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Taking a Knee

Colin+Kaepernick+takes+a+knee+during+the+national+anthem.+Photo+courtesy+Sports+Illustrated.
Colin Kaepernick takes a knee during the national anthem. Photo courtesy Sports Illustrated.

Colin Kaepernick takes a knee during the national anthem. Photo courtesy Sports Illustrated.

Colin Kaepernick takes a knee during the national anthem. Photo courtesy Sports Illustrated.

Tara Bogavelli '20

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Why do we stand for the Star Spangled Banner? Out of respect.

That is the commonly given answer; yet it is vague; respect for whom and for what? The flag, the Constitution, veterans? Everyone has a different reason.

I do not believe that just because someone stands means they are doing it out of respect for the veterans. So it cannot be assumed that someone choosing not to stand in order to protest an issue that affects millions of people in this country is automatically an act of disrespect.

Colin Kaepernick did not want to show pride “in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” That is his opinion, and he has the right to express that per the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, the very thing that people stand for during the anthem. When thinking of America we think of freedom, specifically freedom of speech, because that is who we are: people who embrace new ideas and accept everyone’s right to have them.

Kaepernick said he did not want to show pride in the flag, not that he intended to disrespect it. In my opinion, Trump disrespected the First Amendment, one of the pillars of liberty in this country, far more than Kaepernick. In his tweet on September 23rd, Trump said that “If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NF, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect…our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!” Calling for penalties against someone for using their right, no matter how disgusted one may be, is just as disrespectful as the protesting itself might be considered. This, on the part of the president, is dangerous, and sets a disturbing precedent for Americans.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Taking a Knee”

  1. Jose Roca on October 6th, 2017 10:13 am

    One of the greatest things about this country is the freedom to speak our mind, to express yourself openly, and to have a difference of opinion. Try that in Cuba, North Korea, Russia, etc. and see where that gets you. Therefore, if people believe it is disrespectful to kneel or sit during the National Anthem, then that is their right to feel that way. Just like those choosing to kneel & sit say they have the right to do so, and they do, but it doesn’t mean other Americans don’t have the right to speak out against it. We are all very different, we all think very differently, and we all have the right to express ourselves they way we feel in America. That is the beauty of being an American. Unfortunately, one of the things we tend to lose sight of is a common understanding that we are all Americans and we should all strive to make this country better for everyone through our own individual actions even if we disagree or agree with others views, opinions, or the way they choose to express themselves. Everyone should feel they have the same rights, level of justice, and opportunities granted to us by the Constitution. Unfortunately, and sadly, that isn’t always going to be the case because this country is made up of so many different people who come from different races, cultures, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds and within those groups their will always be some haters, racists, and bigotry. We also have a political climate that is very contentious which only adds to the negative rhetoric we are constantly exposed to in the media. We can only hope that love, compassion, open-mindedness, and respect can overcome the negativity and bad that exists in America today. It will never be a perfect country, but it is a great country and we should all strive to make it better by having self-respect and respecting one another all the time, no matter our opinions, thoughts, or beliefs.

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Taking a Knee