Friday, October 7, 2016
To begin. I only vaguely knew who Colin Kaepernick was to begin with, not watching any NFL to speak of. It seems that what I know now is that he is a second team quarterback of questionable value who may in the foreseeable future be looking for new career options and so all of this may have been a public relations ploy to make his name a household word, much the same as Ted Cruz and his Green Eggs and Ham filibuster. But this is of no matter to me as I don’t really care what an over paid undereducated entertainer thinks. However, there are many many thousands of young people and adults who look to entertainers for social cues. This is unfortunate when our nation has such a rich history and many leaders with stories to tell, but I suppose that it is what it is. But back to Colin.
He has said that he cannot, in good conscience, show or feign respect for the national anthem when there is so much social injustice in the country. One presumes that he is primarily referring to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and the lie begun when the drug addled strong arm criminal Michael Brown attacked and tried to disarm and kill a police officer and was himself killed in the process. Of course he was portrayed by media, race hustling elements in our own government and the racist Department of Justice as being nothing more than a carefree impetuous teen ager out for an afternoon walk with a friend when he was accosted and then brutally executed in the middle of the street by a bigoted, racist police officer. He was on his knees with his hands up begging “don’t shoot” when he was shot (execution style). Of course this was the meme until the investigation was complete and it was shown to the satisfaction of all law enforcement agencies involved to have been a lie. But by that time the damage was done and the truth was swept away by the race hustlers. They said that the facts of this particular case didn’t matter as much as the overall “fact” that young black men were being systematically killed by white police officers. Only even this has been shown not to be factual here (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/12/upshot/surprising-new-evidence-shows-bias-in-police-use-of-force-but-not-in-shootings.html?_r=0) and here (https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/07/18/analysis-of-washington-post-police-shootings-data-reveals-surprising-result/). So there are lies being circulated intentionally, and through ignorance.
And now to the flag and the anthem. The flag of our nation is a powerful symbol. It shows the voluntary association of independent states, our reverence for the purity of and the firm belief in the rightness of the ideals put forward in our founding documents, and the blood that we have spent and that we are willing to spend in the effort to achieve those ideals. During the War Of 1812, a mere twenty years after the ratification of the Constitution, the British were trying to destroy our nation and to re-subjugate the people. When, on September 14, 1814, after a cruel bombardment of Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key saw the flag still flying over the fortress he was moved to write those words “our flag was still there”. They have beaten us bloody, but our country, and the purity and the righteousness of our ideals remain and we will fight on. That is what the national anthem is. It’s not a statement of, or song about how great, or perfect America is. It’s a reaffirmation that we will continue to work toward achieving our ideals, and that we will not have our ideals taken from us and those of others substituted in their place.
In an average guy's opinion, what Kaepernick has done may have started out as a moment of genuinely felt compassion (even if incompletely informed or thought out) and almost instantaneously turned into something that he couldn't step away from without appearing to be fickle, or a hypocrite. A more cynical view would be that he was simply working the press for name recognition.
Colin Kaepernick and everyone who is blindly following his lead in protest of how they perceive things to be don't understand the symbology of the flag or the national anthem. They should, instead, be leaping to their feet at the first notes of the anthem to proclaim to the world, and to solemnly promise themselves that no matter how difficult the struggle, they will fight on. It's the country that flag represents that gives them the right to do that.
But that’s just what an average guy thinks.