Simpson to Kaepernick and how the truth will set you free
by B. Mchie
African American Registry existed before the first black president in America and I recall advice given to me by a very smart and successful black woman. It came during a video interview for our ‘Voices That Guide Us’ narratives. She admired our mission and intent. Especially our educational works being factually astute and blending oral commentary and academia to build our heritage. As the interview was finishing up she shared a point of wisdom I know was offered to both face up to and encourage the Registry’s success. She said, “The real challenge is how do you market this concept to a people who doubt themselves.”
What does this have to do with O.J. Simpson and Colin Kaepernick?
The doubts that exist in all American’s who are descendants of American Slavery is real, more in some of us; less in others but it is there. From John Newton’s Amazing Grace to the Willie Lynch speech to Rev. John Pierpont’s poem, etc our stories as a people are laced with disruption from white people who are ill equipped to understand us and deliberately intent on harvesting and marketing their misinformation to us. Many of you know Simpson’s life. As a young football player, Simpson’s response to how he felt about racism in America amid the Ali protest against Racism against black and the Vietnam War was, “I’m not black, I’m O.J.” Over 50 years later we have another black professional athlete who’s studied enough American history to define his place of comfort about who he is. In August 2016 he decided to protest the singing of the national anthem before a football game he played in. He cited that his actions were to call attention to the ongoing brutality towards black people by America’s law enforcement. The response has ranged from vilifying to admiration. Kaepernick has been called unpatriotic, not black, told to find another country to receiving death threats. He has also been called spot on, justified from some in the military and his sitting or taking a knee during the national anthem has been supported and imitated by other athletes at all levels.
This blog is written to showcase an example of how self-doubt in black America will ensure underachievement. Maybe not in the secular world be certainly in the condition of ones soul. These two black me exhibit two very important characteristics in black America. The pitfalls of running from truth of our blackness are worth analyzing when compared to the clarity and emancipation felt from being honest with one’s place in this country.