I talked with a dear, dear friend today who was offended by the NFL players who knelt during the National Anthem. She thought it showed 'disrespect' for the flag and the country.
I told my friend that Colin Capernick and all the others who have knelt were, in my opinion, showing 'respect' while protesting the racial violence that has plagued our nation.
In fact, Colin started his protest by 'sitting' on the bench during the National Anthem. It was a teammate who was a armed forces vet who served in the Middle East who suggest to him that 'sitting' was disrespectful but kneeling would show 'respect' for the anthem and flag while also demonstrating his protest.
People kneel out of respect. We kneel to pray. People who live where there are royal families, kneel before them. I've seen people kneeling at the Viet Nam Memorial. People genuflect to the altar. I knelt when I met my granddaughters. People 'bow' for the cross passing in church. We nod to show respect to people and things.
I think kneeling to protest is the best way to do it--it shows 'respect' for what is happening but indicates that something is missing, something needs to be corrected, not everything is as it should be.
I won't even go into that I think the flag and the Anthem (which wasn't the 'anthem' until the 1940's) are 'symbols' for the Real Thing and not the Real Thing itself. Don't get me going down that rabbit trail.
I think the players' protest by kneeling is respectful, honorable, peaceable, non-violent, dramatic and poignant.
I may take a knee the next time I'm somewhere when the National Anthem is played.
It honors and respects the flag and the anthem but suggests all is not as it should be so long as Americans of Color are victims.
That's as clear a way to show both respect and hope as I can imagine.
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