Colin Kaepernick Has a Right * * * But He Is Wrong!!
Those who understand the Constitution and the Bill of Rights must acknowledge that the once but not future Super Bowl quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, has a First Amendment right to express his point of view about police treatment of minorities by refusing to stand for the National Anthem before NFL football games.
But acknowledging and defending his right does not mean that he is right. What is the National Anthem anyway? Is it a tribute or expression of support for our President? Or our Congress? Or our Supreme Court? Or the police? Or police persons?
No, it is none of these. For essentially we the people created these institutions through the exercise of our sovereignty. The persons who occupy positions in these institutions are delegates, servants of we the people. The National Anthem, therefore, simply does not affirm or glorify the acts or omissions of the delegates.
Look to the words.
"And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
This is a tribute to "we the people" and our resilience to perseve and prosper despite adversity and long odds. It has nothing to do with police brutality or violence against minorities. In standing for and singing the National Anthem, we the people come together to pledge and affirm that we will give meaning to our national charter, which guarantees equal protection of the law and the right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures. Let's make a statement that whatever flag we may fly from our front porches, for us the American flag and the National Anthem belong to "we the people," and, as Benjamin Franklin admonished us "we must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately."
In these difficult times we must focus on what unites us and set aside what divides us. We are different in many ways, but we are one in our pledge to "protect and defend the Constitution."
Let Colin call a press conference, organize a march, spend a portion of his generous salary on public service announcements, and testify before the legislature, resort to Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. But his choice to boycott the National Anthem and urge others to do so is misguided.
Colin, speak your mind. Express your point of view. You have the right. But we must remember that only if we come together, despite our differences, and insist that our leaders put our mutual well being and that of our country before their own will we keep the Republic.