He’s not the first athlete to make a political statement in a public way, but I think San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick seems to be misguided by protesting the American flag.
Kaepernick has told the media that he can’t stand up during the national anthem and honor the flag of America, because he believes it stands for oppression. He is taking this stand in the spirit of the Black Lives Matter movement and recent issues involving police violence.
However, I don’t think Kaepernick is thinking about what our flag stands for. The flag is a symbol that represents everything good and right about our country. It certainly doesn’t stand for oppression. It’s about freedom and a better life. Remember many of our ancestors fled a previous oppressive regime to form a new country.
The flag honors that liberty.
This isn’t a perfect nation and it’s obvious that we have social injustice issues, but standing up for what that flag symbolizes is our best hope for improving chances of liberty and justice for all.
That’s my turn. Now it’s your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2016 WECT. All rights reserved.
Emailed comments from viewers:
I understand where Mr. Kaepernick setiments are founded. the american flag represents the american systemin many minds. That system is seriously broken, especially for black and minority men. this system has sbeen broken for decades and has only gotten worse as we see them shot
down with no consequences to that action.
we all have our opinions, and as a priveleged white man iunderstand why your prespective is different. Privileged not because of wealth but because of the olor of your skin. read the statistics before you judge. Historically white collar crime of cocaine and other drug use getting off with a fine and slap on the wrist while urban blacks and minorities are incarcerated for long periods of time for the same offense,…drugs.
now, since drugs are becoming an epidemic among the white youth and subarban housewives in this nation; what was a crime is now called an addiction. insurance companies are
You say the flag represents all that is good about America but I think you are wrong, I think it JUST represents America period, the good, bad and even the injustices and murder by by police. But even if I believed as you do , that would still make it the perfect symbol to protest what goes on in the present. The other thing you said is that it is disrespectful to protest the flag because it stands for freedom among other things. Wrong again. The only way to disrespect the flag is to try to deny someone to protest against the flag. Not only would that be disrespecting what the flag stands for but disrespectful to our soldiers who fought and died for our freedom. Possibly, they may not agree with "disrespecting" the flag but they fought and died for our freedom to do so .
Rather than unpatriotic, what Colin Kaepernick is doing is the height of patriotism. By refusing to stand for the national anthem, he is exercising the very liberty and freedom enshrined in symbols like the American flag, the values upon which this country was founded and for which we fought the Revolutionary War. Requiring everyone to engage in certain rituals and express unconditional fidelity to American icons and symbols is the opposite of freedom and liberty, the democratic ideals our military is promoting and fighting for all over the world. It's the values underneath the symbols, not the symbols themselves, that matter most. Kaepernick is merely shining a light on longstanding hypocrisy when it comes to race and the emptiness of jingoistic symbolism compared to everyday reality, and asking this country to live up to its founding principles. Loyalty oaths were outlawed decades ago. Yet, Black people and people of color are always required to prove our patriotism, loyalty, and commitment to America, as if we should be grateful for just being invited to the party irrespective of how we are treated while there. Our citizenship is tenuous at best and always on the verge of being revoked. One "false" move is all it takes.
Yes, I agree! I think it's rude and disrespectful for anyone not standing in honor and thanks for our flag and what it represents. In that case it was poor choices on both police and others. Wish that young man would choose another way to voice the need for change on both sides.
I can't put in writing what I think of this person, it's shameful to even refer to him as a citizen, lets just deport him to a country that doesn't have the freedoms that he enjoys now let him wave their flag and see how he likes it and don't let him come back.
Love to hear your comments! I agree with you on everything you have had to say. Wish our government had more people like you!
Although it differs for you, the American System is represented by the American Flag in many minds. This system is broken. No you and many Americans do not know or believe of the targeting of
Blacks and minorities to fill all of those private, industrialized prisons that need bodies to process their wares. It’s a known fact that some law enforcement officers have targeted, stopped, arrested minority drivers, and pedestrians at a much higher rate than their white counterparts. Please read the well researched, New York best seller, “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander. This is the Black experience. Then give your opinion from knowledge not ignorance.