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

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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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.

What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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News Flash: 'Building The Wall' Is Still A Dumb Idea And Always Will Be

The government is still partially shutdown because of funding for the wall. Really?


A man who is a strong supporter of building the wall told me this metaphor: If you don't want the wrong people walking into your backyard, you put a fence up. We don't want the wrong people coming to America, so we put a wall up. I respect people's political beliefs, and because of this, I want to share mine.

I believe that President Trump demanding money to build a border wall is dumb.

It's hard to believe so many people really think that this "build a wall" has everything to do about border security. It's just inhumane and wrong.

Literally, the most notorious drug lord of Mexico has shed light about how he smuggles the drug into the U.S. They have brought it through fishing boats, trucks going through the legal point of entry, underground tunnel, but not through unwalled parts. The half of million pounds of narcotics that were secured at the border? They were all al legal points of entry.

I'm saying this because I am a proud daughter of immigrants who crossed the border. The media has portrayed immigrants as these horrible people infiltrating our country. They just want somewhere safe to live to raise their kid.

The conditions of Latin American countries are inexplicable. Communist have risen from the ashes dominating these countries letting people rot on the street starving. There are little to no job opportunities. I haven't seen my family in three years because it is dangerous to go.

The media doesn't tell you this. They don't tell you how many people have gone to the border and returned to Mexico because ICE agents tear gas them.

They tell you that they throw babies over fences to distract border patrol agents. They tell you children are dying because of malnutrition of trekking thousands of miles to get the border. They don't tell you that those same children have been eating unmonitored food with thousands of microorganism some mal some good.

Not all immigrants are not bad people. The notions that all immigrants are criminals is "fake news." It has been a hook, line, and sinker for the Republican Party. There are studies such as one from the journal Criminology showing that places with high undocumented immigrant population does not equal high crime.

Should undocumented citizens attempt to become legal residents of the United States? Absolutely, and that is a problem if they are evading taxes and other legal notions with more consequences.

However, we should not lie to ourselves and act as a wall is to help border security against drugs and crime. It's just a physical quota like 1920s immigration laws. There is a better solution then sacrificing 5.7 billion dollars. Let me translate that: 5,700,000,000 dollars. That is our taxes. As a college student, I rather have those 5.7 billion dollars be translated to scholarship, grants, financial aid, and helping us, the future of this country become the best people we can be. Why build a wall when the future of America, who I personally think is more important can be helped.

I don't come from a rich family, and I don't have the means to afford a college education without loans, so when I hear that the Government can afford to give 5.7 billion dollars for a wall, I have the right to be upset. Tell me I'm wrong, and call me dumb, but this is my unpopular opinion.


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