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Jessica White Just Became Our “Shero”

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jessica-white-respond-kate-upton-national-anthem-protest-controversy

Who says a model can’t be well informed about social issues? Jessica White certainly is. Over the weekend, fellow model, Kate Upton caused some controversy when she shared her thoughts over NFL star Colin Kaepernick and athletes who’ve followed in his footsteps to sit, or kneel, in protest during the playing of the National Anthem. Kaepernick began his protest, earlier this summer, following the continued “norm” of unarmed Black men being gunned down by law enforcement and their lack of accountability.

Though Kaepernick has garnered a ton of negative press over his decision, he has also garnered just as much, and growing, support. Something model Kate Upton isn’t happy about.

In fact the model took to her Instagram profile to express just that on September 11th, the 15th year anniversary of the biggest terrorist attack on US soil. Like many, Upton chose this as a perfect opportunity to deflect why Kaepernick began his protest in the first place and added her two scents on the topic.

kate-upton-national-anthem-protest-controversy

Attached with a photo of members of the Miami Dolphins football team kneeling during the National Anthem Upton writes:

In my opinion, the national anthem is a symbolic song about our country. It represents honoring the many brave men and women who sacrifice and have sacrificed their lives each and every single day to protect our freedom. Sitting or kneeling down during the national anthem is a disgrace to those people who have served and currently serve our country. Sitting down during the national anthem on September 11th is even more horrific. Protest all you want and use social media all you want. However, during the nearly two minutes when that song is playing, I believe everyone should put their hands on their heart and be proud of our country for we are all truly blessed. Recent history has shown that it is a place where anyone no matter what race or gender has the potential to become President of the United States. We live in the most special place in the world and should be thankful. After the song is over, I would encourage everyone to please use the podium they have, stand up for their beliefs, and make America a better place. The rebuilding of battery park and the freedom tower demonstrates that amazing things can be done in this country when we work together towards a common goal. It is a shame how quickly we have forgotten this as a society. Today we are more divided then ever before. I could never imagine multiple people sitting down during the national anthem on the September 11th anniversary. The lessons of 911 should teach us that if we come together, the world can be a better and more peaceful place #neverforget.

Prior to this, though I’ve heard of Kate Upton, I didn’t know much about her, nor do I care to. And while I want to respect her opinion, sadly it’s also infused with ignorance and, as we know in American history, ignorance is dangerous. Ignorant people act out of fear. Ignorant people project ignorance onto others and act based on emotion rather than rationale. Ignorant people a reluctant to hear and try to comprehend another’s perspective, therefore not growing out of their ignorance. Ignorant people tap into people’s emotions in order to manipulate, sway the vote and gain empathy, such as using 9/11 like Upton did.

Kate Upton is ignorant.

In response to Upton, White also added her two scents on the topic. While I couldn’t formulate the words, White did so eloquently and politely and I respect her for it.

Here was her response.

@kateupton I love you babe you know I do. But the freedom you speak of isn’t the same freedom that some of my people receive. Normally I wouldn’t say anything especially on this day as my best friend lost the love of her life on 9/11 but the sad fact of the matter is the violence and social injustice that plague our inner communities is the reason why these courageous men are peacefully protesting. Next time a young black male is shot down and his murder isn’t vindicated I hope you speak out loud about how his “freedom” was taken away from him/her. Now lets speak about how we can impart love back to a broken system that you would like us to stand for.

Well said.

Initially when I saw the headlines over Upton’s remarks, I was highly frustrated and kept quiet because it’s best not to speak when emotions are high. I saw some references to Black on Black crime to shot down Kaepernick and other activists’ initiatives on bringing awareness to the lack of police departments and officials taking accountability when a member of law enforcement have abused their power, especially against a person of color.

I say to those using Black on Black crime as an excuse, it’s been proven that it’s highly likely crime will be high among any one race; proximity etc. It’s frustrating to have to pick a side all the time, as if it’s impossible to a) Be patriotic but b) still be capable of highlighting issues within the judicial system. These activits are protesting peacefully and yet it is still a problem, though a right that vets go to war to protect in the first place. Unfortunately, people like Kate Upton have selective memory on which issues to highlight within this country and which not to. Please take your blinders off and look at all sides and speak from a well informed perspective before speaking.

(Photos: Jessica White/Kate Upton/Instagram)

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