It’s not about the flag. Or the anthem.
All of you are so stuck on the flag and the anthem. But that is just the road sign. It’s pointing the way to the real problem. But you’re all over here stuck on the road sign, screaming and yelling at it like it’ll change something.
I’ve been to your house for games and you talk incessantly through the whole anthem. Your brothers use the time to load up on food and go to the bathroom before kickoff. I see beer, and people excited about football like it’s a religion. There are always potato chips but no one is ever standing with a bunch of honor or respect. And no one making a big deal about it either.
Most people are sitting when the anthem plays. In fact, I have yet to see a living room full of people standing for the anthem, although I’m sure one of you yahoos will come here and argue me that you stand for it every damn time. And that’s great. Good for you. But don’t believe that this is the qualifier as to whether you are a good American. Or a good human being. Standing in front of a flag while the anthem plays actually has zero to do with the kind of person you are.
Everyone’s relationship with the flag, and the anthem, is going to be unique and different. Because those things are just representations of how we feel about America, and of course, our place in it. So we are all going to have varying relationships with this country based on how we were raised and the courses our lives have taken. Just like how we worship and pray is unique for each of us, even if we all label ourselves with the same religion.
Because these are very personal things. These are deeply-seeded, heart and soul subjects and we get especially defensive when someone touches us there. Which is why it is so important to discern what is our business and what is someone else’s business.
It is not my business that they guy next to me goes to buy nacho cheese fries for $18 during Disney On Ice’s national anthem.
It is not my business if you pray sitting or standing. Or what name you have for your God. That is your business. Not mine.
So when a black Christian football player reverently took a knee on the field instead of standing, I took notice. Not at his relationship with the flag, because that is just the road sign, and his business. Instead, I concentrated on the more interesting message of what he was trying to convey.
Not everyone in this country feels the same way about the flag and the anthem (and this country) because not everyone is being treated fairly. And the anthem is the perfect time and place because it is an expression of our relationship with America.
Shame on us for wanting people to pretend this country is perfectly fine, for our own comfort and peace of mind. And when will the timing be right to get angry that our own citizens are being murdered by the police and treated like second class citizens? It seems that most American’s would like to go on pretending that racism is over. But this has been going on for centuries, shape-shifting along the way to suit society’s fears. And if you don’t believe these things, you simply aren’t doing enough reading or educating yourself. You are not paying attention or you are willfully ignoring what it is like to be a person of color in America. And I get it that no one likes to get called out but it doesn’t make it any less true.
I do not know what it is like to be a person of color in America. And I cannot know, not ever. So it is certainly not my place to judge what kind of relationship someone should have with their flag, or anthem. And I have no business policing how someone should feel about their country.
I do feel like it’s my place to be respectful and listen when someone has something to say, especially something I can’t understand because I’ve never lived it.
And a few more things…
Look up flag codes. You’ll find nothing about kneeling, but probably a bunch of flag code violations in your closet. So, you know, respect and all that.
No soldiers are ever injured in the kneeling during the anthem. It is WARS that kill soldiers, not kneeling. Do not confuse the two as they have nothing to do with each other. I’m not sure who started this bizarre rumor but soldiers are not injured by kneeling.
Lastly, if we HAVE TO stand for the anthem, we are no longer a democracy. If you don’t believe me, look up the rules they had on such things for Nazi Germany.