Okay, now they’re crossing my line

I didn’t like it when Colin Kaepernick started the “don’t stand for the national anthem” protest movement back in August. And since then, more and more athletes have begun kneeling or locking arms or raising fists during the anthem.

I don’t particularly like these demonstrations. I find them disrespectful and a bit offensive. But they’re perfectly legal and I must defend the participants’ right to free speech.

Then I saw this on this evening’s news. The singer is Denasia Lawrence and the shirt she reveals after she takes the floor says “Black lives matter.” (See notes on YouTube):

And while looking for that video, I came across this one from several weeks ago:

These people are really pushing my buttons. I understand the reasons for such protests and demonstrations, but honestly, is nothing sacred anymore? Can’t they at least respect the flag and national anthem of the country that permits their protests, that recognizes and protects their freedom of speech?

If you can’t stand proudly when you’ve been selected to sing the national anthem at a large public gathering, then don’t do it at all! Take a pass. Be honest enough to say you can’t and won’t sing the anthem for a country you don’t respect.

I don’t know what they hope to accomplish, but it’s clear they don’t understand people like me. They are rapidly losing, not gaining, my support and respect when they disrespect my flag and national anthem.

Yes, I’m an old fart, with old-fashioned ideas about respect, manners, patriotism, etc. I get that.

But I still have a voice and a vote. Do they get that?

15 thoughts on “Okay, now they’re crossing my line

  1. I’m with you all the way, excepting I’m not an American, what you say applies every to citizen of every country of what we like to term the free world.
    Many men, women and even children, have died to give us the rights, and life that we enjoy today; whilst living and serving under the flag,anthems that are there to protect us all, and which they seem to desecrate ridicule and /or abuse.
    They are selfish publicity seeking nobody’s who seem to think they are somebodys!

    1. It strikes me that most of the protesters we see are relatively young, Millennials or whatever the 20- and 30-somethings are called. They lack perspective and appreciation for what they have.

  2. These displays are divisive, just when what we need are actions to bring all of us together. Singing or respectfully observing the presentation of a national anthem simply is following a ritual that signifies unity within a nation. People are free to participate or not, as they choose, but they ought to respect others by quietly doing so, not with a display offensive to others.

    1. Yes, it seems so obvious — if you want respect from others, you respect others. Of course these people would say the police are not respecting minorities. And the police would probably say they are disrespected by the public they serve. Where does it stop?

      1. It stops when having renounced unnecessary fears. I am 46 years, 6 months and 16 days old. In spite of everything that has ever been said or written about guns, NEVER has one been trained upon me. Now, what are the odds of that?! LET GO of fears that bear unpalatable fruit.

        1. The media hype that fear endlessly, exaggerating and blowing the tiniest thing all out of proportion. And too many people take it at face value, believing it represents reality. The only reason the media aren’t screaming about guns and police shootings and “Black Lives Matter” marches is because there’s more red meat in the current presidential campaign.

    1. People go to big sporting events for entertainment, fun, escape from their problems for a few hours. Sports events are not the place for contentious protests and demonstrations. As you said, people are paying for entertainment, not politics.

  3. I don’t understand this. What’s with the kneeling? It seems submissive to me (like prayers) so what’s wrong with it apart from a kick in the arse at tradition. Personally I would go for standing, but as I’m not USian could you please explain the significance?

    1. It’s tradition and shows respect to stand proudly for the singing/playing of one’s national anthem. The kneeling is deliberate defiance and disrepect and is meant to show support for those minorities discriminated against by the police (and anyone else, I assume). It’s neither a prayer nor submission. But our law protects free speech.

      Anyway, that’s the way I interpret it, but as I said, I’m old-fashioned about respect, good manners, and patriotism.

... and that's my two cents