Monday, September 25, 2017

Take A Knee

Benjamin Franklin once said, ~Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech.~ The first Amendment. Without a doubt, the right to free speech is considered 1 of the 5 basic freedoms of rights guaranteed to we the people in order to express it in a verbal and/or nonverbal way. Essentially, the right to freely expressing a powerful and not to mention controversial message concerning the decision to kneel during the playing of the national anthem involving the man who initially started it last year Colin Kaepernick. For it truly has been a highly heated and much debated discussion indeed in which it has certainly garnered tremendous amount of attention to say least to the point where an individual's patriotism is being called into question.

Let me ask you this question pertaining to the decision by a number of NFL players and most recently a MLB player in not standing when the national anthem is played, has your opinion been positive, negative, or somewhere in between? True, there has been mostly a negative backlash deeming the rebellious act of protesting while down on one knee can be from a certain point of view labeled unpatriotic. Why? In a number of individual's eyes it spits in the face, in a manner of speaking, of all that is good and what has been freely given provided by those who swore a patriotic oath to protect those freedoms so much so their own lives were give up in doing so. Thinking about it further, those aforementioned men and women of the armed forces who are far more deserving of respect knowing full well what they have been/are enduring on a professional and personal level.

As I said before, there has been mostly a negative backlash deeming the rebellious act of protesting while down on one knee can be from a certain point of view labeled unpatriotic. However, on the flipside, the reason for kneeling is bringing to light social injustices in regards to racism and police brutality among the African American community that have constantly being going on for years. Granted, the topic has been brought up countless times in the past and even though they've become the proverbial hot button topic they've gradually faded or should I say set aside for much more important matters whatever it may be at the time. Of course, one could argue the fact that it's a seemingly repetitive cycle that has yet to be broken and even though its right in front of our eyes we as a nation have not fully open our eyes in properly handling such a touchy subject matter.

For the question can be asked, if you could come up with a compromise or some sort of solution of sorts to deal with what some have viewed as being disrespectful to the American Flag what would it be? I think its safe to say in order for a compromise or solution of sorts to happen their must be open dialogue to where the 2 or 3 sides are speaking with and actually listening to each other instead angrily of at/over each other. Thinking about it further, one possible proposal is having athletes, singers, etc. pay up a substantial portion of their salary to a charity of their choosing every time they make the decision to kneel so that way they're in a way giving to a cause while their standing up for theirs, so to speak. Unfortunately, the possible proposal may not solve anything and at the same time it's a potential starting off point for a meeting of the minds in a more respectful way.

In retrospect, I will always stand when the national anthem plays because I am the son of a retired military veteran who severed in the United Stated Navy and in turn his country proud for many years. Personally speaking, it's an honor and privilege to stand knowing my father proudly served/honored a flag that provided with him so much despite having so little coming from the Philippines. Oftentimes, we forget this great country is based on the ideals of being able to have the freedom to say/do/choose knowing that in certain countries they don't have that afforded right. Sadly, those rights in certain countries are taken away and punishable by death when it comes to their own laws. In the end, what it primarily comes down to is choice and if you choose to make a statement you're wholeheartedly standing up for then by all means take a knee; but don't do it because it's simply a popular trend you want to take part in.

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