Kaepernick is showing disrespect
By Enoch Eller
Colin Kaepernick is protesting for “Black Lives Matters,” by sitting or kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem. Obviously this is a very serious matter (Black Lives Matter) throughout our Country right now. Let me be the first one to say, Mr. Kaepernick has every right to protest in this manner, but is it bringing the results he wanted?
From a Veteran’s perspective, who has served twenty years defending this Country, it only brings a response of disgust for this individual. Growing up in a time where I watched my friends and my buddy’s being brought home in body bags, I for one cannot accept this type of disrespect. Too many of my family members have served in the military and on a police force. I have three of my children still serving. Yes, this topic is a very sensitive topic to me, and I’m very biased.
I can understand both sides to this argument, also being trained and serving seven years on a sheriff’s department, I understand the frustration of the disadvantaged citizens within their communities. First understand this, law enforcement officers are trained to protect and serve. This is the most important part of their job, and part of that protection is for themselves and other officers. When you approach anyone, you never know what they are going to do. When officers instruct someone to do something, and they do not follow what that officer is telling them, then the officer goes into a defensive mode. Which in most cases, someone is going to get hurt in some way or another. Yes, officers want to go home every night just like everyone else. Believe me when I tell you, no one will ever get over taking another person’s life. It is the last thing any human being once to do.
Now, is this protest getting the best results for Mr. Kaepernick, and is it the only way to gain attention to his cause? Several other National Football League (NFL) teams have joined in on this protest, but they have chosen a different method of protesting. Most of them stand as a team, some join arms in a silent protest. One such team is the Seattle Sea Hawks. They too want to bring attention to this cause. Richard Sherman, a Seahawk, in last week’s interview session with the press, stated, “Some fans are obsessing about whether players should take a knee, raise a fist or lock arms during the National Anthem before games. But what they should be focusing on is why they are doing it.” He also stated, “When a guy takes a knee, you can ignore it. You can say he’s not being patriotic, he’s not honoring the flag, and I’m doing none of those thing.” He just wants to bring this matter the attention it needs among the public, and do something about it.
Mr. Kaepernick quit bringing negative reactions to your cause. It’s helping no one. Stand up for both. Honor this country by paying respect to those who offer up their lives every day to protect and serve this Country, and bring not only attention, but results for your cause. Do this by getting involved. Help our communities build better relations between law enforcement officers and those who choose not to listen. I agree, things must change in this country, but deciding to create more dissention is not going to help anyone.
Kaepernick has every right
By Aejia Keothammakhoun
Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49er’s, has been peacefully protesting. Rather than standing for the national anthem, he kneels down. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an interview after a game. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” Kaepernick’s actions have caused a great deal of controversy.
There are those who believe that what Kaepernick is doing is disrespectful, and there may be some merit in that, but wouldn’t it be a sign of disrespect if he didn’t stand up for what he believed in, which is the right of individuals to live lives where they have access to safety and rights. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of protest. Radical protest, fighting for civil rights is one of the very things that America was founded on. The United States originated because we the people don’t take no for an answer. We live in a nation where if people don’t like something, they are allowed to express their opinions, and that is what Kaepernick is doing. He is offering his opinion.
Some claim that Kaepernick is disrespecting the military and those who fought for the flag. The military fights to protect the rights that allow him to act, not just the flag. Even if it was disrespectful to the flag, does that mean that the flag only represents people in the military? If that is the case, what does that mean for the minorities in the military? Kaepernick has said he is standing up for people of color in the United States by taking a knee. Another issue to take into consideration about “being disrespectful towards military” are the nearly 50,000 homeless veterans, people who served in the military, fought for our country, but have found no place in its commerce. Shouldn’t we all take a knee until those brave men and women are taken care of?
A citizen of this nation can still love and respect their country but have high standards for how it treats its citizens. Presidential candidate Donald Trump said in an interview with KIRO radio that Kaepernick should find a country that works better for him. To accept wrongdoings rather than criticize and fix them is an outdated way of thinking. Someone cannot just brush issues under a rug.
Kaepernick is receiving more hatred for what he has done as opposed to other players in the NFL, such as rapists, abusers, drunk drivers, murderers, Tony Romo, and drug users just for peacefully protesting. Having hate towards Kaepernick for peacefully protesting instead of the rest of the issues in the NFL, truly shows where society’s priorities are.
It is not surprising at all that someone of African American descent does not want to stand for the national anthem, or nation that treats some of its own people like second class citizens. Francis Scott Key, the writer of the national anthem, was a slave owner. An omitted stanza from the song is about celebrating the deaths of runaway slaves says, “No refuge could save the hireling and slave/From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.” How could one expect any African American to stand for a song that celebrates their murder?
In times like this, it is important to have someone in a position of power speak out. That is exactly what Kaepernick is doing, using his voice and position to the fullest. He is getting national coverage. He protested in the best way he could, not only peacefully but where it counts. Kaepernick is making people think critically for a second about the issues in this country. It is a good idea to have more light brought to a situation. It is important to note that Kaepernick did this in a peaceful manner, by kneeling down in silence. Ever since protests in August of 2015 for Mike Brown’s death, people having been asking for peaceful protests, which is exactly what Kaepernick is doing. So why are they still mad?