Colin Kaepernick, Chose to Not Stand For National Anthem; Was He Right

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  1. My Esoteric profile image85
    My Esotericposted 7 years ago

    San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick chose a risky way to protest the disproportionate number of black deaths at the hands of white cops ... who get away with it.  He said:

    "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

    While he is using the American flag has the symbol of his protest for injustice, it may be that he is actually protesting the National Anthem itself.  And why would that be, it is innocuous enough and a source of American pride?  Well, it may be the thirds stanza of the anthem; one I didn't know of and imagine most American's aren't of aware of either.

    As it turns out, the National Anthem we know is the first stanza; but there were actually four!  Who knew?

    Francis Scott Key, along with the writer of the most important song in America, was also (again who knew) an unapologetic anti-apologetic slave owner! 

    Third stanza from the National Anthem:

    "And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
    That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
    A home and a Country should leave us no more?
    Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
    No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,

    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave."

    You see, Key was not happy with slaves running away to join the British to fight their former masters.  Consequently, he used the Anthem's third stanza to express his displeasure.  I am sadden beyond belief having just learned that one of my historic heroes has feet of very soft clay.

    What is your opinion?

    1. Au fait profile image84
      Au faitposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Colin Kaepernick is where he is today because of the many advantages and opportunities this country gave him.  To be sure this country is not perfect and has a long way to go in certain areas.  I understand that he wants to object to the way some cops treat black people, and I don't blame him.  I don't like it either.  I just think he should choose a different way, other than disrespecting the flag and the country in general, to object.

      Even the founding fathers saw this country as a work in progress.  There are plenty of things that could be better and that need improvement.  That will likely always be true, and so we will always have work to do to see that those improvements happen.

      The way some cops treat black people, and often people generally, is completely unacceptable.  The bad cops need to be weeded out.  Even as that gets underway, Mr. Kaepernick needs to respect the country that gave him so much.

    2. GA Anderson profile image89
      GA Andersonposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I too was unaware of the other stanzas of our National Anthem, but I don't think it matters to most Americans, (most probably as unaware as I was), or to Kaepernick.

      He stated what he was protesting - the flag, and the nation it represents. He chose the spotlight of the anthem's reverence, (and thus ours) of the flag that is the symbol of our nation. So I don't think he was protesting the National Anthem at all. 3rd verse or not.

      Speaking only for myself, though I think most Americans feel the same, when I stand for the playing of the National Anthem, it is the symbol of our nation that I am saluting - not the anthem, or its author.

      I think Kaepernick has made a terrible mistake and has hurt the message he wanted to support. I agree that the issue he wants to put center stage is important, and needs the attention, but the conversation he started is not about that message now. It is about him.

      I believe his action disrespected all of the valor and national human treasure that has been spent to defend and preserve our nation. Just think of the probable reaction of family and friends of those fallen warriors, (and all others who have given their lives for our nation or to maintain its citizen's rights),  to his act of disrespect. Do you think they will be thinking he is right, the BLM movement does need my consideration?

      Due to his national recognition as a prominent NFL personality, he had the power and influence to have been a prominent and effective messenger for the movement he supports.

      Pre-sit-down, the medias chased him for interviews and statements. He could have made his stand there. During any game, with tens of millions of viewers, he could have created a symbolic gesture or message that everyone would have been talking about. A coin-toss message, an end-zone message, a half-time message. He had many other choices that would have had a large part of our nation asking; "What does he mean? Why did he do that? What is he trying to say? What is he talking about?" And we would have been talking about the issue he wants us to talk about.

      But what are we talking about now... Colin Kaepernick and his disrespect for our flag and our nation... and all the people that have sacrificed, or even given their life for both.

      His intentions may have been good, but his delivery was lousy and now I think both he, and the movement he wanted to support are harmed by them.


      1. My Esoteric profile image85
        My Esotericposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        I do agree with you, Colin probably didn't know about the 3rd stanza either, although it certainly put meat behind his ire.  I also agree with you that he has gone about it the wrong way because, at least in my mind, the Flag represents what America could be, wants to be; not what it is today.  And, if my view is correct, then he is effectively protesting what America, the idea, stands for.

        Nevertheless, I have gone to war to protect his right to protest any legal way he wants to, and I would do it again.

        1. GA Anderson profile image89
          GA Andersonposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          Hold on now My Esoteric. That's not in the script. Except for the "meat behind his ire" part, I think your "view" must be correct because it agrees with mine. And no argument about his right to do it, or our willingness to protect his right, just the wisdom of doing it the way he did.


    3. Prayerhub profile image59
      Prayerhubposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Can't just imagine why this evil sprang up. Lets make America great again, maybe it will stop.

      1. My Esoteric profile image85
        My Esotericposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        America is already great.  Some issues need to be worked out, but America, save for slavery and Native American genocide (both solved), has always been great.

        1. GA Anderson profile image89
          GA Andersonposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          I agree with your perspective. We are a great nation - warts and all. I think our greatest attribute is that we are always striving to correct our mistakes.


      2. Au fait profile image84
        Au faitposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Prayerhub, the idea that America isn't great is propaganda from the Trumpster in an attempt to scare people into voting for him.  He has to create a problem so that he can swoop in like Superman and appear to be solving it.

        There is plenty to do to make our country even better, but even as it is, it's the best place to be in this world, and has been for a very long time.  Nowhere humans are in charge is going to be perfect.  Not even with The Donald running the show.  In fact, given his track record for screwing people over, I think it's more likely things will go downhill with him in charge.  That mouth of his for one thing, is likely to get us all into WW3.

        Name one country you think is better off and where you'd rather be . . .

        1. GA Anderson profile image89
          GA Andersonposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          Hello Au fait, we haven't engaged before, but I certainly agree with your perspective in this comment.

          All of it. (except maybe the WWIII part)


          1. Au fait profile image84
            Au faitposted 7 years agoin reply to this

            Thank you GA Anderson.  I understand that though his visit went fairly well in Mexico yesterday, that he has put his foot in it again, and this time the Mexican citizens are viciously angry.  I would hope we won't end up in WW3, but Trump's mouth seems beyond his own control with no limits to the problems it can cause.  Who will he insult next?  And with what consequence?

  2. Live to Learn profile image60
    Live to Learnposted 7 years ago

    I'm sad to learn that is the third verse of the anthem but, no one sings it, no one stands for it so it is really just a sad tidbit of info.

    I think the guy did right, if that was what he believed to be right. It is his right. And I find it poignant that he exercised that right toward the symbol of the struggle to attain it.

    1. Au fait profile image84
      Au faitposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I have not heard Kaepernick say anything about the words in the stanzas of the National Anthem that are never used anyway.  According to the New York Times, Aug. 27, Kaepernck said this during an interview:  “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he told NFL Media in an interview published on Saturday.

      I have read nothing about Kaepernick objecting to the words of the Star Spangled Banner and any objection you are suggesting he has about the words sounds like conjecture to me.

      1. Live to Learn profile image60
        Live to Learnposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Maybe there was some confusion here. I was commenting on the words in the third stanza because the OP mentioned them. That was all.

      2. My Esoteric profile image85
        My Esotericposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        I wrote "... it may be that he is actually protesting the National Anthem itself. " with an emphasis on the word "may".  I don't know and you don't know if Colin is aware of the stanzas or not, so yes, I am "supposing". 

        As to the third stanza itself, keep in mind that the Flag and the National Anthem, and the man who wrote it, are closely tied together.  It was the flag that inspired the song, and now it is the Anthem which at every sports event as well as many other venues that honors the flag.  When I see the flag, I think the Anthem.

        The reason the Anthem gained fame as representing America, was the story of its creation, that being Francis Scott Key being held captive in a British ship while a battle raged and his spotting the flag which motivated him to write his words ... including the third stanza with its obvious racism.  We might not sing it, but we are stuck with it and its meaning.

        So, when Colin doesn't stand for what the flag represents, which is encapsulated in the National Anthem, the whole Anthem, then whether he knows it or not it is the meaning of the third stanza which is still being expressed in modern America that he is objecting to.

        1. GA Anderson profile image89
          GA Andersonposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          Geesh, My Esoteric! Even ElastoMan would have trouble with that stretch.

          Your Anthem stanza history was enlightening... I hadn't a clue, but Colin was very specific about his reason. That third stanza had nothing to do with it - according to his words.

          Consider this. The anthem, like the flag is a symbol. And like the stripes and stars are the flag to most, so it is the stanza we hear that is the anthem to most. Many probably know the story of Key writing from the British ship, but few probably know the man as you described him. Which, to me, means the details, as you have provided them don't really seem pertinent to the issue. No disrespect meant for your efforts, I just don't think either Key's history, or that third stanza have any bearing on Kaepernick's perspective.


  3. GA Anderson profile image89
    GA Andersonposted 7 years ago

    Colin Kaepernick reinforces his message...!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_1200/49ers-camp-football.jpg

    I think these type of actions turn the discussion away from evaluation and consideration of the issue he is promoting, and into a defensive discussion that not all cops are bad, and not everything our flag stands for is bad.

    ... and we are still talking about him, instead of the real issue.



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