It's Time To Stand Up For Our Country

It's Time To Stand Up For Our Country

What Colin Kaepernick showed us about our own government.
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Colin Kaepernick went from an up-and-coming hot shot NFL Quarterback to a hated, wannabe NFL star in the span of only a few years. After putting his team, the San Francisco 49ers, though a Superbowl loss, Kaepernick's popularity and ability has since been on the decline. Besides being one of San Fran's top QB's at the time of the team's Super Bowl appearance, Kapernick has taken on a new hobby; protesting. During the National Anthem at the beginning of one of the 49ers preseason games, Kaepernick refused to stand up and show respect. Sure enough, Kaepernick's lack of action flooded the Internet and many people had strong opinions on it, mostly angry. Kaepernick claimed he was trying to protest the horrible things that go on in our country, specifically, racial oppression.

Many people had strong opinions on this. Many felt like his alleged protest during the National Anthem was uncalled for no matter what the cause.

But do they care?

Why does everyone care about Colin Kaepernick's refusal to stand during the National Anthem but not their own governments'?

More often than not, our own American government officials lack respect for this country and refuse to show respect and support for our flag and anthem.

So why aren't they on the news? Why aren't the people angry about that?


Why aren't people angry about this?

We need to take a look at our own government before we point fingers at an NFL player. Yes, NFL is one of the most viewed, popular things in the country, but our government is the one that matters in the end. Maybe Kaepernick's action or lack of action will effect our country in the future, but right now, our own government affects it, our government and governing officials affect it directly. Why aren't we calling out these people?

That is what appalls me the most. There is not outburst when our own government and government officials refuse to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance. Why doesn't that make everyone mad? I man, that's our own president, our own government. There is no outburst when your state senator and your president refuses to put their hand over their heart or stand up. This has been going on for longer than Kaepernick's protest, this has been going on since before the 49ers went to the Super Bowl, this has been going on since before Kepernick was a football player, and this has probably been going on since before Kaepernick was even born. That's how deep this goes.

But we have the power to change it. We have the power to vote these officials out. We have the power to shape our country into what we want. We have the power to provide our country with the support it deserves.

If you want to get mad at someone for not standing for our country and not standing for our flag an option, look at the people supposedly above it all, the people supposedly representing it day to day.

So thank you Colin Kaepernick for showing the country that there are so many people who don't care. Thank you for bringing to our attention all the other people who disrespect our country and our flag just like you did.

Cover Image Credit: Snopes.com

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Abortion Bans Are Only A Small Part Of The Republican War On Women

These bans expose the Republican Party for what it truly is.

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This week, several states passed laws that ban abortion after six to eight weeks of pregnancy, before most women even know that they're pregnant. The most egregious of these is Alabama — the state has banned abortion except for in cases of danger to the mother. Exceptions in the cases of rape and incest were actively voted against by the state legislature. Under the new law, any doctor who is caught giving an abortion would be sentenced to 99 years in prison, and the woman would be charged with murder.

Apart from the fact that this explicitly violates the decision of Roe v. Wade (which is the point), this is only a small part of the slow but steady degradation of women's rights by Republicans in the United States. To anyone who believes that this is simply about people being "pro-life" or "saving the children," then tell them to look at what happens after the fetus is carried to term.

Republicans oppose forcing fathers to be involved in the lives of their children that were forcibly carried to term, desires to cut food stamps and make it more difficult to feed said child, cut funding for affordable housing to make it more difficult for them to find homes, cut spending to public education so these children can't move up the social ladder, and refuse to offer the woman or her child health insurance to keep them both healthy. What about efforts to prevent pregnancy? Republicans also oppose funding birth control and contraception, as well as opposing comprehensive sexual education. To them, the only feasible solution is to simply keep your legs shut. They oppose all of these things because it is, in their eyes, a violation of individual rights to force people to do something. The bill also makes women who get abortions felons, and felons can't vote. I'll let you finish putting those two together.

If you view it from this framework, it would seem like Republicans are being extremely hypocritical by violating the personal freedoms of pregnant women, but if you look at it from the view of restricting social mobility for women, then it makes perfect sense. The Republican dogma of "individual rights" and "personal responsibility" is a socially acceptable facade that they use to cover up their true intentions of protecting the status quo and protect those in power. About any Republican policy, ask yourself: does this disperse power or consolidate it? Whether it be education, healthcare, the environment, or the economy, Republicans love to keep power away from the average citizen and give it to the small number of people that they deem "deserving" of it because of their race, gender, wealth, or power. This is the case with abortion as well; Power is being taken from women, and being given back to men in a reversal of the Feminist Movement of the 1970s.

Republicans don't believe in systemic issues. They believe that everyone has the same opportunity to succeed regardless of what point they started. This is why they love capitalism so much. It acts as some sort of great filter in which only those who deserve power can make it to the top. It's also why they hate social policies; they think that helping people who can't help themselves changes the hierarchy in a negative way by giving people who don't "deserve" power, power. Of course, we know that just because you have money and power doesn't mean you earned it fair and square, and even if Republicans believe it, it wouldn't change anything because it wouldn't change how they want to distribute power.

In short, Republican policies, including abortion, leave the average American with less money, less protection, less education, worse health, less opportunity, fewer rights, and less freedom. This is NOT a side effect. This is the point. Regardless of what Republicans will tell you about "inalienable rights" and how everyone is equal, in reality, they believe that some people and groups are more deserving of rights than others, and the group that deserves rights the most are the ones "that will do the best with them." To Republicans, this group consists of the wealthy, the powerful, and the white — the mega-rich, the CEOs of large companies, gun owners and Christians.

So, who do Republicans think deserve power and give it to? People who look and think like them. This, however, begs the question: Who do they want to take it from?

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