Before a preseason game with the Green Bay Packers on Friday, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick chose not to stand during the National Anthem.
“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 told NFL media afterward.
As an immigrant to this country, I am not going to sit here and pretend that I understand the complex relationship America has with patriotism and its symbols, such as the National Anthem and the American flag.
I am impartial to if you agree with him or not. However, what I do have an issue with is how some people reacted to the protest from Kaepernick.
Following his statement, some people took to Twitter and decided to call Kaepernick strong racial slurs in their response to his protest.
This has been happening frequently on Twitter in the past few months. Whenever a person of color does something that is even remotely disagreeable, their race gets drawn into the forefront of the argument.
We have seen this happen to Saturday Night LIve’s Leslie Jones and Fifth Harmony’s Normani Kordei, who both took breaks from Twitter following each of their racial attacks.
There are many ways to object to someone’s opinion without being racist. In fact, many people would agree that the usage of racial slurs makes the argument sound ignorant and unintelligent.
When that type of ignorant, hateful rhetoric is used, the opinion is immediately thrown out the window and is no longer even considered valid, regardless of what else was said.
There are many people who disagreed with Kaepernick but did not resort to demeaning and vile language. Having an intelligent and civil conversation is the only correct way to argue any viewpoint.
If your immediate reaction is to call someone an offensive term, I implore you to rethink your worldview and seek professional help.