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Rise


On Sept. 13th, I completed my ninth Advanced Manuals speech (19th overall) for Toastmasters at CSUSB. My speech was entitled, “Rise,” and it was about former NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and his silent protest about the oppression of Black people and people of color in the United States.


Kaepernick said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”


I also quoted former NFL players like Jeff Garcia, Boomer Esiason, Trent Dilfer and Charles Woodson and explained their different opinions about Kaepernick’s protest.


“What happened 2 being a leader for your team, your family & the young people looking up to U? Appreciating the 1000’s who have died for you?” - Former NFL Quarterback Jeff Garcia said from Twitter.


"It was one of the most disgraceful displays I've ever seen by a professional athlete on his field of play. He signed a contract with an NFL football team. He has on an NFL football helmet. He has got an NFL uniform on. He doesn't have the right, I don't believe, to now start putting out his own political views in that form.”- Former NFL Quarterback and NFL Analyst Boomer Esiason said.


"I would tell him (Kaepernick): Before you open your mouth again, maybe you should take a ride in a police car on Friday or Saturday night in one of these major urban cities in America," Esiason said. "Just go on a couple of 9-1-1 calls. Maybe then you can get an idea of what these people, making $35,000 a year, have to deal with.”


Kaepernick said he wanted to be the voice for those who are unable to express their frustrations. He also said protesting is bigger than football, and it would be selfish of him to not acknowledge the injustice going on against people of color in our country.



Let’s not forget the Narrative



According to former NFL Quarterback and NFL Analyst Trent Dilfer, “No matter how passionate you are, no matter how much of a burden you have for a social issue, you don’t let it get in the way of the team,” Dilfer said. “This is a back-up Quarterback, whose job is to be quiet, sit in the shadows, get the Quarterback started and ready to play. Although I respect what he’s doing, and the passion and burden he has for this issue, but I don’t respect the fact that he put himself and his stance above the team.”


Former NFL Cornerback and NFL Analyst Charles Woodson challenged Dilfer and said, “This stand that he took, it’s not about Colin Kaepernick, we are talking about humanity, this is for everybody,” Woodson said. “I hear people saying there is a time and a place to do certain things, but what is the objectivity of any protest? To get maximum exposure for what it is you’re talking about. I think this is an opportunity missed by the NFL because when you think of the NFL locker rooms, it’s as diverse as any other place.”


After Kaepernick’s protest, I did my own research online and found out the truth behind our nations national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” I found out there was a third verse that was omitted because it celebrates the murder of African-Americans.


Originally a patriotic poem, the author, Francis Scott Key was also a slave owner. In the third verse, there is a line “land of the free,” but Scott Key was not talking about Black people.


Towards the end of my speech, I said, “I noticed when somebody speaks up about social issues for people of color in this country, there are a lot of detours and distractions that attempt to take the focus off the issue at hand. I also noticed an issue is only important to somebody if it affects them personally, because if it doesn’t, they don’t have anything to worry about because it’s doesn’t disturb their everyday personal lives.”


I concluded my speech by saying, “If the roles were reversed with Black police officers killing unarmed White men and children at an alarming rate. How would the Caucasian community react? Passive or Aggressive? I wish I had the answers.”



“All I want is equality, for my sister, my brother, my people and me.”


- Nina Simone, Mississippi Goddamn




The objective for this speech was “A Dramatic Talk,” and the goal was to develop an entertaining dramatic talk about an experience or incident. I also had to include vivid imagery, characters and dialogue.


My evaluator said my speech was more interesting than entertaining. I chose a topic that is very important, and made the audience think about our country’s social, civil and political lives.


He also said I presented my speech in a reporter-like style that was clear and understandable, but not dramatic. The material I had was good, but the style and organization weren’t ideal for this assignment.


My evaluator concluded my evaluation by saying I ended my speech with a cliffhanger, and gave the audience something to think about. He also said I always have good speech topics.


To check out my “Rise” speech, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=xAPpBxrxG2I



*On Sept. 13th, there was a three-way tie for the Table Topics award for Toastmasters at CSUSB, and I was one of the winners! This was my second time winning Table Topics and my speech was about people who are not from Southern California think all Southern California is Los Angeles, and never recognize the Inland Empire.


* On Sept. 12th, I had another doctor’s appointment with Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics, and my Doctor had to put finishing touches and make minor adjustments to my socket so it could be more comfortable when I’m wearing my new prosthetic leg. My Doctor said by my next appointment on Sept. 22nd, all the components needed to build my prosthetic should be in the office and hopefully I’ll be able to walk with my new prosthetic leg.


* During this past week, I came across two people who had a personal connection with CalmandStrong.


* I received a comment from “Cole MacGrath Perry” on one of my inFAMOUS gameplay videos on YouTube. The comment was about superhero Cole MacGrath also being a favorite character of his. I responded saying Cole helped me after I had cancer two-times and when I became a hip amputee. He responded saying that Cole saved him from not committing suicide. I was shocked by his response, and said developers Sucker Punch Productions have no idea how much Cole MacGrath is helping people in the real world.


* To check out my connection with inFAMOUS and Cole MacGrath, click here: http://www.calmandstrong.net/letter-to-sucker-punch


* I also met somebody through social media who is also an amputee, but above the knee amputee. We’ve been talking and it feels good to speak to somebody around my age who must deal with the same everyday challenges as me.


* This past week made me realize that I’m affecting people’s lives, and one of my goals is to connect with people who have been through similar situations as myself (becoming an amputee) or interested in similar entertainment products that inspire people to move forward in life (inFAMOUS videogame franchise and Cole MacGrath), and it’s happening.



Disclaimer…


I don’t own any content from the image displaying Francis Scott Key. No Copyright Intended. All image content is copyright to their respective owners. All Rights go to National Parks Service.


I don’t own any content from the images displaying Colin Kaepernick. No Copyright Intended. All image content is copyright to their respective owners. All Rights go to NBCNews. All Rights go to Sports Illustrated.


I don’t own any content from the images displaying the American Flag. No Copyright Intended. All image content is copyright to their respective owners. Euclid Public Library.


Euclid Public Library. The American Flag image. September 12, 2017. http://www.euclidlibrary.org/kids/tickle-your-brain/the-american-flag


Genius. Nina Simone – Mississippi Goddam. September 15, 2017. https://genius.com/Nina-simone-mississippi-goddam-annotated


Hughes, C. NJ.com. Boomer Esiason 'disgusted' by Colin Kaepernick, calls QB a 'disgrace'. August 30, 2016. September 12, 2017. http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2016/08/boomer_esiason_disgusted_by_colin_kaepernick_calls.html


National Parks Service. Francis Scott Key image. September 12, 2017. https://www.nps.gov/fomc/learn/historyculture/francis-scott-key.htm


NBCNews.com. Colin Kaepernick: I'll Continue to Sit for National Anthem. August 28, 2016. September 12, 2017. http://www.nbcnews.com/video/colin-kaepernick-i-ll-continue-to-sit-for-national-anthem-753249859620


Rosenberg, M. SI.com. Why Is Colin Kaepernick Still Looking for a Job?. March 30, 2017. September 12, 2017. https://www.si.com/mmqb/2017/03/30/nfl-colin-kaepernick-free-agent-quarterback-looking-job


Snopes.com. 'The Star-Spangled Banner' and Slavery. August 31, 2016. September 12, 2017. http://www.snopes.com/2016/08/29/star-spangled-banner-and-slavery/


The Jimmy Dore Show. YouTube. Powerful Remarks On Colin Kaepernick Will Make You Rethink The National Anthem. September 16, 2016. September 12, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSeyyWsTX7M&t=186s


Yaw Bonsu. YouTube. Charles Woodson disagrees with Dilfer as he had this to say. September 13, 2016. September 12, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaJE6xBfEkI


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