An Open Letter To The NFL: Stand With Your Country

An Open Letter To The NFL: Stand With Your Country

#TakeAKnee? #GiveMeABreak
92
views

You know what I really love? Living in America. I firmly believe that this country is the greatest one on the planet, and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else (call me old-fashioned or blind...I prefer patriotic). Do we have problems? Definitely. We fight over race relations and pay-gaps like the fact that they're still issues isn't a problem, and we also like to throw money at our problems when any decision in Congress is made at all. We've still got a ways to go. So, why do I love this country? Because I can write a sentence like that without fear of imprisonment or injury to my person. We can have debates about progress and what that actually means without some dictatorial regime silencing our thoughts. We have people willing to die to protect that, too. So, yeah, this country is kind of amazing.

And that's where my biggest annoyance comes in: not standing during the national anthem. And yes, NFL, I'm calling you out.

I get it: freedom of speech, good for you. I respect your right to say what you want. But, and who said it again, with great power comes great responsibility? Did you catch that last part? I'm not sure what statement you're trying to make, but I know it's aimed at President Trump. Kneeling during the anthem started as a protest against police brutality, not some tiff with the President. But did you notice no one is talking about police brutality? We're talking about the form of protest that you're using. If no one is talking about your issue, the protest isn't working. Let me boil that down for you: you're protesting, and you're protesting badly. We get it, you don't like President Trump. Not a lot of people do. And you have a right to your opinion. But let's make something clear: that flag does not represent the Trump administration. It doesn't represent the Republican or Democratic parties. It doesn't represent anything but the values the country was founded on and the men and women who died to protect and/or advance those values. So go ahead and kneel in defiance of the man you despise. Just realize your spitting in the faces of countless people who died to protect the ground your knee touches.

But the flag is printed on everything, they say. How respectful is an American flag print tie, or cigarette case, or insert-random-object's-name-here? This form of protest is obviously respectful. I mean, they're kneeling, right? Wrong. It's not respectful. The flag on whatever commercial item you want doesn't promote patriotism or loyalty. Your gaming console is just that: a gaming console, and I don't care if it has the American flag on it or the flag of Seychelles. Making a statement during a solemn moment when you're supposed to rise with your fellow Americans in respect of the thing that symbolizes everything good you stand for? That's disrespect.

So, plainly, you're a disgrace. Anyone affiliated with you who supports any of your affiliated teams' actions is a disgrace. You make the national pastime a disgrace. You're all for reaping in cash you wouldn't be able to make anywhere else in the world, but you won't stand for the anthem of the country that permits you to make it?

Feel free to continue. Your refusal to stand is your freedom of speech, one of the rights that you have living in this fantastic country. I know a lot of people agree with you. That's their right. I know a lot of people are going to hate this article. But I'd like to remind them: I'm exercising my freedom of speech. That's my right. And I'm going to use it to defend the sacred symbol of this country that you care so little for. We've already agreed that your protest isn't working; we aren't talking about the issue that started all of this (because apparently a crass comment made by the President usurps any issue worthy of discussion). So here's my question for you: are you protesting, or are you just being defiant because your feelings are hurt?


Cover Image Credit: Euclid Public Library

Popular Right Now

Diplomacy and Revolution

Creating A Federation With The Nation’s 19,505 Cities, Towns, and Villages, And Dissolving The 50 States Of The Union; Will Prevent The United States Of America From Balkanizing As Its Empire Declines.
2417
views

As it has become undeniable under the current administration of Donald Trump, the United States has entered its imperial decline as a global hegemonic force. The economic stability of the US dollar as a global currency is wavering and the military apparatus that spans the globe is starting to grind under its own contradictions as an occupying force. As these contradictions start to buckle under their own weight, the economic collapse and military retraction in the United States hegemony is an undeniable calculation. As this economic collapse occurs, the need to reorient economic priorities will be an imperative. As our global military network and apparatus starts to evolve and retract as an occupying force, it will require a new examination of what it means to provide the security of persons in the 21st-century. These questions will be placed in needed context, as external forces press the rapid advancement of these changes; as well as domestic forces trying to acclimate to this rapid transition. As we saw in the past with the Articles of Confederation in the late 18th century, the priorities of the states and their self interests and loyalty to wealth and power place the Federal Union of the United States under threat of internal instability and external pressures that will lead to an inevitable crisis unseen in the United States since the days of the Civil War. To avoid these destabilizing factors, the wise attempt to reconstruct the Federal structure of the United States must be applied.

To do this, we must recognize that our democracy is rooted in the diplomacy between various republics; forming the federation that established the Union of the United States of America under the pretext of the Constitution. Diplomacy must be re-oriented on the municipal level to deal with the shifts of modern communication and transportation advancement; so as to avoid Balkanization. We must keep in mind that Federalism, a federation, is a structure that offers the means of ensuring a formalized diplomatic structure between communities. The Iroquois Confederacy in which the United States Union was based off of focused on representation via tribes; this localized format must be present in any transitional new system. Coupled with a format of modern technological development, a federation of municipalities is perfectly plausible for the various communities throughout the entire United States thanks to current communication and transportation systems; with evolving transportation and communication systems increasing the feasibility and ease of such a networked systems.

We have (as of 2015 data) 19,505 cities, towns, and villages in the United States. As the American empire declines, the calculation that economic divisions will spark a disunity internally must be avoided at all cost via re-federalizing. It is perfectly plausible to create a federation out of the 19,505 communities using representation of each in a federal congress. We have sports stadiums that can house tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of spectators; it would be perfectly plausible create a federal congress using such scales of construction. It would also ensure management of sub regional, regional, and super-regional networks that are internal mechanisms used for unifying local and federal systems. Not only will this new federal system prevent Balkanization and disunity of the American people, it will also offer the potentiality for economic reconstruction with the emphasis on self sustainability and self-sufficiency for every community. Utilizing social contracts such as a Second Bill of Rights to provide things such as food, water, energy, infrastructure, knowledge, and productive abilities for every community and every individuals. Living up to the motto of the United States E Pluribus Unum: Out of Many, One; as well as ensuring life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness in the 21st-century.

Our present is not the first time that the United States has risked division, as already mentioned the Articles of Confederation brought us to the edge of a complete breakdown of the Union, which was operating as only a mere confederation at the time. The slave master rebellion of 1861 that ignited what became known as the Civil War brought the United States further to the precipice of disunity. But as the Union has shown to withstand not only internal strife and division brought on by economic stratification, we have developed a federal system that has expanded its influence around the globe. As we wise up to the foolishness of attempting to assert hegemony over the peoples of the world; we will start to recognize that the survivability of our own systems will rely on a new unifying effort. One that will require nothing less than the declaration of a new Federation of the Peoples of America; guaranteed under the Declaration of Independence and Constitution that set forth to lay the foundations of the United States today. With the same mentality of transition between the Articles of Confederation to the Federal Constitution, and with the pretext of legal declaration such as the Emancipation Proclamation; we can avoid repeating the same mistakes in the past through federalizing anew. And through a new Federation, finally creating the principles and ideals that we laid out in our past but have yet to live up to in the present; by becoming at true Union of Peoples.

Cover Image Credit: Shutterstock

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The Importance Of Empathy

How just meeting new people can make all the difference in your life
675
views

Merriam Webster Dictionary describes “empathy” as, “The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another.”

During such a time with increasing social, political, and societal divide, a better comprehension of empathy would do wonders to lessen this divide.

Attaining a better sense of empathy allows for one to build upon their perspective and have a better understanding of the people around them. While it may sound too cliche or rudimentary, the best way to build a strong sense of empathy is to explore new things and new people.

In high school I was involved with football, the TV show, the art department, the drama department, the spirit club, etc.. In the fall I attended community college, and now I attend the University of Southern California. I have been able to surround myself with people of different passions, socio-economic backgrounds, and perspectives. All of which makes up a lot of who I am today.

Then while I may have my own preconceived opinions and views, I have fostered some ability to understand the point of views and thought processes of the people around me. Whether it be an privileged high school athlete, or a low-income community college art student, I have been able to interact with people across the spectrum of perspectives.

Surrounding myself with such a variety of people shapes who I am and builds me a stronger sense of self. Then while all these people I have interacted may not be my best friends, nor may I even get along with them all, I at least know where they are coming from and look at them with more than one lens of thought.

From the high school students trying to do something new and build their resume, to the successful college student who just wants to meet some more people outside of their hometown, I cannot stress enough how much getting outside of one’s comfort zone and getting to know people you may have never even spoken to before.

Just by surrounding oneself with a variety of passionate and well-intentioned people, a strong sense of empathy can be fostered. With racial and socio-economic tensions flaring consistently, society would greatly benefit if people just grew better understandings of one another. Once everyone beings to appreciate and value all the different perspectives and point of views that make up this world, a lot could change for the better.

Cover Image Credit: Alexis Brown

Related Content

Facebook Comments