San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem has ruffled a lot of feathers recently. His actions have led to support from other professional athletics and even high school students taking a knee in acknowledgement of the social injustices that still exist in the United States. Through a simple act he has been able to ignite further conversation about race in America. However, many have labelled him as ‘unpatriotic’ and have even gone to lengths such as making death threats and burning his jersey.
Representative Steve King (who is already known for controversy) took things a whole new level when he took the arguments against Kaepernick from unpatriotic to terrorist. In an interview with Steve Malzberg on Newsmax TV, King went as far as to say, ‘I understand that he has an Islamic girlfriend that is his fiancée, and that this has changed him and has taken on some different political views along the way… This is activism that’s sympathetic to ISIS.’
Neesa Diab is an American television and radio personality from Southern California. She is best known from her role on MTV’s girl code. King says that Nessa is “sympathetic to ISIS” which is having an impact on Kaepernick’s decisions. King is saying that Diab is a Muslim, so she must be sympathetic to ISIS therefore Kaepernick’s stance must also be in support of ISIS as well. Did King really just label Diab as sympathetic to international terrorists because she is Muslim?
A few questions for and about Steve King on this,
For starters, Kaepernick and many others now kneel during the National Anthem as a sign of peaceful protest against a nation (albeit our own) that overlooks the mistreatment of marginalized Americans both socially and systemically. Does King really believe that Kaepernick is using the oppression of Black people as a guise to mask secret ISIS intentions?
Next, does King believe that all 1.6 billion Muslims on the planet or even all 3.3 million Muslims in the United States are sympathetic to ISIS? ISIS pushes an agenda that kills Muslims who don’t agree with their radical way of thinking. They’re like the better-equipped and extra stealthy Aryan Brotherhood of the Middle East They do not represent the dominant culture of Islam.
Finally, who voted this guy in? Isn’t that a terrifying representation of ideals set forth by his voters? King would rather deflect from the very tangible and real experiences of injustice faced by people of color and hold onto the ISIS narrative than get knee deep in his own biases and those of his voters. He is a symptom of a greater issue. Many people willingly elected him!
Kaepernick’s relationships, Diab’s faith and the act of kneeling during the National Anthem have nothing to do with ISIS. The biggest concern right now is that men like Steve King are in positions of power that affect the lives of our greater community.