This week on News One Now, Roland S. Martin spoke with humanitarian and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte. In an exclusive interview Belafonte shared his thoughts on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick‘s decision to not stand for the National Anthem to protest an America which he says does not value its veterans or Black lives.
Belafonte says that as an American civil rights activist who he is very proud of Kaepernick.
“To mute the slave has always been to the best interest of the slave owner,” said Belafonte. ”I think that when a Black voice is raised in protest to oppression, those who are comfortable with our oppression are the first to criticize us for daring to speak out against it. I think that it’s a noble thing that he [Kaepernick} has done.
I think that speaking out and making people aware of the fact that you are paying homage to an anthem that also has a constituency that by the millions suffer – it’s a righteous thing to do. The fact that these people are having these ’how dare you speak out against lynching out of all of the things’ that racism stands for, or the conclusion to racist acts a permit, I think is a statement about America.”
Martin also spoke with ESPN’s Highly Questionable co-host Bomani Jones about his colleague, Bleacher Report Mike Freeman’s article about NFL executive’s negative comments about Kaepernick’s protest.
“This is not an attempt or a request from the majority or the establishment to cosign what he’s saying,” said Jones. “He needs to fully understand that if he is out here alone on this one, he is out here alone and this is the fight he is willing to take up. Carmelo [Anthony] and those guys it was very clear in the way they parsed their words and the way they said things. They wanted to say something, but nobody was going to lose a dime in the process of saying it. Kaepernick seems willing to lose it all…”