Unless, for the past couple weeks, you’ve been living under a rock which also lives under a rock, you’ve come across the harrowing tale of Colin Kaepernik, the 49’ers quarterback who pulled a Rosa Parks during the National Anthem, opening their preseason game, and stayed his black ass in his seat. Yes, in protesting the overzealous policing of black communities – which, at best, consistently leaves us vulnerable to racial profiling and constant harassment, and at worst, costs us our very lives – Kaepernik became the 3rd or 4th… or 9th professional athlete from the African diaspora to refuse to recognize our National Anthem (at least, in any traditional way) before a sporting event as a show of support for social justice. Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, former NBA star Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Olympic gold and bronze medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos all beat Kaepernik to trail blazer status by, at least, the better part of a few decades; nevertheless he’s set the internet, the airwaves and most of the NFL fanbase on level 10 ape shit. Go figure.
Now, I don’t mean to diminish what Kap is doing here. I fully appreciate that he’s taking a (grand) stand for the cause, putting his livelihood at risk and actually inspiring other pro athletes to follow suit.
In fact, the thing I find most interesting about all of this is the overwhelming response from (white) America that says, “You make millions, you are not oppressed, now be a good little rich negro and stand the fuck up!”
Because first, he never actually said he was personally oppressed. I’m not sure what people think he meant when he said, “It would be selfish of me to look away”, but it sounds to me like he recognizes the fact that his money and celebrity status leave him far less at risk of becoming one of those “bodies in the street” than the rest of us.
Secondly, It’s not like the dude was born in the NFL. He didn’t scoot out the poot and into a 9’ers jersey. He’s been in the league 5 years. White adoptive parents aside, iI’m pretty sure he can recall his days as a regular ol’ negro.
Lastly, and more to the point, it highlights the lack of empathy in the (white) folk who so strenuously oppose the Black Lives Matter movement. The fact that they can’t fathom the idea of someone not directly affected by something still caring and standing up for those who are is really telling and obviously eliminates the entire concept of allyship.
But this is not what I’m here to discuss today my good people. Today I want to talk about political correctness and how, perhaps, it’s that very lack of empathy that blinds those who complain about it the most to their own hypocrisy.
Let’s not pretend it isn’t the same ass holes who bitch all day about living in some new era of the perpetually offended, who now have their little Star Spangled panties all in a bunch over one man choosing not to stand.
After all, it isn’t as if Kaepernik was disruptive during the singing of the National Anthem. He didn’t hop up on his folding chair and start kicking over Gatorade coolers while shouting the lyrics to N.W.A.’s Fuck The Police – all the man did was sit his black ass down. The great irony here is that if all these quasi patriot blowhards hadn’t made such a mountain out of that particular molehill, they wouldn’t have a pro-black movement invading their precious past time, Colin Kaepernik wouldn’t be looking like the secret love child of Angela Davis and Stokely Carmicheal while (further) galvanizing black resistance and redneck fucking morons, all over the country, wouldn’t be out in their backyards making big demonstrations out of burning their Kaepernik jerseys (that they just bought) on camera as if anyone gives a fuck.
These people prove the idea that today’s society is any more hypersensitive than that of previous generations is absolute bullshit and completely ignores perspective.
50 years ago a black man whistling at a white woman was considered widely offensive (even moreso than his subsequent lynching).
The idea of a “woman’s place” being wherever the fuck she wants it to be has caused offended men across races, nationalities, cultures and creeds to throw a collective bitch-fit in the name of all mighty patriarchy.
The legality of same-sex marriage is, somehow, still considered controversial and would be considered unfathomably obscene in any supposedly thick skinned generation preceding the current.
Of course, when we think “PC”, we don’t think men feeling emasculated by female empowerment or folks being offended by the weddings of complete strangers which have fuck all to do with anyone outside of the couple to be wed and their loved ones – but that’s exactly what it is. The only things unique about the current generation’s brand of PC culture are A – we’re seeing true critical analysis of social constructs popularized for the first time in most of our lifetimes, and B – straight, white males are no longer the sole arbiters of what is and isn’t socially acceptable.
But (white) disgruntled football fans don’t believe police brutality is a real and eminent problem (because in their world, it isn’t) so, they view Kap’s personal protest as frivolous and the issue itself as trivial and divisive. Our lived experiences don’t matter, only their customs do. Our collective cry for help is nothing more than PC lambasting and it’s disrespectful to the country and (somehow) the troops.
Shit, Nat Turner, Malcom X and Fred Hampton all “died for our freedom” too but somehow I doubt these cry baby ass flag humpers would be very accommodating if we decided we wanted to stitch our heroes’ likenesses on to our own flag and start a tradition of singing our own anthem praising them for their sacrifice before a game. But their traditions – their flag, their pledge and their anthem – MUST be acknowledged and regarded as sacred by all who take up residence in this country.
When Gabby Douglas failed to place her hand over her heart as she and her teammates stood for the anthem during the 2016 Olympic games in Rio De Janeiro, it was as clear as day that, unlike Kap, she wasn’t staging a silent protest and, in all likelihood, there was nothing intentional at all about her inaction. But, that didn’t stop hordes of thoroughly offended Ameri-bots from taking to social media to mount themselves on their own virtual crosses – Dollars to donuts, if you were to click on many of their pages you’d find multiple “Trump 2016” posts about “Making America Great Again” and winning the culture wars by – you guessed it – ending political correctness.
Now, in the interest of fairness, I will say that the white, hetero, male conservative isn’t alone in blasting millennials for being overly sensitive beyond reason, only to turn into whiney little sphincter-faces when confronted with their own delicate sensibilities:
Black people (and black men in particular) are still homophobic and transphobic as fuck, for whatever reason, and will dismiss you as a PC, whiney lil’ bitch when you call them out on slinging slurs in what they consider to be casual conversation. However, it is they who can’t handle seeing two black men exchange affections or a black man/boy in a dress or anything even resembling feminine attire without turning conspiracy theorist and barking out platitudes about Hollywood, the government and the Illuminati plotting together to destroy the black community through the effeminization of the black man. That’s right, black people are being systematically depopulated into extinction because Jaden Smith prefers a skirt and a pair of heels when he’s out on these skreetz – but , y’all niggas sensitive.
At one point there were Christians of all races who considered it the ultimate in toxic political correctness for anyone to adopt “Happy Holiday’s” as a season’s greeting instead of “Merry Christmas” in showing recognition of all the neighboring non Christian holidays during the season – yet, they are the one’s declaring an all out “War on Christmas” (and by extension, Christianity). They were conveniently oblivious of the fact from early October through half of January, you can’t walk through a department store, shopping strip or fucking Home Depot without being driven slowly into madness by Christmas song playlists running endlessly on 9 track loops. Even surrounded by lights, tinsel and Santa Clause cosplay, these people see any deviance from their sacred traditions as a threat to society as they know it. Still, somehow *we* represent “the PC crowd” because we think Hanukkah, Ramadan and Kwanzaa are pretty cool too.
I’ve even seen white people and black men join forces in their collective butt-hurt over the “Black Girl Magic” mantra, as it grows in popularity, on account of it being non inclusive and because #AllMagicMatters. Speaking of which…
“All Lives Matter”, the Kumbaya remix of white America, is absolutely a PC response to “Black Lives Matter” but it isn’t widely recognized as such because perceived marginalization trumps actual marginalization every time as far as the dominant class is concerned.
As it’s been said, “equality feels like oppression to those who are accustomed to privilege”, and it is that complacency that allows so many of us to point fingers at everyone else’s fragility while sitting comfortably in a pool of our own irony and self unawareness. And, so many feel we’re being silenced by trigger warnings and the challenging of microaggressions. They think political correctness run amok is leading to some grand censorship and keeping folks from “telling it like it is”.
But, as far as I can tell, we’re as loud as ever.