To be clear, when you stand against systemic racism, you will have your motivations questioned by those who prefer the status quo.
Lest we forget that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr may have a holiday now, but back when he was fighting for civil rights from 1955 until he was murdered in 1968, was called a “fake,” a “communist,” a “race hustler” and other words not fit to print by preachers, politicians and others who preferred the Jim Crow status quo. King had phony tax fraud charges brought against him in Alabama, was beaten and jailed throughout the south and midwest, and was harassed by the FBI upon the direct orders of Director J. Edgar Hoover, a man Hell bent upon marginalizing–or eliminating–the civil rights leader.
In 1963, King’s famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was actually written in response to an earlier missive published by eight white Birmingham area “pastors” who sought to denigrate King’s work, while also asking for the city’s black population to reject the soon to be Nobel Peace Prize laureate and his efforts to demand equal rights. The white clergy members wrote: “Just as we formerly pointed out that “hatred and violence have no sanction in our religious and political traditions,” we also point out that such actions as incite to hatred and violence, however technically peaceful those actions may be, have not contributed to the resolution of our local problems. We do not believe that these days of new hope are days when extreme measures are justified in Birmingham…
We further strongly urge our own Negro community to withdraw support from these demonstrations, and to unite locally in working peacefully for a better Birmingham. When rights are consistently denied, a cause should be pressed in the courts and in negotiations among local leaders, and not in the streets. We appeal to both our white and Negro citizenry to observe the principles of law and order and common sense.”
Sigh…Fortunately, many Black citizens in Birmingham rejected these notions and marched, were beaten and killed by those enemies of justice.
Today, Colin Kaepernick may be despised by some of our fellow Americans; they burn his old 49ers jersey, they burn their Nike apparel, they are boycotting the NFL, and they are questioning Kaepernick’s motives, claiming that he is a “fake,” a “race huckster,” a “communist” and other words not fit to print.
But I strongly believe that years from now, history will show that Kaepernick–like King–was on the right side of the only issue that truly matters–equal justice under the law.