It’s time for me to step into this conversation and throw out some ideas and topics for consideration. This is a lengthy one:
- I am a veteran. I served in the US Navy straight out of high school and was Honorably Discharged after 10 years. I served in mostly peace time; but I never doubted that I was ready to defend the country I love and at the highest cost. Think about the two unfortunate collisions which ended the lives of over a dozen sailors – these were peaceful maneuvers where fatalities are not normally anticipated.
- The primary subject of the current discussion is a piece of cloth and a song. Think about that – cloth and music are somehow so beholden beyond our rights? The great things about our freedom which the flag represents and the heroic actions of our ancestors which the national anthem represent cannot be offended – these intangible symbols are eternal and are not lessened any because of people stand or don’t stand for the tangible representations
- Ask yourself why athletes and others are protesting – and peacefully protesting at that. Do you understand their views? These are mostly black citizens that are only trying to bring to light the issues they deal with every day of their lives. Unless you’ve been pulled over for the color of your skin, been frisked because of your choice of clothing, or been shot at while obeying a police officer’s orders – you probably cannot understand what African Americans go through in their lives.
- No one has every joined the military thinking, “I’m glad everyone will stand for the anthem now that I’m serving.” Never. Ever. We don’t serve because of the music or the flag – we serve because of pride, opportunity, and many other reasons. If you are a veteran and hurt because athletes are taking a knee during the national anthem – you probably served for the wrong reasons.
- When did it become a rule to stand for the anthem? I haven’t spent any time researching it – can you find it written somewhere? Or why do we have to cover our heart? Or take off a hat? I’m highly confident these traditions are ones of respect, but no one can list the rules of it all.
- If standing for the anthem and flag are so patriotic, why don’t we do it every day we wake up? If you love this country and everything it stands for, then I’m sure you have The Red, White, and Blue hanging next to the bed somewhere and immediately rise to “O, say can you see!” Right? When you watch the games at home – do you stand for the anthem? Probably not. Isn’t that disrespectful?
- Of course not. Why don’t you start singing the anthem or say the Pledge of Allegiance at your next morning staff meeting? There aren’t too many places I can think of where this would be considered anything less than a loon trying to get attention – except in schools. We must say the pledge in schools like good little patriots.
- If you feel kneeling for the anthem is such an outrage and you are speaking up against these athletes utilizing their rights as citizens – I truly hope you are such a righteous individual that you volunteer your time to help our millions of veterans that need homes, jobs, health care, training, counseling, and just love. Don’t waste your breath about your patriotism when you do nothing else to show it; waving a flag and changing the color of your porch light will not help those that served – it’s only a selfishness wrapped in ignorance to the problems of this nation.
- Now to the blow hard in chief – let us not forget, all this outrage is being fanned by an individual that wants to distract you from the issues affecting him. He doesn’t want you to focus on his ignorance of policy, the hypocrisy of his selected administration, the failure of his agenda, the many investigations which question the illegitimacy of his election. No. Do not pay attention to any of that – focus on athletes kneeling during a song. That’s what’s important. [Sarcasm]
- Lastly, why is the Cheeto fraud spending so much time attacking private citizens? Did he somehow resolve all the pressing issues he promised to handle on his own and we just haven’t been informed? Have our nation’s infrastructure woes been fixed? Has Puerto Rico suddenly been saved from the latest hurricane devastation? Has Houston and the other Gulf States been protected for the next major storm surge under our noses? Is the complex and partisan health care industry suddenly been made less complicated that it supports all of citizens and ensures their health and livelihood? Has North Korea miraculously decided to abandon its quest for nuclear weapons and become a sober player in global industry? All BIG FAT nos.
- The divider in chief wants us to bicker and fight at each other to ensure we never reach agreements? Why? What purpose does it serve? We have some many enemies outside of this nation’s borders (like the ones that altered our election to put the biggest buffoon in the highest office) that we don’t need to make enemies internally.
- I’m a white, American veteran and that’s my understanding of what’s going on. Don’t like my thoughts? Too bad. I’ve tried so hard to understand the other side’s perspective, but I’m at an impasse. I’m fed up with the other side not wanting to discuss it – they only want to call names, dismiss cordial conversation, or just threaten to ‘fire that son of a bitch’ or ‘throw ‘em out of here’. Truly intelligent people at work here folks. You’re on my side or you’re on the wrong side of history.