Kapernick, a football player in the National Football League, has chosen to boycott the National Anthem by not standing, and not saluting—believing somehow that his action will improve the lives of black Americans. Eldridge Cleaver, a Black Panther who engaged in genuine war against the United States, might tell Kaepernick, “You are either part of the solution or part of the problem.”
Cleaver’s tortuous beliefs in Marxism and atheism led him to escape the United States and make his way to Cuba, North Korea, North Vietnam, the Soviet Union, China, France, and Algeria, and finally, home to the U.S., as a Christian ready to embrace his country again, no matter what the cost. Cleaver recognized that while the U.S. was not perfect (and never will be), it was a beacon to the rest of the world. He was forever grateful for finding his way home.
Eldridge Cleaver’s life was never easy, but I suspect he’d encourage Colin Kaepernick to be “part of the solution.”