Make sure to read the article below the latest Ghion Cast below. Words are always more powerful than video.
Let me be completely forthright here, Colin Kaepernick is suspect in my book. I know a lot of people who identify with his stance will reflexively want to stop reading the rest of this article and ascribe some type of motive to me for daring to question Kap’s courage. But if you stick with me a bit, I am sure that most people–even those who self-identify as “conservatives” and “patriots”–can arrive at a place of understanding. In fact, this is the reason I write this article; it’s my hope that people who yell past each other and enhance social static can pause and realize our connected struggles.
It seems that our nation and society at large is being driven into a collective rage where we are actively encouraged by opinion leaders on all sides to pick up blow torches in order to incinerate the “others”. This is what I mean by enhancing static; there are few voices out there who speak to our better angels. Instead, a coterie of demagogues are being pushed on all fronts by the elites in order to keep us in perpetual conflict. Politicians, pundits and opinion leaders are intentionally inducing strife by presenting justice through a one-sided perspective. The playbook of divide and conquer has always used antipathy and tribalism in order to keep the masses at each other’s throats–you are now witnessing this playbook live in HD reality before you.
It is for this reason that I am skeptical on the issue of Colin Kaepernick. Social justice has morphed from a sacrificial journey to a profit driven motive. I have learned a long time ago to distrust anyone that is accepted and pushed by the establishment. If media elites on either side of the political divide latch on or demonize someone, that is the surest sign that person is part and parcel of the grand deception. True change agents and those who actually stand for universal justice will NEVER be broadcast on TV nor will they ever be mentioned by the Corporate State Media. They don’t want us to know about true heroes who heal wounds; the only personalities that get pushed to the forefront are those who peddle separable grievances and those who perpetuate the “us versus them” divisions.
I used to be a part of this nonsense not too long ago myself. It was not too long ago–back when I was a latte sipping, high priced consultant–where I was a participant in the very practices of divisiveness that I am writing against now. I attended one protest after another where I chanted myopic slogans and uttered narrow-minded rhetoric all the while thinking I was making a difference. I had no problem speaking against “white privilege” and blaming the “others” for the ills of “my people”. Instead of focusing my ire on policy makers and the moneyed interests who create inequality through legislation and edicts, I found myself directing my anger at others who were suffering just like me.
The same way that Ronald Reagan convinced “white folks” that the problem was a “ghetto queen” who was living off the dole, Democrats and the left leaning elites indoctrinated me into thinking that the problem was “white supremacy”. This is how a few people can run roughshod over billions; as they shatter us into islands, they have us fighting one another instead of uniting to defend ourselves from our common oppressors. But I was lacking wisdom back then to understand how the elites are using our pains to splinter society and how all sides are being played for suckers. Thus, in the same breath I expressed outrage over the treatment of Trayvon Martin, I would dismiss the anger of some “white” farmer in Idaho who was victimized by governmental overreach. Think on this the next time “black lives matter” and “blue lives matter” declare war on one another; both sides are pissed off at the unfairness of the system but sadly fire on each other instead of uniting to take on their common tormentors.
But injustice is injustice, why do we accept the pains we feel as we dismiss the same pains felt by others. Yet this is exactly where we find ourselves as all sides who are getting pillaged by the powerful demand to be heard while refusing to hear others. It is for this reason that I find Kaepernick’s motives suspicious. He has become the poster boy of the liberal elites as a voice of virtue while being demonized by the conservative establishment as a subversive agent. What most people don’t see is that the liberal elites and conservative establishment are working hand-in-hand to keep us and this world perpetually fractured. There is a reason that Malcolm X viewed the “black bourgeoisie” and elitist intellectuals with jaundiced eyes; it’s like the talented 10th Du Bois spoke about have been weaponized against us.
Why can’t Kaepernick use his voice and the platform he has been given to speak of injustices that kneecap all? Why can’t he channel Martin Luther King Jr during the latter days of his life and stand up for universal justice [read the Confluence of Malcolm and Martin]. Pause and reflect on this point for a minute. The reason that Donald Trump was elected was because a critical mass of “white people” got tired of being overlooked and being blamed for the ills of society and turned to a demagogue who spoke to their anger the same way Obama spoke to our frustrations. This is how the game is played on all of us; the status quo keeps pushing firebrands to all sides to keep us continually stirred up so that we don’t see our common struggle.Does it take much for one of these would be social justice warriors to speak of justice sans partisan blinders and tribal grievances? Why can’t we have one who has enough courage to connect the struggles of families broken in Chicago to the strife faced by families in the Appalachians? Why can’t we have one activist who has a mainstream media megaphone speak of homelessness that comes for all, poverty that sees no color and injustice that hobbles the masses? That’s because they know in their hearts that if they actually stood up for justice for all, they would no longer be lavished by the press or adored by the elites. Instead, we have one voice after another who keeps presenting the iniquities of this world through the “us versus them” paradigm. Trump and Kaepernick are the same the flip side of this coin in this way–they are feeding off each other to get us to gnaw one another.
It takes no courage to spit flames into the night. Far from being truth tellers, those who speak with anger and rile up the emotions of the mob are furthering the very injustices they think they feign to be against. This is especial true about those who are given access to the mic and whose voices are amplified by the status quo. Notice how radicals who preach antipathy to the fringes are the ones who get the spotlight. The quickest way to make a buck, sell books and earn fame is to peddle anger and discontent to the extremes; rarely do we hear of those who speak with love and beseech us to unite. Think about these things next time you hear a charlatan speaking with antagonism towards “the other side” instead of admonishing us to come together as one. These folks are toxic; they are getting paid by the same source of injustice they supposedly fight.
I will applaud Kaepernick when he speaks of the connective struggles of our hopes and struggles and when he stands up for universal justice. Instead he is doing the exact opposite as he reverts to fiery rhetoric and heated symbolism while overlooking the true source of injustice that is robbing from all equally. Kaepernick can afford to do this; at a young age he has already amassed fortunes that very few of us will ever see in a our lifetime. The rest of us should be really clear-eyed for politics and injustice hunting is not a game we can afford to play for the sake of likes and reteweets. We should really think twice about our approach going forward–the only way to arrive at equality is to stand up for universal justice.
As I noted earlier, be really leery when either side of the establishment and the media elites latch on to anyone and gives them a voice. There is a reason I refuse to take part in the Black Lives Matter movement; Soros did not fund BLM because he cares about us [read Rethinking Black Lives Matter]. The rich and powerful have been using our pains for decades as they push us around like pawns–why do you think Twitter gave Black Lives Matter its own emoji and the left leaning punditry jumped on their bandwagon. This is the same reason why Fox News jumped all over the Tea Party “movement”. Once again, they are using our struggles to perpetuate the divides. So when I see Kaeperneck being embraced by Jack Dorsey–the same way Black Lives Matter and various “black intellectuals” from Deray to Coates are endorsed by the elites–I know to walk away immediately. Just remember my people, they only let overseers into the master’s house–especially the house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
On this football Sunday, I hope people really reflect on this issue of unity and togetherness. As long as we are pitted against each other and convinced by the elites to take fire at each other, the more we will suffer as a people and languish. Stop turning politics and human suffering into a sport and stop letting the rich and famous use our pains to advance their own interests. Justice will not arrive by empty gestures; divisive symbolism and through exclusionary rhetoric. It takes sacrifice and many people speaking with one voice for the people to match the power of those who oppress all of us. Either we wise up and unite or we will continue to suffer under the boots of those who manipulate our emotions. #DecodingKaepernick
“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.” ~ Malcolm X
If you appreciate this message of unity and how we can overcome injustice through collective action behind this write up, share this article on social media using #DecodingKaepernick
Check out the Ghion Cast below, this most important “adult conversation on race” we were once promised. Listen to this with an open heart, there is a way forward and a way we can heal our nation of historical injustice.
The only way we can overcome collective tyranny is through collective action. Unite or perish. Check out the Ghion Cast below where I speak exactly on this topic.
As far as our politics, check out the Ghion Cast below where I discus how both Democrats and Republicans work together to bleed us. Again, unity is the only way forward.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.
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