NFL Players Have Nothing Against The Flag, Just Like Rosa Parks Had Nothing Against Buses

NFL Players Have Nothing Against The Flag, Just Like Rosa Parks Had Nothing Against Buses

Our nation levies accusations of being anti-military and anti-country in order to distract from the heinous injustices carried out by our State
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On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus when the driver tried to force her to give up her seat for a white person.

Do you think she protested in such a way because public buses were the problem? Do you think she had a vendetta against public transportation?

No? I didn't think so.

So why does anyone think that NFL players hate the flag, the military, or our country because they kneel during the national anthem?

Ever since Colin Kaepernick first sat down on a bench during this country's precious National Anthem last preseason, he has been riddled with accusations that he hates our country and our military and that he is, above all else, "disrespectful" and "ungrateful."

Rather than focus on the injustices Kaepernick tried to bring to light, people of many political bents decided to instead denigrate him and his means of protesting because, as I have written on this platform before, we do not like to examine our country's unjust transgressions. We prefer to hide from our shame behind false patriotism and a supposed "love of our troops."

If people were truly upset by the supposed "disrespect toward the flag," where were they when Houston Astros players celebrated a playoff victory by pouring alcohol all over someone wearing an American flag speedo bottom?

Where are they when people wear the flag as clothing? Where are they when the NFL unfolds a massive American flag horizontally during the anthem? Where are they when companies trot out the American flag in order to sell their products and profit off of our blind patriotism?

All of these things are, unlike kneeling during the National Anthem, listed as being disrespectful to the flag in the official US Flag Code.

So it seems that there is only a false concern about respect for our flag.

This sense that Kaepernick is being "disrespectful" is just a mere dog-whistle implying that black people in America need to stay in line and not question societal order.

Those opposed to Kaepernick are not opposed to him because of the manner in which he is protesting; they are opposed to him because they are so consumed with their blind nationalism they are not willing or able to see faults in our nation's treatment of its citizens. As Ta-Nehisi Coates pointed out in The Atlantic, Civil Rights protests have never been popular (and they never will be).

Far from truly caring about military personnel and veterans in this country, those opposed to Kaepernick and his messaging are instead using them as political props, pawns to be used to propagate their rose-colored-glasses view of this country.

Why else would conservatives deride Colin Kaepernick while voting for legislation that would hurt veterans in their healthcare and mental health treatment?

The saddest part of all of this shameful, embarrassing politicization of what is nothing more than a peaceful protest of a serious problem is that it's working. No one nowadays is talking about the underlying issues which Kaepernick and others like him are protesting.

Instead, they're talking about the national anthem and disrespect and our President's inane and irresponsible tweets.

Much has been made about how much President Trump has tweeted and spoken about the NFL protests vs. how much he has tweeted and spoken about the disastrous humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico.

Meanwhile, just last week an internal "investigation" came to the conclusion that officers were justified in fatally shooting –– on video –– an unarmed black man in the back as he was running away because of the danger he posed to them.

He was running away; his back was turned. The only "threat" he posed was in the pigment of his skin. But people aren't talking about him. They're talking about Trump.

This is why Colin Kaepernick protested. This is why something needs to change. Instead of worrying about how an athlete peacefully poses during the playing of a song to which most Americans don't even know the words, maybe people should be wondering how black people keep getting killed in cold blood on video with nothing being done.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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A Florida House Committee Is Undermining Your Vote On Amendment 4

Before felons can regain their right to vote, they must pay court fines, fees, and take care of any other "financial obligations." Essentially, this is a poll tax.

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Amendment 4, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, was added to the Constitution of Florida after being passed this last midterm election on November 6, 2018.

Amendment 4 restored the voting rights of Floridians with prior felony convictions after all terms of their sentence have been met, including parole and probation. This amendment only applies to felons who have not been convicted of murder or sexual offenses.

On January 8, 2019, an estimated 1.4 million ex-felons regained their right to vote. This is monumental. Prior to this amendment, Florida was one of four states that used felony disenfranchisement. Amendment 4 gives voice, and rightfully so, to felons who have served their time. Amendment 4 is also putting to rest, finally, years and years of disenfranchisement and suppression.

Now, only two months after its passage, the House Criminal Justice Committee is trying to water down this piece of legislation. This is a direct violation of the will of the 64% of Floridians who voted for the legislation as is. This amendment was not to be "clarified," as Governor DeSantis put it, but rather to be self-implementing.

However, the House Criminal Justice Committee proposed a bill that would tack on some extra qualifiers in order for felons to be enfranchised. The bill will require court fines, fees, and other "financial obligations" (in addition to fees administered in a judge's sentence) to be paid in full before a felon's voting rights are restored. This seems awfully similar to a poll tax to me. Obviously, this is going to affect people without a lot of resources rather than white-collar criminals who can afford a $500,000 bond.

This new qualifier will prevent felons from voting based on the money that can be coughed up as if they don't have to worry about their finances long after they leave prison.

Some may argue that these felons shouldn't have committed a crime in the first place. However, I would argue that holding a felon's vote hostage on the basis of money is unconstitutional.

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