I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Colin Kaepernick is exercising that right.
On Friday, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback took a stand by having a seat during the national anthem, protesting racism, the treatment of African Americans in this country, the growing number of police brutality cases and killings of young black males. He intends to sit again Thursday.
Kaepernick is biracial and was adopted by white parents. He grew up in California and had a 4.0 GPA in high school. He also did well in college in Nevada. Remember, there’s no law against what he’s doing and the National Football League and 49ers must back him. But what about other countries?
Try sitting down in India. It could get you jailed.
In Thailand, they play their anthem twice a day in public at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. and everyone stops what they’re doing. Ignore it, and you could be arrested. In Egypt, when you hear “Bilady,” you’d best be at attention. If not, you could be arrested, jailed and fined $4,000.
Even in Mexico, they can fine you for messing up the lyrics while singing it.
Many in the U.S. military are irritated. He defended his actions, saying he had no intent to offend those serving.
So I called my father. He and my mother were married on April 10, 1965. Three months later he was in Vietnam. While in the Navy, he helped establish naval support at Danang and was part of the river patrol for Viet Cong to protect the ships in the harbor. He was in a war.
He said to me, “I’m open minded about a lot, but there is no place for disrespect of the flag. I defended it and Kaepernick’s right to sit down, but in the end I don’t believe that any positive will come from this. The flag is sacred.”
Thankfully he’s around to answer, but too many are not and that’s why I think Kaepernick is wrong.
Good intentions, irresponsible use of the platform.
I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Kaepernick is fortunate that in America so many believe it, so he can do it.
But the first step in taking a stand will be his biggest and that’s standing up himself.