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Colin Kaepernick, The National Anthem, The Pledge, Etc

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Old 09-20-2017, 08:30 PM
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Default Colin Kaepernick, The National Anthem, The Pledge, Etc


Colin Kaepernick, The National Anthem, The Pledge, Etc
For those that don’t know, Colin Kaepernick used to be a quarterback for a the San Francisco 49rs.

In the early 2016 NFL season, Colin Kaepernick started to sit or kneel while the National Anthem was sung to protest oppression of black people in the United States of America.

My point is not to agree or disagree with his point of Oppression of Black People. I want to know peoples’ opinion on patriotism, national pride.

The easy route would be to say that he was on the downside of his career, and that he was trying to get another 15 minutes of fame. The opposite side of this is that prior he was seen as a solid dude that gave a lot back to his community.

I’ll ask you – the collective Writer’s Beat you several questions.

1. Is it unpatriotic for Colin to sit during the National Anthem?
2. The nation was started in protest – why is this form of protest judged as outlandish?
3. Are other athletes that have followed suit being unpatriotic also?

I’ll give a starting answer or two:

1. Is it unpatriotic for Colin to sit during the National Anthem?

No. I view the national anthem as a ritual, and as a solidarity building exercise. I view the Pledge of Allegiance in much the same light.

The US was around it’s Sesquicentennial mark prior to the adoption of both the pledge of allegiance. Plenty of people signed on to do patriotic things long before they had to say an oath on a daily basis. I also think that the practice has led to the unthinking ‘Murrica-Luv it or Leave it train of thought.

2. The nation was started in protest – why is this form of protest judged as outlandish?

There is a place for dissent. Even in time of war. (including protracted decade plus campaigns in the Middle East. As politicians give an appearance of being further apart according to party, dissent is kicked around as a proverbial political football.

3. Are the copycat athletes just “look at me” copycats? Are they unpatriotic, etc.?

I am less likely to give some (not all) the benefit of the doubt. A person would have to look at individual examples.

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Old 09-24-2017, 08:36 AM
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I'm totally cool with it. I think it's a fine form of protest -- and I think the people who are all upset about it don't how hypocritical they are.

Yes -- it's sounds like a cliche, but at least for now the freedom to engage in a non-violent protest is exactly one of the things that the flag and the anthem represent.

Of course, Trump's recent comment, that these "sons of bitches should be fired" plays directly to most of his supporters and their knee-jerk patriotism. They LOVE it!

The other thing is, since when has the flag and anthem been totally coopted by the military?

The flag represents all aspects of the country -- ideally what is best about it, but also the not so good.

So logically, using the flag to protest something does not automatically represent some disrespect to the military -- "or the men and women who fought and died for our freedoms. (They don't do that anyway -- but that's another issue.)

Otherwise, it's easy to sell a lot of baloney or shut down dissent using the cudgel of mindless patriotism. I view all of this flag and military worship with a great deal of concern and skepticism...

Last edited by Myers; 09-24-2017 at 09:09 AM..
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Old 09-24-2017, 05:34 PM
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I also think it's a fine way to protest. Why not?
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Old 09-24-2017, 05:54 PM
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Why not indeed.

But you have so many people who are against it because of knee-jerk patriotism and this simplistic association with the military.

It's akin to religious indoctrination -- a way to feel good about yourself and part of something important by virtue of blind belief or allegiance. It doesn't take any brain power.

Last edited by Myers; 09-24-2017 at 06:06 PM..
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Old 09-24-2017, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Why not indeed.

But you have so many people who are against it because of knee-jerk patriotism and this simplistic association with the military.

It's akin to religious indoctrination -- a way to feel good about yourself and part of something important by virtue of blind belief or allegiance. It doesn't take any brain power.


And those people are mostly just parroting talking points created by some PR firm somewhere to advance a political agenda.

Dumb.
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Old 09-24-2017, 06:26 PM
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I think it mindless patriotism runs a lot deeper than that.

But along the lines of what you are saying, the Department of Defense has paid millions of dollars to the NFL to put on those big displays associating the military with the flag and the anthem as a recruitment tool.

I remember when I was a kid -- you'd go to the game, they'd play a recording of the anthem and you'd look at the flag. That was it.

Now, it's akin to a religious service -- the live rendition of the anthem, soldiers holding the flag, even fly overs of military aircraft.

It stands to reason that football fans have been indoctrinated by that to some degree.
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Old 09-24-2017, 06:51 PM
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I've never been patriotic. It always seemed to me that you had to earn respect everyday. There was never a pass that gave you lifetime respect. That thinking leads a person to coast. Americans aren't good at coasting; it's not the way our system is designed.

I love living in the US, but I'm not going to bow down to a flag or an idea or some perceived notion of superiority that isn't earned with every action. Sure, people make mistakes. If you are trying everyday you're going to make mistakes. That's just a reality.

If everyone would stop playing sides and look at what's really going on, most of this controversy would be toothless. Race relations, when there has only been one race of humans for 60,000 years or so is silly. Religious extremes are only practiced by weak minds and the only smart people involved are the ones manipulating the doctrines to further their own gain.

A return to reality is in order. It's always been in order. Probably won't happen. Oh well.
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Old 09-25-2017, 02:26 PM
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My honest answer: He has the right to do so, and if anyone is angry about that, I am more than glad to redirect them to the bill of rights.
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Old 09-25-2017, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
I've never been patriotic. It always seemed to me that you had to earn respect everyday. There was never a pass that gave you lifetime respect. That thinking leads a person to coast. Americans aren't good at coasting; it's not the way our system is designed.

I love living in the US, but I'm not going to bow down to a flag or an idea or some perceived notion of superiority that isn't earned with every action. Sure, people make mistakes. If you are trying everyday you're going to make mistakes. That's just a reality.

If everyone would stop playing sides and look at what's really going on, most of this controversy would be toothless. Race relations, when there has only been one race of humans for 60,000 years or so is silly. Religious extremes are only practiced by weak minds and the only smart people involved are the ones manipulating the doctrines to further their own gain.

A return to reality is in order. It's always been in order. Probably won't happen. Oh well.
I'm not patriotic either. Love a lot about this country, a lot of the ideas behind the government and I love a lot of the people.

Otherwise, unconditional love is for dogs and small children.

My wife was showing me some of the stuff on Facebook yesterday about this kneeling/national anthem issue. Oh man. If the comments in any way represent the psyche of the American public, we are in deep, deep shit.

P.S. That includes all the brainless military worship. Like you are automatically a hero just by virtue of signing up.

Study after study shows that people sign up for service for pragmatic reasons -- training, education, "to see the world" etc. Not for ideological reasons. I'm betting if you sign up to be a hero -- there's something wrong...

Last edited by Myers; 09-25-2017 at 05:22 PM..
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Old 10-01-2017, 04:08 PM
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I'm totally fine with it. different strokes for different folks, and all that.

And really, how is it going to affect my day to day life?

But seriously, our society needs to learn a bit ( about history, among others) before they begin looking for stones to throw. It's absolutely ridiculous for everyone to get so worked up about someone kneeling when the point of the military in the public's eye is to protect our freedom to do stuff like that.
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Old 11-04-2017, 06:09 PM
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Some would comment, with a bit of truth to the statement, that Kaep found this desire to be a social justice warrior after he lost his starting qb gig, and when it might have become clear to him that he was on his way out of San Fransisco, ie a ploy. In the same way that a marginal player coming out as gay in his senior college season might be viewed by some as a ploy.

Some are disgusted by the kneeling for the anthem. Depending on who it is, the disgust could be from patriotism or faux patriotism. Others thinks it's aimless and misplaced, the kneeling.

A friend and I, who discuss a lot of Scots-Irish 'Murrican history note that the Scots Irish, especially the Presbyterians who later morphed into other sects made a point of standing at the Kirk, standing before God and not kneeling, and the kneeling is a sign of obeisance.

Which led to a question - in some funny schadenfreude thingy, did tRUMP trick a bunch of football players into kneeling ?
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Old 11-16-2017, 04:18 AM
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The moment our National Anthem was used as a starter gun to promote a cause that cause immediately went to the back burner of our social conscience.

Well meaning or not it is all about perception as so many things are. If there is doubt to that statement go back and take a look at the game in Greenbay Wis when their their team quarterback asked the fans to stand in unison and link arms to show support, solidarity, to their cause. It didn't happen. It will never happen.

There has been a serious underestimation, understanding, of who we are as a country at our core. Young athletes that live in the bubble of wealth and notoriety are not in touch with the everyday lives of working class Americans.

The best laid plans of mice and morons often go astray.
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Old 11-16-2017, 11:37 AM
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Who we are at our core...

Knee-jerk patriots, who don't like the idea of those uppity, overpaid football players disrespecting our flag and our solders who fought and died for out freedoms!!!

Especially that one with the great big afro. Yeeee haw!

Last edited by Myers; 11-16-2017 at 02:06 PM..
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Old 11-22-2017, 10:51 AM
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Filled with erroneous assumptions fueled by a rush to judgement the knee jerk misinterpretation of my post is both hysterical and sad. If there were the slightest hope of clarification I would offer it but I feel certain it would fall on deaf ears and blind eyes.

Now that there is funny!
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Last edited by Gaines; 11-22-2017 at 11:16 AM..
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Old 11-22-2017, 11:25 AM
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I get what you were saying and I agree to some extent.

The original intent -- to protest and bring awareness to police brutality against black Americans has been mostly lost in the backlash over the method of protest -- in a way that Kaepernick and the other protesters greatly underestimated.

On the other hand, many good patriots have gone out of their way to get things wrong -- with this blind insistence that protests are all about disrespecting the military -- and in general, with their very narrow perception of what the flag and anthem represent.

There's also the weird belief that if you find yourself in a privileged situation (especially if you're black) -- making millions of dollars in the NFL -- that somehow negates the validity or your protest -- because, hey, try doing that in North Korea!

And never the twain shall meet.

So where do I think the predominance of the stupidity lies? I'm gonna have to go with the knee-jerk patriots -- hence my post.

Yeeee haw again!

Last edited by Myers; 11-22-2017 at 12:31 PM..
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Old 11-23-2017, 06:22 AM
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The original intent -- to protest and bring awareness to police brutality against black Americans has been mostly lost in the backlash over the method of protest -- in a way that Kaepernick and the other protesters greatly underestimated.
**********************

You got that much right. As for the rest...at least you gave it your best shot. I be done.
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Last edited by Gaines; 11-23-2017 at 06:24 AM..
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Old 11-23-2017, 07:18 AM
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Heh -- right.

So the gazzillion anti-protest editorials, articles, conservative talk show host/caller rants, Youtube video rants and comments on social media etc. -- none of those reflect the actual views of the people criticizing the anthem protests.

Funny.

Yeah -- I'd say it's best that you're done.
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Old 11-23-2017, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Heh -- right.

So the gazzillion anti-protest editorials, articles, conservative talk show host/caller rants, Youtube video rants and comments on social media etc. -- none of those reflect the actual views of the people criticizing the anthem protests.

Funny.

Yeah -- I'd say it's best that you're done.


It feels like a lot of people pigeon-hole polarizing topics rather than looking at the whole picture. This really cripples both sides’ arguments.

People in general aren’t the driven narrative either way. They’re much more complicated and nuanced.


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Old 11-23-2017, 10:27 AM
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Sure, you're right to some degree, but it's chicken and egg.

I don't really see much reason to believe that the people who are against the protests wouldn't have come to basically the same conclusions without the media influence -- especially considering the way the military has been associated with the anthem ceremony in recent years AND all the controversy surrounding Black Lives Matter etc. The narrative practically writes itself.

In other words, I'm betting the reaction of a lot of folks who saw Kaepernick sit out the anthem on day one wouldn't be that different from any narrative that has developed subsequently -- not to say it hasn't been dumbed down and amplified.

Besides, these days, a lot of "who we are as a country at our core" as Gaines said, has to do with how easily people are manipulated. And the people doing the manipulating are pretty good at it, because they know what will resonate. So again -- chicken and egg.

Of course, we'll never know for sure.

Last edited by Myers; 11-23-2017 at 10:46 AM..
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Old 11-23-2017, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Sure, you're right to some degree, but it's chicken and egg.

I don't really see much reason to believe that the people who are against the protests wouldn't have come to basically the same conclusions without the media influence -- especially considering the way the military has been associated with the anthem ceremony in recent years AND all the controversy surrounding Black Lives Matter etc. The narrative practically writes itself.

In other words, I'm betting the reaction of a lot of folks who saw Kaepernick sit out the anthem on day one wouldn't be that different from any narrative that has developed subsequently -- not to say it hasn't been dumbed down and amplified.

Of course, we'll never know for sure.


Yeah, no way to know for sure. But I think without the huge backlash it would have just been a guy doing what he felt was right to do. The shit-storm just gave his actions more power, and solidified the opposition around a smaller data point. It’s like when the libs rally to keep very conservative speakers from giving talks at universities. If they were just aloud to talk to their 100 or so people it would be a tame almost non-event. It’s free speech. And free speech allows people to listen and decide for themselves.
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Old 11-23-2017, 10:59 AM
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Well -- I added to my last comment.

Basically, I said how people are manipulated by the media and these narratives -- it's PART of the overall narrative -- and who influences who is pretty circular.

The stage and who initiated the protests was so high profile, I think it was inevitable that there would be a huge backlash -- I don't know if there's much point in thinking about this without the shit-storm factor.

Otherwise, any environment where controversial issues could be sanely considered within the context of free speech -- it's gone forever.

Last edited by Myers; 11-23-2017 at 11:09 AM..
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Old 11-23-2017, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Otherwise, any environment where controversial issues could be sanely considered within the context of free speech -- it's gone forever.


Might be premature to say it’s gone forever. There seems to me a wave coming.

Trump with his “fake news” declarations is even adding to the swell, but maybe or maybe not in the way he intends. The election of Trump (IMO) was less a referendum on liberal amoral values and more a desire for less business as usual.

Like him or not (I don’t), he is something different. And now that a lot of conservative voters have seen that he was probably the wrong kind of change, they aren’t done with the desire for less business as usual.

Somewhere there is an industry of PR firms banking on their history of tremendous success, and patting themselves on the backs because they think after this four years the country will return to the good old days—everybody will get back on the bandwagon. And some will. And these groups will be glorified on CNN, FOX News, and the rest. But just like the brick and mortar retail stores, these companies’ days are numbered.




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Old 11-23-2017, 12:04 PM
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You very well might be on the right track -- and that does describe most of my friends who voted for Trump.

What most of my liberal friends can't fathom -- a lot of what Trump calls fake news IS fake news.

When I try to give them examples of how irrationally and obviously anti-Trump some of it is, they're like, "Why are you defending Trump...?"

There's just no getting through -- one of the reasons I'm just not very optimistic about the future of sane political conversation or any resulting compromise.

Last edited by Myers; 11-23-2017 at 12:22 PM..
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