(function(d, s, id) {
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
var js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;
js.src = ‘//cdn4.wibbitz.com/static.js’;
}(document, ‘script’, ‘wibbitz-static-embed’));

View this post on Instagram

Great Column In Today's NY Daily Today By Shaun King About The Origin Of The Star-Spangled Banner Written During Slavery By Francis Scott Key In 1814. The Eye Opener Is The Third Stanza Which Is Not Sung Anymore (I WONDER WHY-SMIRK). That Stanza Sings Of The Rejoicing Of The Murder Of Slaves. These Are Those Lyrics. NO REFUSE COULD SAVE HIRELING AND SLAVE/FROM THE TERROR OF FLIGHT OR THE GLOOM OF THE GRAVE/AND THE STAR-SPANGLED IN TRIUMPH DOTH WAVE/O'ER THE LAND OF THE FREE AND HOME OF THE BRAVE. So Our National Anthem Is A Direct Product Of The Institution Of Slavery For 246 Years Here In The United States Of America. Colin Kaepernick's As With Jackie Robinson, John Carlos,Tommie Smith, Kareem Abdul Jabbar And Ali Are Standing On Morale Highground.

A post shared by Spike Lee (@officialspikelee) on

You’ve probably heard quite a bit already about Colin Kaepernick’s choice to sit during the national anthem before the 49ers preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. In case you missed the reason behind his decision to stay seated, Kaepernick told NFL media, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

I’m sure we all have an opinion on this and how we would respond to the playing of the anthem, knowing all we know, seeing all we see, dealing with all we deal with. Everyone’s “American dream” plays out differently. Kaepernick’s choice is a bold one, but not new, as Jackie Robinson held a similar stance on the national anthem later in his storied life. It’s one that some may not understand or like. But I couldn’t help but roll my eyes all the way around when I heard about some of his detractors. That includes Black male football players who went out of their way to speak out against the 28-year-old’s decision.

Like Jerry Rice, who even went as far as to say that “All lives matter.”

And today, Tiki Barber, who said that he doesn’t commend Kaepernick’s decision.

Barber is loyal to the American flag, despite having a track record of not being as loyal to his wives. But that’s another story for another day.

But no tweet, despite the mountain of comments filled with the rage of White folks that I ran across online, bothered me more than these two particular messages:

It’s from Kaepernick’s birth mother, Heidi Russo (nee Zabransky). As the story goes, Russo was 19 when she had Kaepernick. She was struggling and the child’s father had decided not to be involved in his life before his birth. Russo put her son up for adoption, and he was taken in by Rick and Teresa Kapernick, a White couple with two other children. Colin became their youngest child. As Teresa told USA Today back in 2012, she made sure to raise Colin to know where he comes from, instead of trying to “make him White.”

“When we adopted him, I bought some books from the library on raising children from another race, but what it all came down to was common sense more than anything. You want him to feel really good about the race he is.”

Both Rick and Teresa clearly did a good job ensuring that he would feel connected to Black people, and in turn, he’s decided to speak openly, despite the consequences, on the oppression faced by his race. He’s decided to make a stand, not just for himself but others. And while we’re not sure if Teresa agrees with his choice, I’m sure she at least respects her son’s decision and bravery.

Russo, on the other hand, had no part in what Colin learned about his race and his upbringing in general. And yet, she feels a sense of “shame” over his decisions. Said shame is quite a different feeling than what she told Yahoo! she felt in 2012 when she remarked on wanting to finally connect with the star quarterback. He, on the other hand, decided not to be open to such opportunities.

For all of Russo’s joy in watching Kaepernick, who has made a dramatic rise to starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, there is an obvious sense of regret that he hasn’t been a regular part of her life.

“I watch him now and I see how happy he is and I’m thrilled for him,” said Russo, who said “I have to respect” his decision not to meet.

Yet she holds on to hope. “You can see that everything he wants and everything he has worked for is coming together,” she said. “That’s something that any parent would be happy to see for their child.”

She was holding on to the hope that he would one day want to meet her when he was considered the golden child, and now she’s speaking out against him now that he’s become a focus of contention on a national level. How interesting.

Look, I’m not judging Russo’s decision to give her child up for adoption. No one knows the full extent of what she went through before and after Colin was born. But she doesn’t know the full extent of what pushed him to use his platform to take such a strong stance and stand by it, knowing what could happen to him. Therefore, I do have a side-eye to spare for her decision to be so vocal considering she gave up her right to mother and scold him a very long time ago. Publicly denouncing the same child you talked to the press about wanting so desperately to connect with seems like a grasp for attention. And “respect” is not trying to admonish the man via Twitter, using his handle to get him to notice, when he’s made it clear that he doesn’t want to be in touch.

It says a lot that the woman who went out of her way to ensure that Colin knew his background and surrounded him with people who look like him is quiet during this time, while the woman who goes as far as to ensure that her Twitter profile reads “Birthmom of Colin,” has the most to say.

Trending on MadameNoire

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN