kaepernick: the critic within.
Criticism is not all bad. The right kind of criticism is what makes something better.
Every good company listens to good criticism - sometimes the criticism is directly from the CEO.
Every good product is good because good criticism was listened to and addressed.
The Bible even criticizes itself, pointing out faults in the religious system within it.
What is good criticism?
There are all kinds of rules from all kinds of people, including Roosevelt's "get in the arena" quote about ignoring the critics and paying attention the man fighting in the arena.
Which brings us to something interesting and I think critical about critics.
The person "within the arena" has every right to be critical and not only every right but without that criticism, the company/country/community that he/she is in will not grow and evolve and change.
So, how do we define "within"? That seems to be the critical component.
Trump supporters think Trump is in. (This obviously has nothing to do with money or celebrity or indulgent lifestyle.) Trump criticizes America constantly and gains support because of it.
Clinton supporters think Clinton is in. (This obviously has nothing to do with money or celebrity or indulgent lifestyle.) Clinton criticizes America constantly and gains support because of it.
Kaepernick supporters think Kaepernick is in. But there are, obviously, much fewer people who think he is "in" enough to criticize the way he has. Is it really about not standing for the flag or is there something deeper?
I think, he makes us ask the question he wants us to ask: is this is a country that still makes excuses when certain colors of human beings criticize - because we don't see them as "within" enough?
Ironically enough, the very song Kaepernick is sitting down for was written by a man who said that Africans in America are "a distinct and inferior race of people, which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that afflicts a community."
Apparently, Francis Scott Key was in enough then to write our "national anthem" and is in enough still, but if you disagree with him, you are not.
(Or, this could all just be a case of no one can be a critic - or even perceived as a critic - of our nation's military. But that's a whole other problem.)