Let’s talk about real freedom

I saw a profound, two-framed political cartoon in which Donald Trump is expressing his appreciation for freedom in the first frame, and suggesting the firing of NFL players for exercising their freedom to protest in the second.

Professional athlete or not, how can the citizens of our nation be free if they are not allowed to protest injustice? What does a multi-million-dollar-per-year black athlete have to protest? Nothing, if he has an “I’ve got mine” mentality. But what if he is knowledgeable of American history, and aware of current events? What if he is knowledgeable about the Wilmington massacre of 1898, the multi-state horror of the Red Summer of 1919, or the Tulsa, Okla., massacre of 1921?

Unless the athlete is living under the proverbial rock of ignorance, he is aware that an armed white supremacist disobeyed orders to remain in his car until police arrived, and killed an unarmed teen walking back from a store to his father’s home to watch the second half of a football game. Although he probably never listens to hate-mongers on talk-radio, he possibly heard news-clips of how they demonized Travon Martin as a “hooded thug,” and defended racist George Zimmerman as an “innocent victim.”

Yes, I am fully aware of the argument that Zimmerman could not be a racist white supremacist because he is mixed-race himself. I have lived many years; some of the most avid white supremacists I know are mixed-race people who loath the race of one of their own parents.

I suspect Colin Kaepernick knows that his ancestors were victims of the “Middle Passage,” just as Native Americans were victims of the “Trail of Tears.” I have heard and read the opinion that Kaepernick should leave America rather than peacefully and compassionately protest today’s oppression of the less fortunate. I am aware of the opinion that the less fortunate are thus because they are “entitlement seekers” who did not “take responsibility for their own lives.” How do victims of rampant discrimination and oppression do that? Isn’t even much of our nation’s recent and current entertainment based on minorities’ lack of opportunity — “Strike At The Wind,” “Unto These Hills,” “To Kill A Mocking Bird,” “Roots,” “Amistad,” “The Help” and how many others?

Is mandated loyalty really loyalty, or compliance with the law? Should Kaepernick leave our country, rather than protest injustice and oppression? If our founding fathers had left rather than protest British injustice and oppression, would we have this greatest attempt of fair government in human history?

Think about it, please.

Robert C. Currie Jr.