Colin Kaepernick, the leader of the kneeling movement.
Clark Magnet High School

Opinion: Why flag kneeling won’t solve anything

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses people of color.” These are the words of Colin Kaepernick, the leader of the “kneeling movement.”

In the United States, he is associated with many terms: traitor, activist, hero, loser, etc.  I believe that the cause he and many others associate themselves with is just, but the way the activists twisted the cause and the way they express themselves is not. I believe in our Constitution, and I understand that these people do have the right to kneel when the flag is raised and the national anthem is played, but that doesn’t make their actions right or just.

The cause of equality that these people represent is a true one in some ways, and should be addressed. African Americans and people of color do feel disenfranchised from America and for good reason. Decades of Democratic Party control of those communities have led to a poor life for the inhabitants. They have grown up in the welfare state that has been promoted. This leads to violence and underachievement, which of course breeds resentment. However, even though the protesters have the right to do so, they shouldn’t show this resentment against the flag that millions of Americans have died for. That flag and everything it represents is the reason why they even have the opportunity to kneel.

Trump Phoenix rally August 2017 01 475x267 Opinion: Why flag kneeling won’t solve anything

President Trump admonishing the NFL at a rally last week.

Polls show that this view is held by the majority of Americans, with 64 percent of Americans believing that NFL players should stand for the flag and be respectful during the anthem.

President Trump, sensing that public opinion was in his favor, blasted the NFL players last week with derogatory language, calling them “sons of b******,” saying that they should “get off of the field.”

These messages do not help the problem; they only worsen it. We must teach the protesters that kneeling when the anthem is played doesn’t make their life better and it won’t change the situation.

Kaepernick, the “leader of change” in this movement, has never even voted. How do the protesters expect change to be done if they don’t use their democratic right that the flag represents. If these protesters really want change, they should vote out their corrupt politicians that have been running their communities for decades. They should vote out people like Maxine Waters, who has represented communities like theirs for years and has done nothing but profit off of their position.

Change in America doesn’t happen with protesting on the field, but by voting on Election Day. These protesters should know this, and they should also understand that electing corrupt Democratic candidates year after year isn’t helping their communities, but making them worse off. Those who feel disenfranchised by the American political system should take a chance on the Republican idea, that anyone, regardless of skin color, has an equal shot to make it in America and that with hard work and determination, anything is possible. This equality of opportunity is what makes America great and it is the only way these communities will become a healthier place to live.

1 Comment

  • Reply Douglas Campbell October 26, 2017 at 4:44 am

    I think the protesters are already reaping what they have sown. Colin Kaepernick will, if my reasoning holds true, never play in the NFL again; half of the desired audience will just plain disappear if he does so. And what was most amusing about his kneel was that it happened while President Obama was in office, so the claims by other players in the NFL that this is all about President Trump rings utterly false.

    When I see a bunch of rich millionaires doing this — people who are far more privileged in every meaning of that word than myself — I really do have to wonder whether they are protesting themselves. I’d rather hold in my mind the words of Condoleezza Rice, when she said.

    During the cold war, I sometimes chuckled to myself when American presidents talked of the United States as a beacon for democracy. Sometimes I was just plain embarrassed. I chalked it up to hyperbole, to bad speech writing, or to both. But I want to tell you that as I traveled throughout Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union as the grip of totalitarian government slipped, I had to admit that the claim was true. You could see it in people’s eyes. You cannot know the strength of democracy’s pull, the pull of dignity that comes with the right to say what you think, until you see it in the eyes of someone who’s been denied that promise. And for so many, America was what I saw in their eyes.

    But, I would protest, we have so much more to do in the United States. Ours is, after all, an imperfect democracy. It was imperfect at its birth. When the Founding Fathers said “We the People”, they did not mean me. To them, my ancesters were property, a fraction of a man. But therein lies the lesson. Democracy is a work in progress. The hard work is begun anew each day. For anything that is worth having, the hard work is begun anew each day.

    So, as these men kneel, I marvel at a country that allows them to do so — but I, thankfully, do not have to watch them do so, for the same First Amendment which gives to them that right gives to me the right to opt out of watching. And so I do, and henceforth, always will. They have shown who they are — a bunch of privileged people abusing their privilege, and I will not watch. I understand that this country is imperfect, but so is every person on the planet — and these men must surely realize that they would be put to death in many other countries, where here, they just have to deal with a disappearing audience.

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