Campaigning for a cause that benefits the livelihood of others comes at a cost. Activism involves ostracization, public negative attention, and reprisal.
Despite these personal setbacks, there are those who wholeheartedly fight for social change at the expense of their comfort and safety.
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Keep reading to learn about some of the modern activists risking the most for justice.
30-year-old Colin Kaepernick is the football star who decided to forego his social status and fight for the Black Lives Matter cause. During the 2016 football season, he chose to sit rather than stand when The Star-Spangled Banner was played.
In the midst of the 2016 pregame season, Kaepernick kneeled during the U.S. National Anthem. He decided to kneel to honor U.S. military members while protesting.
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.”
Kaepernick has also donated $1 million dollars to various organizations who work in support of disenfranchised communities.
Because of his actions, he has been a free agent since the 2017 football season after opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers.
Negotiations with the Seattle Seahawks were postponed amidst Kaepernick expressing that he wasn’t sure if he wouldn’t kneel during the National Anthem.
After police officers shot and killed Stephon Clark in his grandmother’s backyard on March 18, his brother, Stevante Clark has been demanding that attention be placed on law enforcement and their seemingly targeting of black people.
Clark has been vocal in protesting his brother’s untimely death by speaking to the media and interrupting Sacramento city council proceedings.
Clark has appeared on CNN with host Don Lemon.
Family friend, Jamilia Land, told The Sacramento Bee, “Stevante has post-traumatic stress disorder. He has lost two of his brothers to violence. He has lost his older brother. He has lost his baby brother, and he is starting to lose his mind. He needs help,” during a local rally.
Befeqadu Hailu Techani was born on February 19, 1980, in Ethiopia.
Hailu is a human rights activist, writer, and blogger who advocates for freedom of expression.
Due to his involvement with a group called the Zone Nine bloggers, Hailu has been imprisoned.
Although he was set free, he is still at risk of being sent back to prison on the charge of “inciting violence through writing.”
In 2015, Hailu won the International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists for his inventive writing.