Y’all might have been surprised at how long it’s taken President Obama to weigh in on the controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during our national anthem. Not because a president should be expected to (or even should) weigh in on the actions of a sports figure, but because this one has to do with the touting of racial injustice and minority oppression in America. And we all know by now, the president usually hops quickly to his bully pulpit when there’s a chance to weigh in on that.
And what better place to speak out on the horrible oppression in the United States of America than China?
Obama’s response in three words? Kaepernick “has a point” about racial injustice in America.
Via The New York Post:
President Obama on Monday defended San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision not to stand during the playing of the national anthem.
“[H]e’s following his constitutional right to make a statement,” Obama said at a press conference in Hangzhou, China, responding to a question about the quarterback. “I think there’s a long history of sports figures doing so.”
The president added, “I don’t doubt his sincerity. I think he cares about some real, legitimate issues that have to be talked about. And if nothing else, he’s generated some conversation around some topics that need to be talked about it.”
Kaepernick has refused to stand for the pre-game playing of the national anthem, citing racial injustice and the oppression of minorities in America.
At Monday’s press conference, Obama reiterated his call for an “active citizenry” and praised the 28-year-old professional athlete for speaking out: “I would rather have young people who are engaged in the argument and trying to think through how they can be part of our Democratic process than people who are just sitting on the sidelines and not paying attention at all.”
Obama didn’t encourage standing for the playing of the national anthem, but signaled that others might not respect Kaepernick’s move.
But the president said: “Maybe some of his critics will start seeing he has a point around certain concerns around justice and equality.”
Well, there you have it. Turns out President Obama does believe in the rights the US Constitution is meant to protect — at least under certain circumstances. Kaepernick has a right to disrespect our flag (and yes he does), but a Christian baker doesn’t have a right to refuse to participate in a gay marriage, based on his or her religious beliefs. If it were up to President Obama himself, a Christian business must go against its beliefs and pay for abortifacient drugs for employees. And, of course, according to Obama (and Hillary), the Constitution’s Second Amendment is “flexible.”
And, of course, President Obama says Kaepernick “has a point” about racial injustice, however fails to mention — much less do anything about — the fact that the bulk of that oppression exists, and has flourished, under Democrat rule of our nation’s urban areas. We detailed this previously, here and here, most recently.
Perhaps what is just as astonishing is the fact that Obama seems to suggest the flag and national anthem only have special meaning for the men and women who fought for us.
“As a general matter when it comes to the flag and the national anthem and the meaning that that it holds for our men and women in uniform and those who fought for us, that is a tough thing for them to get past, to then hear what his deeper concerns are,” he said.
And, to be sure, the flag and national anthem indeed looms large and meaningful for the brave men and women who stood up and fought (fight) for us. But that deep pride and love of country emanates well past our military men and women, across millions of patriotic Americans who know we are blessed to live in the greatest, freest nation on earth. And, yes, it’s a tough thing for us to get past a millionaire athlete crying out about oppression in this land.
The one thing notably missing from Obama’s comments are that if he had a son, he would act like Kaepernick — something none of us can doubt.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse]