If you’re a nationalist, then you probably don’t understand genuine patriotism.
Once more, I responded on Facebook to the disgusting, merciless, vile talking points/sound bites some people spew when it comes to Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during a SONG. And it doesn’t seem to matter that he’s doing so for a just and valid and valiant reason. He is protesting innocent people being hurt and/or killed, among other horrors that NO modern democracy should accept or let continue.
Again: He’s opting out of a song — a national anthem, but still, literally, a song — as a protest to unjust deaths and unequal/unjust treatment . . . and spectators are upset that . . . he’s disrespecting the song. . . .
Where’s the upset over the injustice and inequality and murder? Over the ruination of lives and the DEATHS OF INNOCENT PEOPLE? WHERE IS YOUR RIGHTEOUS FUCKING INDIGNATION, NOW? WHERE IS IT WHEN TEENAGERS LYNCH AN EIGHT YEAR OLD, OR A NAZI RUNS OVER A WOMAN WHO STOOD FOR WHAT’S RIGHT? WHERE IS YOUR PATRIOTISM? BECAUSE ALL I SEE, FROM SO MANY, IS FUCKING NATIONALISM THAT IS UNTHINKING AND UNFEELING, AND GIVES LIP SERVICE TO IDEALS THAT THE NATIONALISTS CLEARLY DON’T EVEN BELIEVE IN.
WHERE IS YOUR FUCKING PATRIOTISM?
Because I can see Colin Kaepernick’s very clearly. Yours? Not so much.
Anyway, my response:
“This country was BUILT on dissent and not being “respectable” and appropriate — not playing the games of those in power, or laboring under their double standard rules of engagement. If someone shouts “equality!” and the response they get is either silence or griping about the appropriateness of the venue, or the time or the place, then there is a HUGE problem, and it’s not the protester. There is NO MOMENT in which advocating for equality and justice is wrong. They are the most important things (especially to those who don’t have/get them), and thus must be pushed for and upheld whenever possible. Time must be MADE for equality and justice. Saying no to the rules of a corrupt system, that’s stacked against you and has been for hundreds of years, is somehow wrong? If someone is offended that a football player is taking a knee during a national anthem, they might want to wonder how horribly skewed the nation itself is, and how it’s strayed from the ideals of that anthem. They should ask what would cause a citizen to dissent, if they can’t see that dissent is because of the inherent hypocrisy in letting the powerful pretend that they’re not egregious in their warping of the ideals of an entire country. IF this country lived up to, or was even making a real effort to live up to its ideals and include EVERYONE in those ideals, people wouldn’t be opting out of participating in a lip-service anthem. If innocents weren’t being harassed, beaten, and murdered by those sworn to protect and serve, people wouldn’t be opting out of an anthem that’s been rendered meaningless by a systemic lack of empathy or fucks given. So many people care about a SONG and care NOTHING about the people who die every day for no damn reason. THAT’S what’s being protested. And it’s not just a right, that protestation, but it’s necessary. Nationalism is a disease. The true patriots among us call out wrongs and injustices and flaws in the system, and try to fix them. Waving flags and singing anthems means nothing if that’s as far as one’s patriotism goes. Give me a protesting patriot over a flag-waver any day. Kaepernick is kneeling for something. Taking a stand, as it were — he’s calling attention to one of many areas in which America falls down at the job. The flag-wavers and anthem warblers are armchair NATIONALISTS with no spine, no balls, and no real understanding of the flag they reflexively hoist or the anthem they endlessly shout.”