Further explaNation

GQ Lewis
3 min readOct 8, 2017

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I so often hear the peaceful protest that many athletes & private citizens are now doing during the “National Anthem” as “unpatriotic”, “anti-military”, and “unAmerican”. None of those things could be any further from the truth. By whatever standard you choose, be it James Baldwin, Martin Luther King Jr., or even the Rev. Al Sharpton, the truth in America is that all lives in this great country of ours is not treated the same. To deny that it is means either you are racist and don’t care, or are woefully ignorant and hiding your head in the sand. If we had an anthem that hailed Hitler, don’t you think sanctioning it at every sporting event would be anti-Semitic. I served in two different branches of the military, and if it is anything I fought for, it would be for the freedoms of all Americans, not just a select few. There is no mention in the Constitution where you have the privilege to tell another man, woman, or child who feels aggrieved how they should peacefully protest.

American flag

In general, I think black people love America more than anyone else because they’ve had to endure more than anyone to be fully recognized as a full citizen of this nation. I am sorry if that offends some, but sometimes the truth is painful. Al Sharpton once said that “the mirror is not just there to reflect what you see, but to correct what you see”. Right now, we are holding up a mirror and pointing out all our imperfections because we want to make this country better. But unlike that “make America great again” crowd, we want to make it great and fair for all people, black, white and everything in between. I sincerely understand that some of you may not fully comprehend or appreciate this message in its entirety right away, but I hope that you will refer to it from time to time, and carefully observe what is said and the actions of those around you on a daily basis.

I will continue to protest the NFL, it’s owners, and their sponsors until there is a recognition of the disparities that exist for people of color in all aspects of life. I will not fund my own oppression, and I encourage others not to do so either. There must be a significant effort to make life more equitable for all, not just something on paper or beautiful words spoken. You can say you love me all day long, but until your actions and deeds exemplify that — I’ll continue to fight for that day. My brother, Colin Kaepernick, is not, nor ever has he been ungrateful for the privileges his athleticism or upbringing has afforded him in life. However, as any mature man realizes, I do not live my life in isolation. Those that came before me, I owe a debt. It is because of the many countless lives lost and broken that we have the opportunities that stand before us today. Therefore it is incumbent upon us to reach back and help our fellow man, to use my platform to help uplift others. He did this (even knowing it) may be of significant self sacrifice. What greater measure of a man is there.

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GQ Lewis

American-born socialist & advocate for mental health, human rights, and the poor. Influenced by Douglass, Malcolm, Baldwin, Stokely, and Hampton.