On Oct. 5, an article was published in The University News about how certain basketball players are choosing to kneel during the national anthem due to the recent shootings and injustice toward the African-American community.
This, however, does not stop the injustice.
By taking a knee, with the reasoning that the freedoms represented by the flag does not extend to all American citizens, they allow the flag not to represent freedom and justice for all, but to represent the ideals of a certain group, not the ideals upon which we were founded.
“I feel like it’s necessary to do,” Giadolor told The University News. “Because although America is a great country, I don’t feel comfortable holding my hand over my heart when people can excoriate Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem, but when an African-American male is shot dead and left in the street, the headlines are dominated by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.”’
This frustration, of course, is understandable. Celebrity relationships should not dominate headlines when injustices are happening.
But what does the national anthem have to do with the issue? It’s like protesting against scandal in the church by refusing to pray. There are more productive ways of expressing displeasure and protest against an issue than undermining the value of our nation’s flag.
Does this encourage discussion of the issue? Yes.
But does it do anything to stop the bleeding of the African-American community? No.
However, with hands-on work, it could. These racial problems can be solved when these communities have serious conversations with each other and find real solutions to stop the violence. Finding a nation or a symbol to blame and trample on does nothing. America must find a real solution and have a real discussion in order to solve the problem. One cannot place the blame on the country that grants its citizens the freedom to fix these problems and shun the responsibility they have to fix their community. If we do this, then the problems we face will never be solved.
Protesting this issue by disrespecting our unifying flag, American citizenship, creates an even greater division. How can we fix our community if we distance ourselves from each other to the point that we don’t even stand with our hands to our hearts for the flag that so many of our fellow citizens die every day to defend?
In the end, isn’t the act of taking a knee during the national anthem simply furthering injustice and allowing evil to corrupt our ideals?
“[Giadolor] feels like he has a duty and obligation to stand for what he believes in,” the article said.
But Giadolor stands for the simple American values that are expressed in the anthem, and is therefore contradicting himself by not respecting the national anthem and flag.
Instead of claiming the American values expressed in the anthem, those who take a knee not only create division amongst the American people, but also allow these values to be associated with those who create injustice. In this way, they undermine everything that they are trying to promote in favor of attempting to make a point that would be better made if they pursued some active protest that did not create a negative association with the nation’s flag and anthem.