Students discuss Kaepernick controversy during Women’s Center’s series discussion

Published by , Author: Adam Zook - Rocket Contributor , Date: October 20, 2016

The Women’s Center hosted the second installment of their Candid and Controversial series on Tuesday, dealing with NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his reaction and his reaction to the Star Spangled Banner.

The discussion was started by showing those in attendance video clips related to the conversation. The first showed explained why Kaepernick is protesting. The second explored possible racial undertones of the Star Spangled Banner.

The students then engaged with one another, with representatives from the Women’s Center interjecting to make sure all opinions were heard, with discussion being largely led  began to engage with one another, taking turns addressing the group.

Students were divided on whether the national anthem was racist, which many thinking the controversial verses were irrelevant and contributed nothing to the conversation. One student felt that it was not their place to decide whether or not the anthem was racist, but that it should be left up to non-whites to say whether a statement or action is bigoted.

Students who did find the anthem to be racist felt as though it should be acknowledged more prominently.

The conversation shifted to whether or not Kaepernick’s actions were the best way to draw attention to the issue of racism. While this caused some division, one student said that this was moving the discussion away from the issue at hand. This student then pointed out that attention is being drawn away from the cause that Kaepernick was protesting for. This led to a debate about what issues were really being addressed.

While all in attendance agreed that he had constitutional right to do, many saw his silent protest as an act of disrespect and ineffective when it came to drawing attention to recent deaths of African Americans at the hands of police officers.

Some students said that in order for issues like racism to subside that white Americans must acknowledge the privileges they have.

Despite the controversial subject matter, students who attended were respectful of each other’s opinions and allowed everyone to speak freely.

The next Candid and Controversial will be featured in November.


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