Last week the news was filled with outrage that Colin Kaepernick would choose not to stand for the National Anthem at the beginning of football games. He stated that he refused to “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” In my city, many were outraged at his lack of respect.
Today, another sports figure chose to take a knee during the National Anthem in solidarity with Kaepernick. I’m certain the outrage will continue.
I do not agree with his reasons for not standing. I admit there continues to be some bias towards people of color. The media has highlighted excessive force, especially that force directed toward black people.
Excessive force is not appropriate, no matter who the offender is, no matter the color of their skin. Unfortunately, it happens to offenders of all nationalities. Though some say that the best way to avoid excessive force is to obey the laws, that is not always true. Some are treated badly, regardless of their actions.
I suspect refusing to stand for the National Anthem is a more responsible action than targeting random police officers for murder or participating in riots and destroying property belonging to others.
One of the benefits of living in the United States is the right to choose. We cannot choose which laws to obey or disregard, but we do have freedom of thought and freedom of expression. We all have the right to choose to stand,or not stand, for the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem. Kaepernick has a right to show his frustration by not standing.
Eve and Adam carefully protected the rights of their children to choose, even when those children chose things they did not like. As I wrote about their struggle with this, Eve and Adam discussed what they could do.
Though they wanted to insist, to force their children to obey the commands they were given when leaving Eden, they could not. Forcing them would be acting like the Destroyer, taking away their rights to choose. In order to allow agency, they had to accept alternate choices.
In the case of Kaepernick, we must allow him the same opportunity, to choose a behavior many of us would p