on the blood sacrifice of the indigenous and foreign slaves of the Americas. No one likes to hear that story and they especially hate to hear it during the playing of their beloved national anthem. After all, the anthem is just a song that was written to honor the nation right? Even the story of the anthem has a very dark past and many don’t know the racist history of the song. Because of the racist nature of the anthem, we no longer sing the third verse of this so-called song of freedom. After I read the third verse for the first time I can see why they would want to leave that part out of the anthem.


The anthem itself was written by racist slave owner Francis Scott Key and it is clear what he thinks of the slaves and people of color who wanted nothing more than to be free. He not only expresses his hate for the slave in the anthem he also expresses his belief that it is his god given right to crush the slave. Now one would think that the history of the song would keep it from becoming the national anthem but again you are missing the point of the song and the theme of America. The anthem is a freedom song for the white slaveholder and those who would oppress other human beings because of the color of their skin. The anthem is not a song of freedom liberty and justice for all people. It is the song of tourney and oppression for all those who would dare to be seen as equal to a rich white man. Every free nation should have a song that is inclusive for all people unlike the star-spangled banner which has the theme of hatred at its core.  A free nation should have a song that reflects the values of a moral nation and the song should give hope to its entire population. The song should be a reflection of freedom justice and equality for people. Okay, enough about that because I could spend days talking about why the star spangled banner is a bad choice for the nations song.


Back to the point, I was going to make before I got sidetracked. What I wanted to talk about was the protest that Colin sparked when he took a seat during the national anthem and how it has evolved into something that has little or nothing to do with the message that Colin attempting share about police brutality.  Colin was trying to bring awareness to the issue of police brutality and the unfair practices of the justice system in America. In doing so I feel Colin may have exposed America and her hate for people of color. He has also opened the door to those forces in this country that would rather we just watch football and keep quiet. I also believe Colin may have undermined his own movement from the start by compromising with people who have never compromised a thing when it comes to black folks. Early in Colin’s protest he was in his seat during the anthem but he compromised himself and that may be part of the reason the focus of the protest got toss out in favor of propaganda and empty rhetoric about flags and soldiers. Taking a seat was powerful and it had a feel of royalty and also the feel of a black man taking charge of his own destiny. After the Real Sports interview Colin took some bad advice from Nate Boyer former Army Green Beret and this to me was a key turning point that allowed compromise where there should have been none.


The symbolism of a movement is important and should never be compromised. Maybe Kaepernick thought he could take the advice Boyer and by doing so the focus would stay on the issues but as we can see that didn’t happen. My granddad once told me you can’t compromise with a person who is not willing to compromise as well. I’m sure Colin didn’t understand what was happening because if he did maybe he would have told Boyer: I hear you but I am going to fight my fight my way. The reason I feel this is so important is because under these political circumstances you cannot be seen as weak or as someone too eager to compromise because before you know it they will have you looking like the bad guy. After that no one will be talking about issues because they’ll be too busy talking about you.  All Kaepernick had to do was stay in his seat and stay on message but he didn’t and now the reasons for the protest is forever lost to a field of media distractions and political word play. This is also a history lesson on how not knowing the history of American racism can blow up in your face.


It may seem that the elites are not happy with the way things are going with regards to the NFL protest but they are probably feeling very good right about now. They have successfully taken over a movement in the NFL that was talking about racial injustice and made it into a statement about team unity.  Now the team owners can come out and direct the protest of the players. Which by the way is exactly what they wanted in the first place, a movement that has no place to go?  Now that Kaepernick is out of  the spottight the owners can run the revolution in his absence and shape the narrative. I watched the reruns on the local news as player locked arms with the police the very same institution Colin was protesting against. Then I watched team owners like Jerry Jones take a knee in a demonstration against President Trump but not in unity with the people for the issues to which Colin was protesting since last year. As I watched the quite codetta of the people’s movement I couldn’t help but be filled with sadness because no one seemed to really grasp what was really happening.


The way the whole takeover happened made me think that maybe some of the NFL owners may have prompted Trump to give them a way back in the fight that would make them the heroes and ignore Colin the man who risked everything to speak out. Yes, you must be wondering why I would say such a thing and my answer is: for a long time the elites have been causing problems in society only to play the hero at a later time. This has happened many times in the history of the world it’s one of the key formulas that the elites have used to keep us all in line. I really believe Trump is the creation of the elites and his reason for being is to distract people from the real issues facing humanity. Trump said the players who protest the racist anthem should be fired and he also called the players sons of bitches. The thing that got me was Trump seems to be saying some of the craziest things but he seemed to be saying them right on cue. The NFL owners needed an out that would help them get control of the firestorm that Colin started last season and it looks like Trump just gave it to them.


People don’t really study history as much as they should and it seems now we are doomed to repeat some very hard lesson in this nation. As black people, we have yet to learn how racism and propaganda really works in the world. For now, we seem to be stuck in an never-ending cycles where we raise issues only to have to explain ourselves on everything except the issue we raised. It is not an easy thing to overcome years of oppression but it’s made even harder when we don’t understand the depths that the elites will go, to maintain control. All Americans must understand how this game is played if we hope to make things better for all people. The boycott of the NFL and the movement that Colin started is not dead but we must maintain control of the narrative or there is a good chance it will die a premature death at the hands of the enemy of all people yearning to be free. We must see this ploy by NFL owners for what it is an attempt to take freedom from the masses and put all Americans in mental chains. Take back your revolution and keep the hope of liberty and justice for all alive for our children. In other words, don’t let them steal the show because in truth that’s all they hope to do.

Sengbe Ben Yosef

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