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Colin Kaepernick and ‘lynching’ in modern America

 Colin Kaepernick continues to speak out against the recent shootings of black men by white officers. Photograph by Daniel Hartwig.

Colin Kaepernick continues to speak out against the recent shootings of black men by white officers. Photograph by Daniel Hartwig.

The world is like a restaurant with a major conflict in the front of the house and a fire in the kitchen.

In the front of the house is Brexit – the tip of whose Titanic-smashing iceberg we’ve just experienced. In the kitchen, we have terrorism in Istanbul and Bangladesh and the shootings in Baton Rouge and Minnesota.

Brexit will have sweeping, long-term effects – not the least of which will be the continued rise of women to the heights of political power, probably the only good effect.

But the more immediate issue is the continued violence in this world. The shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by officers in Baton Rouge and Minnesota respectively is complex even though these issues may seem black (the victims) and white (the officers). Police work is dangerous. You never know what you’re walking into. I couldn’t do it. Plus more whites are killed by police  than blacks.

And yet, to be a black man in this country is to live at the point of a gun.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick continues to speak out against the shootings on social media, observing, “This is what lynchings looks like in 2016,” and for that he’s been compared to a gorilla and called a dumb, failed jock.

It’s like, mind your place, boy, right? Because only certain people are allowed to an opinion in a democratic republic, right?

The spectrum of prejudice runs from verbal abuse to the barrel of a gun.

Who knows what goes through the mind of an officer of the law when faced with what he or she – though it’s almost always a he – perceives to be a life-threatening decision.

Still, there has to be more education and better training so that we see others as people rather than as crime statistics.