THE BLOG
08/30/2016 04:41 pm ET Updated Aug 31, 2017

Donald Trump, Colin Kaepernick: Why America Needs Both

If you haven't noticed over the past few years, political and racial tensions are strong throughout the United States. People of every race, political party and social economic group seem to be at odds. America, as we know it, is beginning to find itself. For better, or for worst, this country is undergoing a reflective process. One that will reveal our truest truths, and darkest moments. Where we go from there, no one knows. But we'll remember two people on this journey: Donald Tump and Colin Kaepernick.

Donald Trump is a success story. No one took his presidential campaign seriously three years ago. Yet here we are, months away from the primary election, and he, yes Donald Trump, is the Republican nominee for president of The United States. Man, what a time to be alive! You may or may not agree with Trump's views on immigration and terrorism. You may agree with his opinions on #BlackLivesMatter and abortion. You may hate, or you may love what Donald Tump represents. People still love him though. He reminds people of what America "used to" embody. The good old days!

That's the beauty of this country. This is America, a country that was "founded" by men who didn't originate from here. Thirteen colonies went to war and successfully rebelled against Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War. That bravery, that unwillingness to conform, that pursuit of progress is part of the reason why we're the most powerful country in the world today.

Yet and still, we take issue when people exercise their rights, the ones our "founders" and "forefathers" went to war to preserve. The same rights Thomas Jefferson proudly penned in the Declaration of Independence. Colin Kaepernick doesn't want to stand during the national anthem. His argument is that this country oppresses black people and people of color. Whether you agree with Colin's views on the treatment of minorities by law enforcement, or his means of beginning to bring about some sort of change in this country, you may want to respect the fact that his actions are as "American" as Donald Trump's views on immigration.

You see, Colin Kaepernick and Donald Trump are two people who are speaking their mind. The viewpoints they represent are reflective of different groups of people. However, their opinions and subsequent support of them, are indeed what makes America "American", while also shedding light on how hypocritical this country can be at times. We salute our flag and argue to support and honor our american troops and veterans, while failing to openly discuss the documented mistreatment of people of color and women in the military during World War Two. We love to highlight the Declaration of Independence, but gloss over the fact that it excluded the rights of women, Blacks and Native Americans. We condemn Colin Kaepernick for his unwillingness to stand for the National Anthem. Yet we fail to acknowledge the reality, or rather, we opt to not sing the part of the National Anthem that celebrates the killing of Black people. Man, what a time to be alive!

America, we need Colin Kaepernick and Donald Trump. They remind us, albeit in different ways, of why this country is unique. They both make strong statements with their actions and words. They both have achieved a high level of success in their respective careers. And they both remind us of our nations past and present, for better and for worst.