These Are The Days

Smart ~ Writer ~ Mom

Epic Shit-Disturbers and Standing (Or Sitting) For What You Believe In

There are lots of feathers ruffled lately about standing and sitting.

Why aren’t we equally outraged over the injustices that these peaceful and Constitutionally protected acts are protesting? Why aren’t more people angry about unarmed black people unfairly profiled, targeted and killed by some rogue officers on a seemingly Klan-induced power trip?

No, it’s not all police officers, but why aren’t we working to hold the bad ones accountable rather than just giving them paid administrative leave, light sentences, or worse – no sentence at all. It’s disgusting, outrageous and inhumane. But sure, let’s get our panties in a knot over Kaepernick not standing, shall we?

And why is there no equivalent outrage over domestic abuse and criminal activities – all of which continue to plague the NFL? Video evidence shows Ray Rice KNOCKING HIS WIFE UNCONSCIOUS. But you know what? His penalty was just a wee bit more harsh than the one given to my beloved Tom Brady for allegedly deflating a football. Is the hatred for the best team in the NFL the Patriots so all-encompassing that we’re willing to raise a supposedly deflated football to the same level of criminal behavior as domestic abuse? Seriously. How effed up is that? And yet, we don’t blink because money and advertising revenue and merchandise sales and football.

The irony in all of this is that forcing someone to stand is distinctly unpatriotic and so obviously THE EXACT OPPOSITE of the freedoms our veterans fought for.

For real. There’s a movement on social media with the hashtag #VeteransForKaepernick. They don’t all agree with his act, but they support and defend his right to do so because otherwise what the hell are they fighting for?

I don’t want to live in a country that says I must stand during the National Anthem.

Mostly because I believe that country is called North Korea.

I want to live in a country where my patriotism is not defined, determined, or affirmed by whether I sit or stand when a song is played.

There’s patriotism and then there’s pageantry.

One is personal and reverent. One is just showing off. And if you don’t know this about me already, I don’t like show-offs.

I am an American, but I’m not always proud of the way many in our country (leaders and citizens) behave.

I enjoy watching fourth of July fireworks, parades, and celebrations, but if I choose to stay inside and watch reruns of the Golden Girls all day on the fourth of July, am I suddenly less of an American?

I salute the flag, but I don’t have one hanging in my front yard? Am I not American enough?

I vote in every single election – local, state, national – but if you don’t, does that make you any less of an American?

(actually, in my eyes, the answer is yes, yes it does. For the love of God there’s no reason to not vote. None. It’s your DUTY AS AN AMERICAN! Not registered? I got you:

Just because someone wears a flag pin doesn’t mean they always have the best interests of the country at heart. I submit Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as Exhibit A.

Just because someone stands during the National Anthem doesn’t mean they’re any more patriotic than someone who sits.

Patriotism is still patriotism without all the pageantry attached to it.

Dissent is a form of patriotism as well. Any intelligent American knows this is true. May I call your attention to the epic shit-disturbers from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War to civil rights to women’s rights to gay rights?

The bottom line is I will teach my girls to stand during the National Anthem.

But I will also teach them that patriotism means standing up (or sitting down) for what you believe in, especially when there are injustices, policies, or actions that harm our citizens and contradict our nation’s purported values. Kaerpernick (or anyone else) standing or sitting during the National Anthem doesn’t offend me at all. In fact, I think taking a stand is a very brave and noble thing to do.

What is incredibly sad is that this isn’t the first time someone has taken a stand for these very same issues.
The fact that this is still an issue after decades and decades of protests and calls for change is perhaps the saddest thing of all.

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