By Lynda Lamp
Take a Knee
Fans of NFL are feuding amongst themselves. Fanatics burned their NFL memorabilia this weekend. Fans of Nascar are flying Confederate Flags. We are divided over an act of kneeling. The act of taking a knee is an act of honor. Therefore kneeling is an act of reverence and an act of submission. The recent protesters who are taking a knee are being very respectful. Yet the President of the United States is calling them sons of bitches. And he said the NFL owners should fire the players for their actions of kneeling in protest.
Leaders Should Be Models of Behavior
Maybe we all should take a time out! What we are seeing from the President of the United States is behavior that Americans should not tolerate. The United States of America is founded on personal freedom. Our Constitution protects freedom of speech. Kneeling instead of standing for the National Anthem is an act of protest. And at the same time, kneeling is an act of honor. Sitting during the anthem, as the founder of this movement discovered can convey a level of disrespect.
The Truth Behind the Protest
How best to protest the excessive death numbers of unarmed black men in America? The New York Times’s article by Eric Reid details the early moments of Colin Kaepernick’s protest. The first day of Colin’s protest he sat for the national anthem and he immediately took criticism for his decision.
After hours of careful consideration, and even a visit from Nate Boyer, a retired Green Beret and former N.F.L. player, we came to the conclusion that we should kneel, rather than sit, the next day during the anthem as a peaceful protest. We chose to kneel because it’s a respectful gesture. I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark a tragedy.
Tragedies All Around
What is happening in America at so many levels is a tragedy. It’s a tragedy what’s happening to our young black men. And it’s a disaster that we have the President we have. It’s also a calamity that we’ve turned such an important movement about racism in America into a wedge that is further dividing us. It’s a debacle we have this kneeling controversy.
To say nothing of the catastrophic apocalypse of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (no one even mentions them!). The list goes on and on.
Our Personal Right To Protest
I won’t be standing for or singing the national anthem anytime soon. I may not manage to kneel, it will depend on the location and circumstance. But I will bow my head and be respectful. I have never cared for our national anthem. I much prefer America The Beautiful or This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land. After all, who wants to sing a song about bombs (and slavery in the 3rd verse)? I never have, not since I was little. The time has come. It’s the 21st Century. America should pick a new anthem.
But Who Are We Now
Picking a new national anthem might be a positive thing for people to think about for a change. What would the ideal song say? Would we sing “you better be white and have been born here?” Do you think we might sing “We shoot unarmed black men in the back in America?” Is it likely we would exalt that “our President calls peaceful protesters sons of bitches?” No, I doubt it.
Let’s Take a Time Out
Let’s take a time out and figure out who we really are. Can the people who burned their jerseys please calm down enough to listen to the rational truth behind the protest? When we start to witness the decay of our national icons and the derision of our sports heroes, surely we must realize we are lost and in the weeds.
How about everyone is benched until further notice?