Pros and Cons of Kneeling During the National Anthem

Pros and Cons of Kneeling During the National Anthem

It makes ignorant people uncomfortable.
15360
views

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.

PROS:

  • 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.

CONS:

….. 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

Popular Right Now

I'm The College Girl Who Likes Trump And Hates Feminism, And Living On A Liberal Campus Is Terrifying

I will not sugarcoat it: I don't feel safe on my own campus.

48584
views

I will get right to the point: being a conservative on a liberal college campus in 2019 downright terrifying.

At my university, I'm sure about 90% of the population, both students and faculty, are liberals. They are very outspoken, never afraid to express their views, opinions, and feelings in several ways. There are pride events for the LGBT community, a huge celebration for MLK day, and tons of events for feminists.

Then there's the minority: the conservatives. The realists. The "racists," "bigots," and "the heartless." I am everything the liberals absolutely despise.

I like Donald Trump because he puts America first and is actually getting things done. He wants to make our country a better place.

I want a wall to keep illegals out because I want my loved ones and me to be safe from any possible danger. As for those who are genuinely coming here for a better life, JUST FILL OUT THE PAPERWORK INSTEAD OF SNEAKING AROUND.

I'm pro-life; killing an infant at nine months is inhumane to me (and yet liberals say it's inhumane to keep illegals out…but let's not get into that right now).

I hate feminism. Why? Because modern feminism isn't even feminism. Slandering the male species and wanting to take down the patriarchy is just ridiculous.

I hate the media. I don't trust anyone in it. I think they are all biased, pathological liars. They purposely make our president look like the devil himself, leaving out anything good he does.

I will not sugarcoat it: I don't feel safe on my own campus.

I mostly keep my opinions to myself out of fear. When I end up getting one of my "twisted" and "uneducated" thoughts slip out, I cringe, waiting for the slap in the face.

Don't get me wrong; not everyone at my university is hostile to those who think differently than they do.

I've shared my opinions with some liberal students and professors before, and there was no bloodshed. Sure, we may not see eye to eye, but that's okay. That just means we can understand each other a little better.

Even though the handful of students and faculty I've talked to were able to swallow my opinions, I'm still overwhelmed by the thousands of other people on campus who may not be as kind and attentive. But you can't please everybody. That's just life.

Your school is supposed to be a safe environment where you can be yourself. Just because I think differently than the vast majority of my peers doesn't mean I deserve to be a target for ridicule. No one conservative does. Scratch that, NO ONE DOES.

I don't think I'll ever feel safe.

Not just on campus, but anywhere. This world is a cruel place. All I can do is stand firm in my beliefs and try to tolerate and listen to the clashing opinions of others. What else can I do?

All I can say is... listen. Be nice. Be respectful of other's opinions, even if you strongly disagree. Besides, we all do have one thing in common: the desire for a better country.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Dear Young Voices Of America, Stand Up, Speak Up, And Do Something

Our time is now.

198
views

Dear young voices of America, I think we can both agree that we are sick of being told we are America's future while simultaneously being told our opinions don't matter. Now I personally do not listen to the people that tell me I'm better seen than heard; however, I know there are people that are a little timider when it comes to raising their voices. I am here to encourage you to be loud and speak up on topics that matter to you. There is no better time than the present to make your voice heard. Whether you are advocating for change in your school or the government, your opinion matters and is relevant.

We are the future of our country. How are we supposed to evoke change and reform if we can't have our voices heard? I call bullshit and I think it's time to take action. Even if you're the first or only person to advocate for your cause, be that person. Don't be afraid of anyone that tries to stand in your way. The only person that can stop you from speaking up for yourself and your cause is you. No matter how many nos you have to hear to get a yes or how many doors you have to knock on to get someone to open up, never give up. Never give up on your cause, never give up on yourself or the people you're representing, just don't do it. There is someone out there that supports you. Maybe they're just too shy to raise their voice too. Be encouraging and be supportive and get people to take a stand with you.

It is never too early or too late to start thinking about your future or to take action. But don't hesitate to say something. The sooner you start speaking up, the sooner you have people joining you and helping you, and the sooner you start to see and experience change. So get up, make that sign, write that letter, make that phone call, take part in that march, give that speech. Do whatever you feel fit to get your point across. Shout it from the rooftops, write it on your profile, send it in a letter, ignore everyone that tries to tell you to give up. Maybe they don't understand now, maybe they don't want to listen, maybe they're afraid to listen, but the more you talk about it and help them understand what exactly you are trying to get across, they will join you.

Even when it feels like you have nobody on your side but yourself, I am on your side. I will cheer you on, I will march with you hand in hand, I will write letters and make phone calls and help you find your voice. My life changed when I found my voice and yours will too.

So dear young voices of America, the time is now. Your time is now. Don't be afraid of the obstacles that you may have to face. Someone is out there waiting for you, waiting to grab your hand and march on with you. As Tarana Burke once said "Get up. Stand up. Speak up. Do something."

Related Content

Facebook Comments