Oakland, Ca is home to many activist and cultural movements that have had a great impact on the world. From the reign of the Black Panther party to the protest of the late Oscar Grant, Oakland is no stranger to voicing their opinions to help create social change. With all of the issues with police brutality, many natives of this city have a story to tell that relates to the subject. This past Friday night, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick visited the Castlemont High School football team as he not only talked to the team but joined them in a protest of the National Anthem. As a native of Oakland, this visit by Kaepernick allowed me to feel the pride and unity within the city as I know there are many supporters for this movement.
This was no regular Friday night football game for the Castlemont Knights. During their game on Friday night, the team protested the national anthem by laying on their backs with their hands up. Kaepernick joined in besides them by taking a knee, a move he has created a lot of tension within the country. Though he is not from Oakland, Kaepernick has gained a lot of support from the city and be witnessing this movement grow has made me proud to be from this city. Changing this country from its current social injustices it will take radical people to do that. Kaepernick’s understanding of the current police shootings in America really hits home for many Oakland natives. Back in 2009, I was a teenager when Oscar Grant was shot in Oakland by the authorities a at train station. This incident sparked much outrage throughout the city as violent protest destroyed a lot of property. Seeing this up and close created a great sense of awareness that made me want to see a change in society. I know Oakland has the power to blow when things do not go right but it also has the power to bring unity and peace to the important issues. Kaepernick’s visit to this football game is bigger than that what it is. This is a moment for a revolutionary to teach the youth that you must stand for what you believe in despite having the world on your shoulders.
As the Castlemont football laid on the backs with their hands up, this was important reminder of how education to our youth is. Having Colin Kaepernick come speak to these young men, who are predominantly African-American, was important to the culture. Many who fail to see what is wrong with country know it has to start with being educated at an early age. Kaepernick’s vow to donate his money towards organizations within the urban community is great start to building a better society. Though it will take a while for everyone to see the big picture, Oakland natives know that Kaepernick’s vision will not die and we are here to support the cause all the way.