One step forward, two steps back. That’s usually how the fight for progress goes in America.
“Oh man, I will stand.”
That’s what a Navy SEAL said while wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey during a K-9 attack demonstration after four dogs took him to the ground. Over the weekend, video of the demonstration went viral, though it took place during a fundraiser last year in Florida, of all places.
People who were in attendance laughed.
Think about that.
It’s as if Nate Boyer, a Green Beret, wasn’t the one that inspired Kaepernick to kneel in the first place.
On Sunday, the Navy announced it would launch a full investigation, acting as if they actually care about something that they probably sanctioned, and have known about since it happened.
“We became aware today of a video of a Navy SEAL Museum event posted last year with a military working dog demonstration. In the demonstration, the target is wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey. The inherent message of this video is completely inconsistent with the values and ethos of Naval Special Warfare and the U.S. Navy. We are investigating the matter fully, and initial indications are that there were no active-duty Navy personnel or equipment involved with this independent organization’s event.”
The SEALs aren’t going to face any type of harsh punishment. Trust me, I’ve seen this movie before.
Back in December, the military’s crown athletic jewel — the annual Army/Navy game — got hijacked by some racist servicemen that decided it would be fun to boldly flash a “white power” hand gesture behind ESPN’s Rece Davis during the live telecast. This was also the same game where Trump sat amongst the servicemen and women while wearing a MAGA hat. And we know his feelings on Kaepernick.
Six days after military officials opened an investigation into the servicemen’s actions in front of ESPN’s cameras, they concluded that the men were “participating in a sophomoric game, commonly known as ‘the circle game.’”
This is the part where I remind you that in 2019, Brenton Tarrant, a man that was charged with killing 51 people at mosques in New Zealand, was seen flashing the very same symbol at his court date as the servicemen did on national TV.
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” said Drew Brees back in June.
“Let me just tell what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played and when I look at the flag of the United States,” he said. “I envision my two grandfathers, who fought for this country during World War II, one in the Army and one in the Marine Corps. Both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place.”
Regardless of the multiple videos and tweets that Brees has made and released since then apologizing, his thinking is one that continues to erase the sacrifices and impact that Black and Brown members of our military have made throughout history. From the Buffalo Soldiers to the Tuskegee Airmen, to the internal moral dilemmas that Black soldiers had to endure during Vietnam — which was explored in Spike Lee’s recent film “Da 5 Bloods” — America only views patriotism the “white way.”
Black Americans’ opinions and ideas about the topic are ignored or discredited, unless you need a jersey to dress your live test dummy in during a dog demonstration.
And you wonder why we never feel protected in our own country.