OH SAY CAN YOU STAND! WHAT COULD BE THE REAL ISSUE WITH NFL PROTEST

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“Stand for something.”


Over the past couple of weeks, the news has been tracking the controversy over the protest by athletes over the national anthem. A move which have sent fans of football over the top. People feel that the protest is disrespectful to the flag and others feel it is disrespectful to the military. While you have a collection of people who feel both sentiment. Then there the viewers on the other end of the spectrum who feel that the players should be protesting the anthem over police brutality. But my question is, How many of these people are really upset over the national anthem?” Is it just the anthem, or is it more of a conversation that people don’t want to have? Are people stating that it is the anthem as a way to hide behind their true feelings? I have a few theories as to why, but I also have observed why it has to be more than just disrespect.

Fans of sports are saying it’s disrespectful, but there are much worse acts that go against the flag than an NFL protest. And for the most part, all we do is ignore the act. Yet, when an athlete kneels, you would think the world was going to end. If you are against the desecration of the flag, then why are you only compelled to act now? Why wait until a player kneel then go on the attack. It seems just as self serving as the athletes at this point. Especially not even a full month ago men and women marched holding Confederate flags and Swastikas in the streets of Virginia. And countless troops lost their lives during World War 2 fighting the Nazis. So for people to not come out in droves, it was quite odd to see it now. But I have three reasons why people are not as interested in the anthem; yet using the troops as something to hide behind.

Number one, you have the group that knows police brutality and racism exist, but just want to ignore it. They figure, maybe if I ignore it, it will go away. Just act like it is something that is just an isolated incident, then we can go about our daily lives. Because I work all week, and the last thing I want to hear is more politics. Now what I want is to come to the game and or watch it at home with my family. We get it it, you hate Trump, can I just watch this game in peace. This is to me the first level of people you have in America that are against the protest from the players. And then there are the second wave of people that exist who are against the National Anthem protest. And they are the I know it exist types of people, yet it’s not my problem.

The it’s not my problem people are the ones who say, “I know that it goes on, but it’s not my community.” They don’t care if you are getting abused by law enforcement or treated fairly because it isn’t reflective of where they live. To this group they are more concerned with what ales them and that’s it. They know when you walk up the street you’re going to deal with a degree of hate from someone if you’re a minority. But hey, when I walk throughout my community, it doesn’t look this way. And the police that are in my neighborhood are usually officers that live here in this neighborhood. So they way I see it, play ball and shut up. So this group feels this way, yet are they the only group outside the first group I explained? No; the third group are the real cynical people. They not only don’t care, but agree with the nature of the offense that is being protested.

They are the people who say, “I know it goes on, and you’re lucky it isn’t worse.” “Be happy you’re free in America to any extent because you shouldn’t have that much; now shut up and play football.” They are the people that would love to express their sentiment of how much they truly hate you, but can’t. So they hide behind fake profiles on the internet and talk trash. These people just want to be mad at anything, and at times they themselves exemplify disrespect for the flag. Yet now they can have a reason to be in on the hatred under the guise of the flag and military troops. And in the end, this is the fan base of football and how people feel. People love the flag and the troops, but to the extent that fans are going to, no. Because there are too many symbols that actually do spit in the face of America’s existence that we give a pass to, or ignore that are worse than the protest. But in this country people don’t express true sentiment, unless it’s in the comforts of their own homes.


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MEMORANDUM: WHY WE SHOULD APPRECIATE OUR TROOPS

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“Stand with them, not just for them.”


Tomorrow is Memorial Day, which is the celebration for our men and women who wear the uniform of our armed forces. The men and women who perform a thankless job for protecting this country. Those who are called to war, not because we tell them to do so, but because they feel it is their core belief. And like I said before, a thankless job. Whenever a professional sports team win a championship, there is a celebration in the streets. Yet when our armed forces return home, it’s usually a family member to greet them. We rarely celebrate their coming home, why? Why do we just take it for granted?

When these men and women return home we look at them like, “Oh, that’s what you’re supposed to do for me.” “You’re supposed to want to die for me living in the comforts of my living room.” All the while, they are being shot at in some foreign country they’ve never been to; on terrain they’ve never seen Image result for troops homebefore. But nonetheless, they do their duty and come home. We give them half off on a Memorial Day brunch and say we did our part. But what about a little more. Why not take this time instead to push for programs that will aid in their matriculation back into society? They most likely have spent time, for the ones who fought, shooting and killing. Now they’re supposed to come back home and live a normal life.

How do we expect them to live normal if we don’t assist? Their duty has been to fight, but what is ours? If someone is willing to say, “I am fighting because it’s my duty.” Why not help them out with something? I’m not saying it necessarily has to be of monetary value. I’m talking more of Image result for homeless troopspsychological treatment. Because if their minds are right, then they can earn their own livings and live a normal life. If any candidates are qualified for free health care it should be armed forces who fought in foreign wars. And that help should be mental. Or better yet, someone who lost a limb and is now disabled. They walk the streets, and people stare, not knowing what they sacrificed.

And the other reason why they deserve it is because we spend so much money on foreign aid to other nations. Yet we let the men and women who give their lives fighting for us nothing.  If a hurricane wipes out a village in some foreign land we hold telethons and major events. But none of the like when troops come home from war. So, in the end, we should take care of our own before assisting others. In America unless there is a draft, you have the freedom to join willingly. That shouldn’t mean, you join, it’s your problem. Why do we treat it like it’s a punishment instead of something to commend. It not only should, but must change. Otherwise we lose a piece of our identity as a nation.


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I (Un)Pledge Allegiance

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“You say stand, I’m taking a stand.”

Quarterback (QB) for the San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick made a strong statement for what he called and “injustice toward minorities,” for recent police shootings. During the national anthem of a football game, the NFL QB decided to sit on the bench instead take part in the pledge. Once the game ended he conducted an interview with the press stating why he decided to sit. Immediately there were mixed feelings from many who agreed with his decision as well as the criticism. But what fueled him to do so. What really got to him? This has been a topic for the past couple of years and now he’s coming forward; why?

One theory is one that popped  into my mind immediately. Colin is a native of Wisconsin, where recently another shooting took place in Milwaukee. The police shot and killed a young Black male which set off protest across the city. Police squad cars and other vehicles were turned over and set on fire. Giving that Colin is a native to the state, he could have felt the topic now hit close to home. Or maybe it was the result of held in frustration over time, almost like the powder cafe effect.

But does the mass media play a role in the mental anguish that leads to these various forms of protest. Because these types of interactions have been taking place with law enforcement and the community throughout history, but never has it been part of our 24 hour news cycle. When something on on television is consistently played over and over again, it can make a matter appear worst than it really is at the moment. Still, Colin is not an anomaly. He just gets added to the many public figures that have come out recently in light of shootings by the police.

Now, on the other hand you have the critics, who counter the sentiment toward the police. One argument states that police are on edge because of the environments they are forced to service. The neighborhoods are rot with criminal elements and behavior that can rival the death toll south of the border with Mexico’s drug cartels. Police and their supporters would go on to state that police are responding to the growing violence in these high crime areas. Another view is that more Black males kill each at higher rates than police. Logically and logistically this makes sense, especially when looking at a city like Chicago. Which at the moment has a crime rate higher than it has seen in over two decades, as well as higher than some poverty stricken international cities.

But does that mean the deaths are justified. Are the police killings justified because someone in the community kills. Meaning, “Hey, they shoot each other, why is it such a big deal when I kill ’em?” Well the other side would say, that one death never justifies another death. But the most obvious reason is that the guys who shoot in the community are not protected by the state. Their shootings are not upheld by the law. These men kill, yet they are thrown in prison for lengthy sentences if not given the death penalty for their crimes. In the opposing view of the police, people would state cops never get into trouble. If they do, it could only be described as a slap on the wrist or amount to an unpaid vacation.

But should we be prompted sit for the pledge of allegiance? Should we not view the United States flag as a symbol of freedom? Let’s analyze this pledge. The end of the pledge states, “With liberty and justice for all.” The justice for all is the portion of the pledge which prompted Colin to sit. So how did the military troops get brought into this equation. Aren’t they fighting for our right to stand and protest. Don’t they fight and die so we can have those unalienable rights to express how we feel when we feel social injustice has taken place.

Or is there another aspect to the pledge and the flag. Because the pledge also states the we shall remain, “Indivisible with liberty.” We are more divided now in America both socially and politically than in what seems like decades prior. What is that saying again, “A house divided can not stand.” But what good is a house standing if the foundation is rotten to the core. And if there is injustice, than Colin would have a point. Because whether you like what he did, he is in full alignment with the Constitution. He expressed his freedom of speech and freedom to protest. Some may feel just because you have the right it shouldn’t always be expressed. True, everything that is a freedom does not technically need to be outwardly expressed. Yet, he has done no harm. He has physically assaulted or called for the deaths of anyone. This is not like saying fire in a crowded movie theater, but more so like saying,” Hey, this movie theater has faulty wiring, which could lead to a  serious fire.”

However you view this, both critics and supporters of Colin both are in alignment with freedom in America. He has the right to sit and not stand. But understand, that just as much as he has the right to protest, the opposition has a right to disagree.