Pros and Cons of Kneeling During the National Anthem

Pros and Cons of Kneeling During the National Anthem

It makes ignorant people uncomfortable.
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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

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Supporting Late-Term Abortion Is Actually The Opposite Of Feminism

Feminism is about gender equality and women supporting women- so shouldn't we support the unborn women of tomorrow?

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Before you read this, if you are someone who feels strongly that abortions are the "right" choice and that supporting late-term abortions is a step for woman anywhere, I do not suggest you read this article. However, I do want to write that I support conditional abortions- situations where the birth can kill the mother or where conception occurred because of rape. If someone rapes you, that is not okay by any means, and a baby conceived of rape can be terminated by the mother to avoid PTSD, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and any other mental health diagnoses. Of course, if a woman can bring a baby into the world to keep or give up for adoption, even if it was the product of rape, she should seek life for the innocent child rather than death. And what a rape victim chooses to do is neither here nor there- and it damn well is not anyone else's business.

So why should it be my business (or anyone's) if women have late-term abortions? Agreeing to murder out of convenience should not be societally accepted as okay. When the law passed in New York for late-term abortions, I did not picture 39-week pregnant women rushing to Planned Parenthood to abort their child because they got cold feet. I highly doubt that is the exact scenario for which the law went into effect for, and that was more so intended for women who did not realize they were pregnant and missed the time period to get a legal abortion.

Not that I support early-term abortion, because all abortion is the same regardless of when it happens during the pregnancy. Killing someone sooner rather than later does not make it less worse.

Excuses about how women are not ready to be mothers, do not have the financial means, would ruin their futures, they would get kicked out, lose their bodies, etc. are just that- excuses. Carrying a child for nine months might be an inconvenience, but killing someone will be on your conscience forever. If murders pleaded their motives to police as a way to justify what they did (excluding self-defense), what difference is it if a woman kills her unborn child?

Planned Parenthood might be taboo and have a stigma attached to it, but it does so much more than kill babies. Planned Parenthood is a place where girls can go to see OB/GYNO, get birth control, and learn about safe sex, protection, STDs, etc. Instead of stigmatizing it, young women should be encouraged to go to this institution for woman and feminism. Let high school health classes plan field trips there so that everyone becomes more educated on female health (boys included!). Female health education is very limited, especially in school, and many women feel that an abortion is their only way out, however, it's not. By becoming more educated, the rate of teen pregnancies can go down, as well as the need for abortions. Women educating other women should be the goal of Planned Parenthood, and abortions should be reserved for those who got raped or whose pregnancy cause death, health complications, etc.

Abortion might be giving women a choice- but who is giving the unborn babies a choice?

And of course the only way to 100% prevent pregnancy is abstinence, and if that is your choice then good for you, and if you choose to have sexual intercourse, good for you too. Be safe. No slut shaming here. Women need to continue supporting other women, regardless of their sex life. Women who have abortions are not "whores" and should not be labeled as such- they are just people whose biology reacted to another person's biology.

If you truly do not want to have a baby, please please please give it up for adoption and do not kill it. It did nothing wrong, and yeah, it might be a little inconvenient to be pregnant, especially if you are in school, but there are hundreds of thousands of people that would love nothing more than to raise your baby. Be a woman supporting other woman and give the gift of motherhood.

If you take away anything from this article it's this:



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