Choose to Stand

I guess I’m one of those people who just don’t get it.  I know who started the latest trend of protesting our national anthem.  Colin Kaepernick chose to sit on the bench rather than stand at attention.  Why?  Well, it’s because he is “not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”  The reasoning he gave referred to a series of recent police shootings.  Some were good in terms of being lawful.  Some were not.  The problem is, the angst that stirred Colin and the Black Lives Matter movement was based on misinformation and the assumption that chronic criminals resisting arrest were innocent and therefore didn’t deserve to get shot.  Hmm… That’s an interesting.

By Daniel Hartwig [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Colin Kaepernick in 2013 By Daniel Hartwig [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Well, things didn’t work out for Colin like he thought they would.  Colin got the attention he was seeking on the matter, but it wasn’t all what he was expecting, exactly.  In the end, he should have focused more on football than social justice.  He has now lost his earning power since no team will have him at the moment.  He’s too much trouble for team to sign a mediocre player.  Colin, you have a right to speak freely and protest as you wish, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences for your words and actions… or lack, as the case may be.

By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA (Oakland Raiders National Anthem Kneeling) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Oakland Raiders kneeling during national anthem By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA (Oakland Raiders National Anthem Kneeling) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
There are many reasons for folks to feel sorry for this guy who was raised in a very privileged home.  Some seem to think Colin has been treated unfairly for wearing colorful socks.  Now many in the NFL have decided to stand… no… kneel in solidarity with Colin’s misguided cause.  Unfortunately, they are following a person who has shown to be a failure and a fool.

Set aside the fact that these protests are offensive to some people at the moment.  I have another issue with kneeling during the anthem.  It reminds me of something else entirely.  Have you ever watched a boxing match and seen a boxer take a knee?

By Pfc. C. T. Wehner. (Marine Corps) (U.S. Marine Corps) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Korean war POW capture By Pfc. C. T. Wehner. (Marine Corps) (U.S. Marine Corps) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Think about this for a moment.  What happens if you are taken as a prisoner of war or kidnapped as a civilian?  The first thing your captor will ask you to do is kneel or sit in submission.  They don’t want you standing because that leaves you with an advantage of being able to flee or fight back.  They need you to be submissive in order to maintain control of the situation.

Tasnim News Agency [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Remaking the Scene of Arresting American Soldiers on 22 february 2016 Demonstration in Tehran. Two United States Navy riverine command boats were seized by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy after they entered Iranian territory near Iran’s Farsi Island in Persian Gulf. The 10 sailors were detained for 15 hours Tasnim News Agency [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Remember when two of our navy riverine command boats were seized in the Persian Gulf in 2016?  They accidentally drifted into Iranian waters due to a mechanical failure on one of the boats.  Revolutionary Guard soldiers forced them to kneel in surrender.  They were also forced to publicly apologize for their illegal entry into Iranian waters even though they were technically vessels in distress.  The whole thing was a major embarrassment, as it was intended.  After the U.S. Navy soldiers and their vessels were returned, the whole incident was mocked in a parade as shown in the picture above.  Take a good look.  This is how the world sees us, folks.

Our enemies love seeing us in a submissive position.  So, here’s how I see it.  Kneeling before another country’s flag is an act of surrender.  However, many people don’t see it that way.  I have heard that kneeling for the anthem could be associated with praying for a country the protesters think has lost its way.  Well, what is prayer?  Submission to God.  It’s still an act of submission.  Do you see where I’m going here?

Flag_of_Great_Britain_(English_version)

In week 3 of the season, football players across the nation chose to take a knee during our anthem which angered many Americans yet again.  To make matters worse, 27 members of the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars stood for the British national anthem, but took a knee for ours.  I don’t think the teams realize the message this sends to the rest of the world.  Frankly, it’s an embarrassment, and it spits in the faces of every American soldier who’s ever served.  Sure, these players have the right to their freedom of speech, but the venue was entirely inappropriate.  Fans started letting the NFL know just how they felt by burning their team jerseys and season tickets on video and posting it to social media.

Why are they doing that?  I thought die-hard football fans would never give up the game for any reason, but fans who were disgusted enough did that day.  Well, some see it the way I do, and that’s a problem. bbq-flag-wm

Some folks in the NFL surely saw the writing on the wall.  The NFL’s choice to support the kneeling backfired, so they decided to lock arms in solidarity, but stand for the anthem.  To me, the choice to remaind standing is in part an admission that kneeling during the anthem might have been inappropriate.  Well, this is still a protest, and it’s not about the flag, the anthem, or racial equality.  No, it’s not anymore.  It’s about resentment towards President Trump for daring to voice his opinion and bruising the egos of team owners across the NFL.  All Trump and a large portion of Americans are saying is that our flag and national anthem are sacred for reasons you should know by learning your history.  Our soldiers stationed overseas are watching you disrespect a symbol of our country they are fighting to protect.  Hey… in a battle, what is the first thing to fall or get taken down if you lose?  Your battle flag, dummies, and this is our country’s battle flag.  If you don’t like it and the freedom it represents, I suggest you renounce your U.S. citizenship and leave.  I think this protest is in poor taste, and I’m not the only American to think the same.

800px-Francis_Scott_Key_by_Joseph_Wood_c1825
Francis Scott Key

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying these football players should just shut up and play ball.  Heck, no.  I may not agree with them on some issues, but I do support free speech and the right to peaceful assembly according to the constitution.  So, what should these teams be doing?  They should be going back to the lessons they obviously slept through in history class.  Our national Anthem was written by Francis Scott Key as he was observing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British troops during Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812.  The War of 1812 is often considered our second war for independence.  Had we not won that war, we would probably be kneeling to “God Save the Queen” right now instead of the “Star Spangled Banner”.  Think about that for a moment.

 

 

policy

Like many of our nation’s veterans, active duty soldiers, and patriotic civilians, I think the anthem protest is misplaced.  It’s an insult to all our star-spangled banner stands for.  The protest does not seem to be having the intended effect anyway.  It’s only drawing ire from their customer base.  Eventually, this will all hit them in their pockets.  So, how can they speak their minds and ask for a change in policy without shooting themselves in the foot?

With the money the NFL will lose in ticket and merchandise sales, they could have run an ad on ESPN with their stance on social justice.  How about an ad in a sports magazine?  I suggest if they want to speak of unity, they should steer clear of portraying cops as pigs in those ads.  Just saying…

Be the change

Another way they might show how they truly feel could be to be positive role models.  I saw a not so funny meme regarding this controversy.  It had three players in photos taking a knee, but above them it had mugshot of them listed with the crimes they have been arrested for.  Well, heck, no wonder they don’t like the police!

Folks, no matter what you want to see change in this world, you have to start with yourself.  Take a good look at your life and truly think about what you want your life to be.  Start there!  These players can start by being good role models first.  Then, they can start mentoring kids in high risk communities.  They can be the star in a public service announcement with a positive message telling kids to choose their associations wisely and stay away from crime.  Don’t just show me you’re unhappy about something with the rest of the sheeple.  Show me you really care by doing something constructive.  While you’re at it, leave my flag alone.  Leave our statues alone.  If your parents didn’t teach you, learn how to be a lady or a gentleman.  If your teachers didn’t teach you why our flag, anthem, and monuments mean so much, crack a book.  Meanwhile, I will stand when our anthem plays, and I will gaze upon my nation’s flag with the honor it deserves.  I will not take a knee.  I will not surrender to the sheeple.

Flock of sheep

 

 


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