Don’t Ask Me
I have had a few people lately ask my opinion about “Kapernick’s refusal to respect the National Anthem?” Well, you can always tell a person’s motive by the way they phrase their question. When they ask it that way, it is obvious to me they are looking to start a fight. Sorry people, but this issue ranks way down the list of what I find important.
The last person who asked me didn’t like my answer and the person didn’t have anything to say in response. I rattled off some of the many things wrong in America: 1) literacy levels in America are poor, and teachers are expected to work miracles – and many of them do work miracles reaching some of the most difficult-to-reach students – but they are poorly compensated and often are held back by tons of administrative hurdles that impact the performance of their jobs; 2) the social service system in nearly every jurisdiction around the country is broken and is understaffed, underfunded, and overflowing with children and adult clients; 3) the problem with public corruption is disheartening….with many elected officials failing to exercise good and honest jurisprudent job dutie, seeking personal gain at taxpayer expense; 4) many big and small cities have a bustling homeless men and women, some of whom are veterans – a double whammy…it’s bad enough that someone suffers the impact of being homeless, but we shouldn’t expect to see it happen to veterans; 5) I won’t even say much about the widespread instances of overzealous police officers and their excessive, oftentimes deadly, use of force; and 6) the problem with unsafe water, which isn’t just plaguing Flint, Michigan. Over the last four years, toxic water was found in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Denver, Colorado; St. Joseph, Louisiana; Phoenix, Arizona; San Diego and Fresno, California; and 13 other cities around the nation.
I could go on and on, but you get the point. With all that’s wrong with our communities, it’s unwise and impractical expending your energy worrying about someone who doesn’t kneel during a song. It isn’t as if Kapernick is being disruptive and causing a ruckus while everyone else is singing it. He quietly kneels. It reminds me of these kids who were members of a particular religion when I was in middle school who didn’t recite the Pledge of Allegiance or the daily prayer. They would sit quietly. It wasn’t a big deal. While their unwillingness to do so was on religious grounds, the principles remain the same.
It’s not a big deal. Even if all of those other things wrong in the world were perfect, you still have no argument to criticize Kapernick’s or the others supporting him who also have refrained from participating in the National Anthem. Because this is the United States of America, and if you believe in the virtues the song represents, let people be who they choose to be. Live and let live, and don’t ask my opinion about it. If you do, you probably won’t like my reply.