Written by Shannon Ryan
In 1966, in Soldier Field, Martin Luther King, Jr., called out police brutality and demanded better from our country before marching with nearly 30,000 others to City Hall.
On Sunday, an act of peaceful protest related to racial inequalities took place at Soldier Field, and it was met with boos.
Of course, many will scoff at comparing 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to King. After all, Kaepernick is wealthy and famous and perhaps has not directly been subject to the most severe forms of racism.
But what they have in common is that when Kaepernick kneels during the national anthem, he’s calling on us all to pay attention to inequalities in our country with an act of peaceful protest. His kneeling is not about disrespecting the nation but asking this nation’s citizens to live up to its promises to protect us all equally, which it unequivocally does not.
Kaepernick’s protest has further highlighted a general lack of knowledge and complete disconnect among white Americans about black American history, particularly to resistance movements.
A history book would have been more helpful than a megaphone in the hands of former Alderman James Balcer, who held a rally Sunday outside Soldier Field against Kaepernick.
“Any time you want to leave, you can leave (America),” Balcer said, according to reports.
Balcer isn’t alone in his distaste for Kaepernick’s protest. Despite that men of color helped make Mike Ditka rich and famous, the blustery, fact-immune former Bears coach has apparently taken no time to understand the inequities and biases that black people face. [read more…]