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Colin Kaepernick And The Seemingly Growing Disrespect For The Flag/National Anthem....
Colin Kaepernick And The Seemingly Growing Disrespect For The Flag/National Anthem
I have tried to refrain from opining on the current cause célèbre issue, which involves those who are protesting America’s racial issues by ‘kneeling’ when the National Anthem is played at our sports events and elsewhere. My refrain has to do with the fact that there are merits to the issues being discussed and also the fact that I too have vested interests on both/multiple sides of said issues being debated. It is akin to my being taciturn or reticent on speaking on the issue of illegal immigration, notwithstanding the fact that I am an Immigrant and also the fact that I came to these Cornucopia shores legally.
When I came to this country in the Eighties, my father just happened to be a police officer in Oakland, California; yet, my brothers and I were given “the talk” that most prudent Black parents give their children - especially the boys - concerning interaction between the Police and Blacks. Case in point, years ago, in Concord, California, I dropped my parents off at the airport, for their usual respite to Reno, Nevada. On my way back, I was driving unusually slow because I did not want to damage my father’s prized Cadillac, when I was pulled over by the Police. When the officers asked me to get the license/registration, I placed my hands up and asked them to retrieve the documents themselves. The Police then asked why I raised my hands and I told them that my father, being an officer himself, told me that this is how to handle that situation, which then prompted the officers to let me go after verifying that I was who I said I was.
In the situation described above, many Blacks have died at the hands of Police officers, which then resulted in the subsequent form of protests, including the ‘kneeling,’ when our National Anthem is being played, we are seeing done by professional athletes like Colin Kaepernick. Here it is where it gets dicey for me to navigate the issues involved because I happened to be an ex Army soldier and I honestly find the ‘kneeling’ very much disrespectful to the flag. However, it is everyone’s right to engage in protest because it is one’s First Amendment’s right to do so… and I should know this intimately because I am a lawyer by training. It is at this juncture where I feel like the proverbial economist who says on one hand and then says but on the other hand - this is the nature of the current debate being had on this troubling issue. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxrzT8WNxDc
No matter where you are on this issue of ‘kneeling,’ when the National Anthem is played, those who are employed by a private company, like Mr. Kaepernick, must have the courage of their conviction… because it is also my right - as a consumer - not to support the team (The 49ers) Mr. Kaepernick is playing quarterback for. It is being reported that since Mr. Kaepernick’s and other athletes’ protest, the National Football League’s ratings are down some ten percent or more - I do not want to later hear from these professional protesting athletes when it is time to pay the piper. This was the case when the actor, Donny Glover, of Lethal Weapon fame, apparently, disparaged his country, at least in the eyes of many Americans, and was replaced as a pitch man for a lucrative orange juice company.
Like many, I am of the opinion that the protests undertaken by Mr. Kaepernick and others could have been done in a less grating matter, as it pertains to the flag and the National Anthem - but Mr. Kaepernick would probably respond - and I have heard such responses - by saying that the gravity/import of racism warranted such a drastic form of protest. Incidentally, there are many aspects of racism out here, especially when many Blacks try to attain gainful employment in places like New York where I reside. The irony is that these mostly closeted Neo-Racists, found on the East Coast, will boast that they voted for the first African American President - twice and indeed they did… but this is the sleight of hand of modern racism, which has nothing to do with the ‘Dixie’ South. As it is my wont, I have used Stevie Wonder’s song, You haven't Done Nothin and Neil Diamond’s, America to help flesh out the themes of this blog. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ipq9YRUI7I