Wednesday, September 21, 2016

So what is patriotism?

For those of you on social media, maybe you understand how easy it is to get angry over what people post and think is important in the news.  Today I'm feeling just that - angry.  I'm angry about how angry folks are about football player, Colin Kaepernick, and how he didn't stand for the national anthem in protest of how America oppresses people of color.  He was trying to make a point.  

"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 exclusive interview after the 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."

If I were someone in the limelight and wanted to make a point, why wouldn't I take a stand about something I feel very strongly about?  I've seen video after video of black men being beaten or killed because they were mistaken for a suspect of interest or for putting their hands in their pockets or reaching for their license in their jacket.  Have you not read about the innocent man kicked in the head by a policeman when he was mistaken for someone else?  The policeman was paid $230,000.00 to resign but the injured man only got a settlement of $15,000.00, along with a broken jaw.  THIS DOESN'T MAKE YOU ANGRY?  This kind of thing happens all the time.  Where is your patriotism if standing up for the national anthem is more important than standing up for your fellow man?

Somehow Kaepernick's actions have turned into something more than taking a stand for social injustice.  I've read things like, he's disrespecting our veterans and soldiers.  People are putting a spin on what he did to fit what they want to justify their anger.  Many people who say these things are the same people who would vote for a presidential candidate who says, "He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured."  I guess it's easy to ignore that and pretend it didn't happen.  He must not have really meant that.

I wish there was some way I could put this in perspective for you.  What if your brother, sister or child was beaten, raped or murdered for being gay, black, handicapped or different in some way?  Would you want to take a stand and make a difference for others like him or her?  Most of us aren't in the spotlight and don't have a platform to make a difference, but what if you could?  Why wouldn't you?

I think we all agree (at least I hope so) that bullying is wrong, right?  Or do you only think bullying is wrong when it touches your life or happens to people who look like you?  I almost didn't write this blog because it will make some people angry and negative comments on it will cause me discomfort and who wants to be uncomfortable?  I thought more of it as I was milking this morning and realized how important it is to speak up for what you believe whether it makes you uncomfortable or not.  It's a lot easier to jump on a bandwagon and go along with the crowd than it is to make waves.  Speaking of waves:

O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
For the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

Be brave.  Take a stand for what you believe in.  Make a difference.  You're free to do that in America.


  1. This is why I love you my dear friend Karen!

  2. You just reached a lot of people, this is what it takes. I told a group of women about something I do, even though I figured they would think I was crazy. The more people hear things new, the more reasonable they may think it is, at least that is what I think.