Peaceful Protests Bring More Criticism


When we think of protests we immediately picture hundreds of people crossing a freeway, looting or the SWAT team pushing back on the protesters.

Destruction is usually the word we associate with when a protest is taking place. Never do we picture silent sit-ins, despite the numerous non-violent protests that have taken place over the years.

With the various police related deaths taking place, an abundance of outraged citizens are hitting the streets to show their discontent with the way these incidents are being handled.

These cops face no consequences and usually receive paid leave while the families of the victims are left in turmoil.

Police brutality is on the rise and little is being done. Citizens are left to believe that this country does not care about the rights or safety of its citizens of color.

Many celebrities have taken a stand against the police brutality by advocating through their social media accounts.

Rapper Kevin Gates and his wife put out viral videos speaking on the issues and explicitly displaying their emotions toward the ongoing issue.

Last week quarterback for the 49ers, Colin Kaepernick, chose to protest in a very unique way.

During the national anthem he refused to stand. Pictures hit the web of Kaepernick seated while all the other players stood and immediately people began to question the reasons behind his actions.

Kaepernick explained the reason he remained seated was because he can no longer show support for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.

There has been a lot of discussion about whether or not Kaepernick should be penalized because so many Americans were shocked and thought his actions were disrespectful and unpatriotic.

Even though Kaepernick did not break any rules or laws by silently protesting, he has made a lot of viewers and even fans angry.

I for one don’t see what the big deal is.

As Americans we have the right to stand for what we believe in, even if that means taking a seat. We are encouraged to fight for our rights, so why should fighting for equality through peaceful protest ever be penalized?

There is no denying that there are major issues concerning police brutality, as have been proven through countless videos.

Kaepernick, a highly watched NFL player, and well known celebrity, has a voice that can reach millions of people. However, unlike Kevin Gates for example, he chose to not use that voice. He instead fought through peaceful actions.

We must accept peaceful protests otherwise we will push people to resort to violent ones.

Seakhawks player Jeremy Lane also decided to sit through the national anthem following Kaepernick. He states that he too is in support of the black lives matter movement and if there is anything he can do to bring awareness to the issues, then he is willing to do it.

These forms of protest are not worthy of backlash since this country has done nothing in order to make it known to them that black lives matter.

So why should these men of color stand during an anthem that represents a country who does not value their livelihood or safety?

Instead of rushing to judge Kaepernicks’ actions and calling him disrespectful, we should first look at the actions that led him to protest in such a way.

Nicte Hernandez can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.