So, one of the big discussion points on the interwebz (especially facebook) right now is a football star who refused to stand for the national anthem in protest of the way some of our citizens have been treated.

There are a number of people who are roundly criticizing him, talking about how he’s dishonoring veterans, how it’s just grandstanding because he’s a has-been-football-star, etc. Personally, I think that what he’s doing is great.

Now, I understand that humans are somewhat herd animals, and that we find it alarming whenever anyone behaves differently than the herd. However, if we want to claim that we are in fact in the USA free, we should embrace people who perform acts which are different than what the rest of the herd is doing, because when we see them doing this, we are seeing that we are in fact still free.

It seems like a number of people on my friends list want us to be hypothetically free – that is, we’re free in theory, provided that we never test that freedom. And, it is true that people should be free to criticize his action – after all, that’s part of what freedom means. I just wish people didn’t feel the *need* to criticize his action. He’s acting in the greatest tradition of a patriot – he’s identified a significant problem and he’s drawing attention to it so it can be addressed. He’s fertilizing the tree of liberty.

As far as the people talking about how he’s just grandstanding – every time I read about a cop shooting a unarmed innocent, I get angry. If I were a football star I doubt I would stop with not standing for the national anthem. I do not think this is grandstanding on his part – I think he genuinely is upset about the problem and wants to do something about it. I also think that those of you who believe that his reaction is less than honest and personal are playing the ‘us’ vs ‘them’ game that I mention elsewhere in this blog. You don’t know this person personally, generally, so you don’t have a lot of data to draw on, but you’re choosing to believe that his reasons are less than honorable or that he’s less than sincere in his protest, possibly because that’s easier emotionally than accepting that America has some serious, possibly fatal flaws that need to be addressed.

2 Responses to “Freedom”

  1. eaglesoars Says:

    I agree. I also recommend the book I am currently reading, America’s Original Sin.

  2. Alderin Says:

    Yep. There with you. I recommend listening to Chase Holfelder’s version of the National Anthem (YouTube)… it much more represents the emotion I have about the state of the nation.

Leave a Reply