By Desi Cortez, BASN Columnist (first presented December 31, 2016)
DENVER — You can’t pick our heroes!
Crazy Horse, Che, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Ali, Huey. P. Newton, Bobby Seale, and The Black Panthers, Geronimo, Angela Davis, Cesar Chavez, Nat Turner, Nelson Mandela, Susan B. Anthony, The NAACP . . . the list is long of individuals, institutions, and organizations which mainstream White America despises and detest, and today the list is one name longer. 2016 produced one more name, one more man, San Francisco Forty-Niners Signal Caller Colin Kaepernick, who stood-up to White America . . . and told them proudly to “go to hell, kiss my Black ass . .!” ” I don’t have to kiss your ass!.” Open, blatant defiance which would have gotten him beaten, hung, castrated . . . you name it 50 years ago. I dare anyone to tell me I’m lying.
Kap . . . go head with ya’ bad-ass self. You can’t pick our heroes
Here’s what Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand and salute O;’ Glory told white folks, but only in the words of noted 19th-century abolitionist and Black Republican, Frederick Douglass; What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.”
The US Flag, Ol’ Glory and the Fourth of July are one in the same, they embody American pride and patriotism and I suggest that Kap’s stand said all that Douglass articulated and more to White America. It said “Fuck you” and the horse you rode in on. It said Black Power!
See, there’s this ridiculous notion that black people, in particular, ought-be quiet, docile, humble and accepting of our 4th class place in US society. We should be happy, happy as hell – ecstatic and grinning ear-to-ear, jumpin’ up n’ down, doing cartwheels because White folks, who own – lock, stock n’ barrel the United States of America have, dig this “granted,” allowed and perhaps even permitted us to stay and to play their games.
They just hate the fact we not only play “their” games better than they can – we’ve come to redefine their games and rewrite the record books. For millions, upon millions of white sports fans they hate that reality, they hate black gladiators get the glitter n’ gleam the accolades and the little blond-haired, blue-eyed cheerleader whose “gone black,” and the baby she ain’t ever going back. Yeah, you bet, they hate that aspect of this fair transfer of power.
Here’s the only problem; white folks paid for “their” land with the blood, sweat n’ tears of enslaved black folks. And please note: that land, America – it belonged to red and brown people. That’s the only hitch in the whole American Fairytale. Isn’t it odd, unique and unusual that Donald Trump’s full-blooded, genuine, authentic Americans either have no idea of these obvious contributions, or they choose to tactically, deliberately minimize if not disregard the truth, history, the real story?
Arrogance or ignorance?
Kap’s refusal to “go along to get along” will go down with Ali’s ‘ poignant observation ”ain’t no Vietcong ever called me Nigger. .!” It will be talked about as still is Tommy Smith and John Carlos’s Black Power salute in Mexico City, back in 1968. And what’s infuriating for angry White folks – his team has now stood by him, spoken, and said “he;s a damn good man, “Inside n’ out.” On the field, and off. He’s got brains, guts, character, and heart. Granted his team is composed of mostly other Black men White sports fans – so white folks will minimize, trivialize and consume their support of Colin, but now, you know and I know if the award had went to someone, anyone else . . . every caucasian columnist, of every persuasion, would have weighed-in, big time and amplified that selection, just to make their point – Kap didn’t get the award.
And had the Len Eshmont Award, given to the 49er who “best exemplifies the inspirational and courageous play of Len Eshmont, an original member of the 1946 49ers team gone to a white lineman . . . good god, these birds will still be chirping about real and true leadership, but since it went to Kap . . . It’s so quiet . . . you can hear a rat piss on cotton.