Facebook was fairly interesting today.
Instead of the usual football jargon, I read a lot of opinions on patriotism, law enforcement, racism, and bigotry. Needless to say, there were some heated conversations today. People went back and forth over their views of patriotism and how to display it. These conversations have been going on for almost a year since Colin Kaepernick first used his platform to address racial injustice and police brutality. A touchy subject that most people don’t fully understand.
Today’s protests took it to another level, though. Why? Because President Trump, once again, threw gasoline on the fire. How? He called Kaepernick — and anyone else who kneels during the National Anthem — outside of his name (unnecessarily).
I truly feel like the protests today were a reaction to Trump’s comments as much as it was about racial injustice in America. Unfortunately, we are still living in a time where inequality is widely accepted by many. Maybe it’s because I’m from the ridiculously conservative state of North Dakota, but what I see from most conservative folks is they are largely okay with police brutality, racism, and bigotry as long as it doesn’t touch them. The only difference between today and 1960 is people feign an attitude of acceptance (i.e. “It’s not what they are protesting, it’s the method”).
There are multiple subjects that are terribly complex. I can’t begin to address all of the arguments posed (partly because I’m tired of dealing with the overwhelming amount of ignorance). People on both sides of the argument have valid points. Everyone wants to #BoycottNFL.
No one wants to listen.
These conversations have to take place. The problem is we are listening to respond instead of truly trying to see the other’s point of view. I don’t have a stance on the matter. Whether the players stand or kneel is up to them. After all, the freedom to choose is one of the greatest things about America. Most will say they love America, and that may be true. My question is this.
Do you love your country? Or, do you love the people that occupy your country?
There’s a stark difference. If you cannot respect that being an American has a diverse meaning for everyone, then your patriotism is blind. Allegiance with no vision or ability to think for one’s self is dangerous.
To stand or to kneel? A difficult question with no right answer.
To listen and love? Not hard at all.