Pros and Cons of Kneeling During the National Anthem

Pros and Cons of Kneeling During the National Anthem

It makes ignorant people uncomfortable.

Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, shocked the nation earlier in the month by taking a knee during the national anthem. His justification was that he’s doing this to protest against the oppression and unjust killings of African Americans. And while there has been an abundance of support from fellow athletes on professional and high school level, there are many outraged by Kaepernick’s act, deeming it too disrespectful and ungrateful. So let’s look at some pros and cons of kneeling during the national anthem.


  • It is one of the most peaceful ways to express yourself.

After the shootings of unarmed African Americans, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, the protests in Ferguson and Baltimore turned riots and soon became violent. While those are also valid considering the frustration among the African American community, kneeling during the national anthem does not require excessive movement, or no movement at all. It allows you to express your views on police brutality with a quiet, single motion in a one-two feet radius.

  • It is an extremely profound method of protest.

The American national anthem celebrates our country as the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” By kneeling during the national anthem, you are clearly using your freedom of speech, to simultaneously question whether U.S. is the home of the brave where armed police officers are shooting at unarmed men, even during the presence of their children, as seen in the Philando Castile case. To kneel during the most patriotic anthem shows the intensity of the emotions involved and how tired the public is, not just minorities, but anyone who doesn’t understand why police officers keep getting placed on paid leaves while the list of men and women becoming hashtags keeps growing.

  • It makes ignorant people uncomfortable.

One of the great benefits of kneeling during the national anthem is that it sheds light upon the shifting racial attitudes in our country today. With every black person shot by police officers for reasons that could have been resolved without the use of violence, there are always those who make excuses; the “maybe he should have complied” people, if you will. These are the people who have never understood the fear of being targeted for something non-removable like the color of your skin. And when people like Kaepernick protest the obvious discrimination, they are hurt for being called out and retaliate by labeling them as “unpatriotic.” What they don’t realize is that shooting black men for their only crime being resisting arrest is unpatriotic by taking away their right to a due process. Innocent until proven guilty also applies to them and not just to cops after they murdered someone even when their body camera shows no apparent cause.


….. There are none.

The whole point of kneeling during the national anthem is not just to create drama or have irrelevant people who have never faced discrimination for the color of their skin call you names, but to make your voice heard. How many more black men and women must die before everyone in this country gets outraged that the only viable cause for their deaths was the color of their skin? It is beyond appalling the amount of people who have told Kaepernick to leave the country if he dislikes it so much, yet they remain unmoved as we add two more names to the list of those unjustly killed.

If you are someone who finds kneeling during the national anthem disrespectful but find different reasons to justify police brutality each time, then I’m afraid to let you know that you are NOT patriotic.

Cover Image Credit: Mercury News

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?


Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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