Taking a Knee During a National Anthem

American Flag

Colin Kapaernick chose to take a knee during the playing of the national anthem at an NFL football game, it has cause huge uproar and much discussion in this country about patriotism, racism and loyalty.

Today, September 24, 2017, the whole country tuned in to watch and see what all of the players were going to do today at the NFL games.  Who would take a knee, and who would support them.  Yesterday Trump lashed out at the NFL, at Kapaernick and anyone else he could think of.  He called them “sons of bitches” and called for the NFL to “fire them” for their protest.  Trump seems to be more concerned with football than he is with running this country.  Obviously he has no idea what the fuck he is actually supposed to be doing in Washington DC.

I served my country in the US Army for 6 years so that people like Colin would have freedom.  I do not see his taking a knee in protest of disproportionate killings of black men by law enforcement, with no justice when it’s due, as being disrespectful to the flag.  I see it as him protesting something he truly believes is wrong with his country.  It’s his right to express himself.  And those players who choose to suppor thim by standing with their arms linked have every right to do just that – support him, and make their voices heard as well.

The United States is in such incredible turmoil right now. In my 55+ years I have never seen anything like what is happening all around me right now.  I fear that things are brewing to become very volatile in the near future.  There is so much talk of race and racism, and I’m hearing it from so many places.  Blacks aren’t happy with whites, whites aren’t happy with blacks, Hispanics feel like they are being thrown out of the country, Asians also fear deportation and violence.  It’s crazy, it’s sad, and it’s scary.  And our “president” Trump is leading the charge to make it as bad as possible for everyone.  He particularly likes to strike out with his hatred of black athletes and Hollywood stars, with his hatred for immigrants pulling a close second.

Just because you do not agree with someone else’s opinion doesn’t mean that you should deny them their freedom of speech.  Freedom means that everyone does not have to have the same thoughts, feelings, opinion, or methods of expressing themselves; it means that we have the right to be individuals and are free to express ourselves as such.

I personally choose to stand for my national anthem.  That is MY choice.  I also choose to support those who make other choices.  As long as one is not desecrating the flag by shitting on it, burning it, altering it in anyway – like putting swastikas on it – and being generally purposefully nasty and outwardly disrespectful to the flag and my country, I am tolerant of civil protest and personal expression.  I do not see Colin Kapaernick’s kneeling as protesting the flag, I see it as it is…his protesting the lack of equal treatment and equal justice in this country.

This video shows both what Trump said, and what Obama’s response to this is…well worth watching.

 

I am proud to be an American.  I am proud of my flag, and what it stands for, and I am thankful to all who have served and who have fallen protecting our freedom.  I am also proud to support peaceful protest and tolerance of other’s opinions.  I stand with Colin Kapaernick and support his right to kneel and his personal reason behind it.

What do you think?  Do you have an opinion of this?

Peace.  ~MB

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