Ronnie's View

"It is what it is."

Cause & Effect: Colin Kaepernick & The Right to Sit

On August 26, 2016, the Green Bay Packers traveled to Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, CA to play the San Francisco 49ers for a pre-season contest. The Packers beat the 49ers 21-10 but that wasn’t the big story. Not by a long shot. Before the game ever kicked off, 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick was noticed not standing during the presentation of the National Anthem.

As we all know, Kaepernick has been discussed and scrutinized every since his proclaimed protest and subsequent locker room interview with the media. Kaepernick insisted that his protest was to bring to light issues within this country that are important to him but believes that are not getting the attention they deserve nor the positive changed that is called for.

One of the strongest critics of Kaepernick in the wake of this was Tomi Lahren of The Blaze online network.

I’m going to be honest, I thought Lahren’s assessment was laughable and ridiculous–and I still do–but then I came across a response to Lahren. Ryan Davis gives us a dismantling of Lahren’s argument that is pretty damning for those who side with her. WARNING: He uses profanity. These aren’t my words but I do like what he says.

Many didn’t like that Kaepernick chose to use the National Anthem as his opportunity to protest. For some, The Star-Spangled Banner is the song that incapsilates all that is good about American and it represents the struggles and sacrifices made by our brave members of the armed forces. I heard a lot of “Show some f*cking respect” or “You’re not oppressed, you whiny rich brat” and some going even as far as burning the No 7 jersey worn by the San Francisco quarterback. But we also saw veterans come out in the defense of Kaepernick after so many had condemned the 28 year old NFL star. Some took to Twitter with hashtag #VeteransForKaepernick in support of Kaepernick and his right to protest in any format to bring attention to the issues concerning him. Even President Obama has backed Kaepernick right to protest saying that he is “exercising his constitutional right” and that he believes that he “cares about some real, legitimate issues that have to be talked about.”

Yes, I’m a San Francisco 49ers fan. I’m also a Colin Kaepernick the football player fan. I was also and have now become more of a Colin Kaepernick the conscious citizen fan and I’ll tell you why.

People are always talking about how public figures, whether it be an elected figure or a well know community leader or a sports athlete, should use their platform and celebrity in order to bring light to difficult subjects and help facilitate positive change. That is exactly what Kaepernick is trying to do in this situation but is being portrayed as a whiny and out of touch rich brat. This catch 22 is highly unfair because it dissuades protesters from speaking up–which I realize may be the actual point–thus causing the topic to not receive the attention that it needs to move people forward. Taking the stance even with the continued backlash is commendable and I would like to see Kaepernick continue while becoming more involved in those issues that bother him. Maybe he can find a way to be a bridge between the black community and local law enforcement to produce Q&A town-halls. I think his donating $1 million to community organizations is a good start.

Kaepernick isn’t just now trying to be a ‘good guy’ and stand up for something other thanimg_3338 himself or football. He’s been doing that. He has spoken out on social issues before, mainly via Instagram and Twitter. Take this post on Instagram from mid 2015 for example, where Kaepernick says, “Racism and discrimination isn’t OK [W]e are all human beings! Things need to change!” Anyone who has noticed this or taken the time to look into this will find that he hasn’t been shy sharing his opinions. Also, Kaepernick has hosted football camps for kids, including 2016 where he spent the majority of the off-season rehabbing from multiple injuries and surgeries. Kaepernick is also very involved with Camp Taylor, a youth program in California for children suffering from heart disease. This is a young man who is concerned for his local community and the country at large. We shouldn’t be discouraging activism like his because we simply just don’t see enough of it.

In a roundabout way, Kaepernick taught me something that I didn’t know. It’s that The Star-Spangled Banner has a tired stanza…and that stanza mentions the death to slaves–American slaves. There have been some question whether our National Anthem itself is racist. I’m not willing to go that far, at least not at this moment but it did give me reason to pause and do some exploring. Kaepernick’s protest is working. Not only did he draw attention to the current hot button issue of police brutality against minorities but it caused us to look deeper into our nation’s coveted song–the one so many speak of with so much pride.

No refuge can save the hireling and the slave

From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave

And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave

A simple Wikipedia search would let you know that there is way more to our National Anthem then what the average American knows. There’s actually FOUR verses?! Hell, there are a lot of good ol’ Mericans that don’t know the first verse very well! Check this from Ben Swann.

Colin Kaepernick has every right to not stand during the National Anthem in protest. Wanting to do away with peaceful protest that is aimed to shedding light on issues that trouble our country does us all a disservice. My hope is that others join Kaepernick, maybe not in this specific type of protesting but in the quest for change and forward moving to get to a place where we can look at racism and unequal treatment as a thing of the past. Like Kaepernick, I love this country and I do my best to serve it in a positive way everyday. Think of the type of country this would be if we all tried to serve one another, protect one another, and stand up (or sit down) for one another.


Cause & Effect: An Editorial Series

After neglecting my blog site for some time and witnessing an outlandish amount of mess in news and media, I’ve decided to resurrect my page with some purpose. Cause & Effect will be an editorial series where I will post my thoughts regarding current trending topics. Let me make this clear from the jump: I do not work for a legit news source nor do I proclaim to be a legit news source. What I will attempt to do is to gather and report facts and add my own views about the circumstances discussed.

This was an idea that I actually had in early 2016 but tabled it. I anticipate some agreeing with my thoughts and others not; that is okay. What I will demand from everyone is respect when debating. The idea is to shed some light on things, bring a little clarity to what may be murky or touchy subjects.


Thankful: The Corner…

A boxer steps into the ring to battle. He heads to the middle of the ring to meet his opponent where they trade blows. He delivers some great shots but takes a couple himself. The bell chimes indicating the end of the round; he turns to his corner. The corner is the place where he recharges, refuels, and regroups. His coach and training staff feed him with water and strategy so he can go out to meet his opponent with the energy and knowledge needed to not be overtaken.

This is the same in life. We venture out to take on the world and we get dinged up and bruised from time to time. Our home is our corner. My wife and I just purchased a new house and are anxious to make it our home. This is a big deal for me because I am a first time home buyer. It’s also a big deal because I am someone that didn’t have his own place for a time period; I relied on the benevolence of others when I wasn’t able to keep my place. But to have your corner that you chose and is where you can seek refuge is huge. My corner will have my wife to help me stay focused on my goals, my daughters to keep me inspired to rise to higher heights, and my God to provide me with the strengthen needed to persevere no matter the circumstance.

It is exciting to have bought a new house that is primed to be made into a home. I can’t help but to wonder what memories our home will hold. My corner, my home is where my everything will come from that I need to handle what the streets have for me. I’m thankful for the corner–our new home.


Thankful: The Calling…

Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve had a lot of jobs in my life–a mean a WHOLE BUNCH of jobs. I’ve worked in all sorts of different arenas and for most of my adult life I had multiple jobs at once.

In May of 2013, I embarked on a journey that is ever changing but always amazing. Being a firefighter is not the job I had in mind when I was younger. I wanted to be a lawyer. Instead, I tried my luck with IFD’s application process. The deeper I got into the prcocess, the more I wanted it.

Now, I’m approaching my 3rd year with the department and absolutely love my job. I answer the call to assist people at possibly their worst moment. Serving my community in such an intimate way is an honor. I’m thankful for the ability to do the work demanded of a firefighter–I’m thankful for my job.


Thankful: My Pearl…

The girl name ‘Pearl’ means precious or treasure. We may not have named our daughter that but that is exactly what she is–a precious treasure.

Since her birth, my princess and taken over my world causing me to feel a joy that I didn’t even think was possible. Every moment isn’t easy–in fact, you parents already know that even your cutest and sweetest angel will test your last nerve but you still wouldn’t trade them for anything. They just have a way of bringing happiness and love in a way nobody else can.

I didn’t know that I would find someone to have kids with but I found the most incredible woman to share my life with. Our daughter is the manifestation of our love…and we have another on the way!

My baby girl means everything to me. There isn’t much that I wouldn’t do for her. She is the best thing that I will ever have a hand in molding here on Earth. She makes me want to be better at every role that I have–father, husband, protector, provider, counselor, friend. I’m so thankful for my lil munchkin!


Thankful: A Good Thing…

 This is how Proverbs 18:22 reads: “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.” I knew this was the case before Brianna assumed the title of wife–my wife–but she is what is good in me and why I feel that my life has received favor from the moment I met her.

This woman has taught me, stabled me, cheered me, put up with me, consoled me, scolded me, challenged me, celebrated me, and kept me. Brianna does all of that and so much more for me…and for others. Nobody has a bigger heart than her. She has a laugh that’s infectious and a smile that’ll brighten anyone’s day. I think Brianna can best be seen in her element when she is playing with our daughter; she is the best mother I could have hoped for my children.

I’m thankful to have a solid partner who loves me in spite of me and makes me feel like I can conquer the world just because she’s on my side. I’m thankful for Brianna.


Focus Series: Thanksgiving 2015

Life is pretty good for me. There isn’t much for me to complain about and if I do then it’s probably not really a big deal–but that wasn’t always the case. I’ve been blessed to overcome a number of very tough situations in life. There were a number of times when I just didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel or understood why I was going through the painful valleys.

I like to share my testimonies with the hope that they give others hope. I know what it feels like to be in total despair and have complete hopelessness take over your heart and mind…but I also know what it feels like to come out on the other side of the darkness.

All that I have in my life is because of God so I first want to say that I am thankful for His love and mercy toward me. This Thanksgiving weekend (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), I will focus on four of my recent and treasured blessings that I am thankful for.



12 Hours Left

So I’m getting married today. What’s that about?! A year ago today I graduated from IFD’s fire academy. Within that time, I moved four times, gained my dream career, and became a daddy. Today, I get married. Wow.

I’ve always wanted to get married but didn’t always believed that it would happened. Anyone that has lived and experienced the ups and downs of love knows that it can beat you down emotionally–to the point where you want to throw in the towel and just accept that you are just going to be alone. I got to that point. Truth be told, I was there when I met Brianna. I didn’t think that there was any hope for me to find my life partner but the moment I saw her I thought, “There’s my wife.”

The next day, I told someone that “I saw my wife last night” and I still believed it. It was an odd feeling, like I’d been hit with the ‘thunderbolt’ that Michael Corleone got hit with when he saw Applonia the first time. I’ve been in love with Brianna every since.

It’s kinda hard to think what life was like before her but I remember and it just felt empty. Admittedly, we did know each other long before things got serious but it always felt right–we were meant to be together. Now, I can’t imagine life without her; I guess that’s why I asked her to marry me. Everyone seeks and deserves that special someone that makes life more enjoyable, someone that loves you in spite of you.

This past week has been tough for me because I just want to tell everyone how much I love this woman and how much she means to me. Words don’t do it justice but I try anyway and probably annoy people in the process…but I don’t care. I can talk about my Bree all day. She made me believe in true love again. She sustains and propels me. She holds me down and keeps me sane. She loves me in spite of me. She said ‘yes’ and that makes me 12 hours from being married to the best lady in the world.


My heart belongs to this woman

What’s mine is mine…and Facebook’s?!

So, I started to see a few of my friends on Facebook post a similar statement. The idea, I guess, was to “strictly forbid” for Facebook (or any entities associated with Facebook) to use any information or photos posted on their wall. My initial thought was that it seems silly doing this since whatever you post demonstrates that you are fine with the information or photo to be share–since you’re the one doing it. But I figured, I like to be the one in control of what is shared about me and when it is shared and to whom it is shared. That’s when I posted this:


Of course, I received a few responses to this post from friends basically letting me know that this was going to be ineffective. In my defense, I was skeptical about this to begin with but I figured that it does no harm to put it out there for Facebook to know where I stood. This whole privacy thing was also covered by a few news organizations, too.

A couple of the replies I got directed me to and so I let curiosity take me to the site and I looked up the article Facebook Privacy Notice. The piece says “Facebook users cannot retroactively negate any of the privacy or copyright terms they agreed to when they signed up for their accounts, nor can they unilaterally alter or contradict any new privacy or copyright terms instituted by Facebook, simply by posting a contrary legal notice on their Facebook walls”. That totally make sense–you can’t agree to something, sign on the dotted line, shake hands on it, then change the rules; the world just doesn’t work like that. Later in the article, the author mentions a few action you can take if you don’t like Facebook’s privacy policy:

  • don’t sign up for Facebook (Believe it or not, many people have take this approach.)
  • bilaterally negotiate a modified policy with Facebook (Good luck getting that done.)
  • lobby for Facebook to amend its policies (Again, don’t bet on it.)
  • cancel your Facebook account (I’ve know people who’ve done this. It’s a simple solution.)

I think the takeaway from all of this is that if you are concerned about any information or photos that pertain to you being used by Facebook or any other entity on the web then you should think twice (or thrice) before posting it. Even if Facebook took our ‘dis-allowance’ seriously, that doesn’t mean that others would act the same way. People have wrongful taken information and pictures to use for bad-natured, spiteful, and even malicious reasons (ever heard of bullying or catfishing?) Either be careful of what you put out there, if you chose to put things out there, or be ready for the possibility that some of the things that you put out there can be taken and use for intentions that you never designed for them to. It’s an unfortunate side-effect of the Internet.


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