Colin Kaepernick continues to take a stand by not standing during the national anthem in order to protest racial injustice and police brutality. But is that an appropriate action for his appropriate message?
What Kaepernick is trying to protest is the government because they are looking the other way during this influx of racial injustice and police brutality. However, by kneeling during the national anthem, he is protesting something completely different.
The government and our country are two different entities. One can love their country, but hate their government. At the same time, one can love their government but hate their country.
Kaepernick’s actions relay his hate for the government, but they also relay hate for his country. The country that was built on the sacrifices of its heroic citizens.
The American flag and the national anthem are both symbols for our country. They represent the men and women who have literally given their lives to protect our freedom and our nation.
Jim Brown, a former running back for the Cleveland Browns and prominent civil rights activist, also does not agree with Kaepernick's actions. Brown states that he does, in fact, support Kaepernick's argument and the stance he is trying to take. However, even Brown does not support the way in which Kaepernick is trying to prove his point.
Brown told "TIME Magazine," "I would not do anything that has to do with respecting the flag or the national anthem. I don't think it's appropriate."
The national anthem was written during the final hours of the war of 1812. It is a narrative of a military triumph and a representation of the selfless act of Americans who saw extremely strenuous times and were absorbed with apprehension and agony, both physically and emotionally, just for the sake of this country.
These lives were sacrificed so the citizens of the United States could have their freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and freedom to peacefully protest. Every single citizen in America has their own right to their own opinion, and their own right to voice their opinion how they choose because that is exactly what American is about.
Therefore, Kaepernick has every single right to kneel during our country’s national anthem.
However, by doing so, he is blatantly disrespecting the men and women who gave everything in their power to give Kaepernick and every other person in our country their freedom of speech. Kaepernick is biting the hand that fed him his freedom by deliberately disregarding the actions that took place in order to create our first amendment.
I am not here to criticize the stance that Kaepernick is attempting to make. I am not saying that his message or opinion is wrong. I am simply saying that the national anthem is not the place or time to relay a message of that matter because, in the end, one ultimately has nothing to do with one another. By disrespecting his country, Kaepernick is not going to be able to fix his government.