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Colin Kaepernick: Traitor or Social Entrepreneur
So, is Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers quarterback a Traitor to the United States of America or a Hero who is standing up for the principles that are supposed to exist, entrenched and embraced by those who supposedly believe in the US Constitution (Bill of Rights)? Yes, that is the million or in Kaepernick’s case a 6-year $114,000,000.00-dollar question within this controversy. Now, according to Kaep his refusal to stand for the American National Anthem is based on the issue of Police Brutality and Oppression of Black people and other minorities. Let’s be clear famous athletes like Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bill Russell, Tommy Smith and many others have also, taken similar stances against discrimination and violence committed by law enforcement authorities going back 50-years.
Needless to say, they also incurred the wrath of society like Kaep who suffered immediate backlash and predicted derogatory comments that came in the form of emails and tweets calling him a "nigger", "monkey", "go back to Africa", "spoiled millionaire athlete half-breed" and other confirmations of racism that he accused police of practicing and executing against Non-Whites. So, we have different perspectives about the American National Anthem and what it’s supposed to represent to all people. Kaep’s detractors perceive him as being privileged as indicated by living an extraordinary quality of life playing a sport, while getting paid millions of dollars. Hence, if, America was racist then, he and the aforementioned athletes wouldn’t be on the upper 5% of the SES ladder. Kaep’s supporters maintain his refusal to stand is an act of heroism that is designed to make America greater, while addressing acts of injustice that have been well documented and generational.
Well, was his approach right or wrong if, he's concerned about Police brutality, which is real? Now, symbolically refusing to stand is POWERFUL but, long-term useless from my point of view because America isn't about right or wrong it's about Power and Control. The current Presidential election supports my position because both Trump and Clinton are corrupt but, one of them will occupy the White House as the Moral compass of America...oh, the irony. The National Football League is one of the most powerful corporations on planet earth that portrays itself as All American and pays its player several millions of dollars to entertain the masses, while selling everything on the open-market because business is business. This doesn't mean symbolism isn't important because the Stars and Stripes with the Eagle illicit passion and emotions to millions throughout the country but, symbolism doesn't pay the bills nor provides a permanent solution to any problem…just ask any lobbyist with $$$$ on Capitol Hill.
Perhaps, Kaep and other athletes should use the so-called White Supremacist dollars and resources to invest (tax deduction) in the Black community to fund scholarships for Law and other Professional schools so as to help create an economic infrastructure within the Black American community (giving back). Such an approach also, helps to create political and economic POWER, which is a great deterrent to Police abuse. Hey, America is a capitalist nation and money with influence seems to have a certain magic when solving problems. If, you don’t have the cash then, in the immortal words of feminist and attorney, Gloria Allred, “In America, you get as much justice, as you can afford” (cannot believe I am quoting a feminist). Clearly, the Black Community could use an infusion of cash which individuals like Kaep could assist but also, engage in social entrepreneurship along with partners (entrepreneurs, businessmen, academic scholars and others) to provide a blue print for success to those who have given up hope. It seems honest critical thinking outside the box is the approach that’s urgently needed.
So, as an entrepreneur do you see yourself as wanting to provide a solution to a problem, while using an entrepreneurial, business techniques to develop, fund and implement innovative ideas and solutions to solve social, political and cultural problems? I presume your response will be in the affirmative; otherwise, why are you reading this article and not functioning like a mindless automaton? Yes, social entrepreneurship involves getting out of your comfort zone, which Kaep is doing to try to remedy or start a discussion about an issue. Well, you take the same approach in your business and that’s why you are here as a marketer/social entrepreneur.
Oh yes, one of the lasting legacies of Muhammad Ali was his push for what is called “Ethnic Entrepreneurism” (cultural economics) within the African American community. Ali often shared about the need for blacks to build their own banks, schools, theatres and overall, economic infrastructure to sustain its own community due to economic deprivation resulting from historical barriers (Slavery, Jim Crow and Anti-Poverty Laws) that continue to impact the black familial structure. Since, wealth is a generational game but, your community has been systematically denied opportunity to participate and grow due to an uneven playing field then, it’s of the utmost importance to invest your resources with others who look like yourself. Indeed, charity begins at home or more accurately, in your community