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#TakeTheKnee

 "But then a big change happened -- didn't seem like much, but by my estimation, changed everything. Instead of sitting, Kaepernick kneeled." (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

"But then a big change happened -- didn't seem like much, but by my estimation, changed everything. Instead of sitting, Kaepernick kneeled." (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Earlier today, I posted the following on my Facebook page:

"Many people don't understand that #TakeTheKnee has nothing to do with protesting against the military. The protest is against the national anthem. Please educate yourselves on the history of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before saying this protest movement is disrespectful. The national anthem celebrates the oppression of black people.

Unbeknownst to many, Francis Scott Key included a third stanza in the anthem with the words, "No refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave." While this song is patriotic, it is also a song about slavery and their attempts to fight for freedom. The song revels in the murder of escaped slaves liberated by the British."

I wanted to elaborate some more on my earlier post because it feels as though some people are still not quite understanding the protest movement. Let me make it clear once more: The NFL and protest supporters ARE NOT protesting against the American flag, the men, and women that have bravely served and continue to serve for this country. We are protesting racism and police brutality.

I stated earlier that the protest was against the national anthem. Some may take offense to this because the national anthem, like the American flag, is a symbol of patriotism. However, the underlying message of "The Star-Spangled Banner" is one filled with racism. The words "hireling and slave" used in the third stanza of the song was in regards to the slaves that found liberation with the British.

When Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem in August 2016, he exercised his First Amendment right. The Constitution of the United States of America clearly states the following as the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

By stating that Kaepernick's actions were disrespectful is equally saying that he is not within his right as a citizen of the United States to exercise his RIGHTS. The American people have the right to criticize, protest and petition for any injustices they feel are in place and in practice. Kaepernick took a knee during the anthem to protest against racism and police brutality against black people in America. It should come as no surprise police brutality against black people stems from centuries of institutional racism. However, this is not to say that all police officers are racist. We are saying the SYSTEM was built on racism.

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Donโ€™t follow tradition for the sake of tradition. Do your research. Dig deeper. Patriotism is far more than defending the countryโ€™s national anthem or flag. Donโ€™t just ask them to add meaning to the word patriotism, DEMAND it. Kaepernick showed resistance peacefully. Although his actions were attacked and criticized, he still stood his ground (or kneeled on his ground). We could all learn a thing or two from him about sticking by our beliefs. He not only has my support, he has my utmost respect. 

See the following video for Jesse Ventura's comments on Colin Kaepernick from 2016:

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