San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneels on the sideline during the national anthem.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (center) has drawn intense criticism for refusing to stand during the national anthem.

What does it mean to be patriotic? That's a question on the minds of many after a string of recent events from the Rio Olympics, to the football field, and even the classroom have turned the spotlight on displays of national pride. The United States is commonly referred to as "the land of the free". Freedom is a cornerstone of our constitution and our society. But suppose a person chooses to exercise that freedom by speaking out against the very symbols of it. Some will say that makes them un-American, while others will insist their actions demonstrate the very essence of being American.

National Anthem

If you watched the Rio Olympics this year, you may be familiar with the controversy involving American gymnast Gabby Douglas. After winning the gold medal, Douglas didn't put her hand over her heart during the national anthem. By Olympic ceremony standards, this is considered a serious breach of etiquette. She attempted to diffuse the situation on Twitter, explaining that she meant no disrespect, and was simply overwhelmed that her team had brought home another gold medal. However, that didn't stop critics from accusing Douglas of being unpatriotic, and she reportedly received a flood of negative messages online.

More recently, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has drawn fire by refusing to stand during the national anthem played before each game. Kaepernick explained that his decision was intended as a protest against the oppression faced by black people and people of color in the United States. It quickly became a national headline, and people all over the country sports fans or not began taking sides. Some believe his actions are intensely unpatriotic, while others see them as exercising the right to free speech. The NFL didn't penalize Kaepernick, telling reporters in a statement that players are not required to stand during the national anthem. Since then, a score of other players around the league have joined him in protest.

The Pledge of AllegianceA waiver form for the Pledge of Allegiance sent out by a Florida school district.

A similar story - this one involving elementary students - exploded on social media last month. It all started when a school district in Florida passed out a waiver form which would exempt students from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. When one of the kids brought the form home, an upset relative shared it online. Before long, the post went viral (pictured right). By providing a waiver, the school district claimed, it was simply trying to inform students of their Constitutional rights. However well-intentioned, the message backfired. After receiving a storm of backlash from the community, the district quickly pulled the waiver forms.

Legally, this issue was decided long ago back in 1943, the Supreme Court ruled that students are not required to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance. However, even today, refusing to participate is taboo in many places, and students often have to challenge school administrators for their right to opt out.

For example, back in 2014, a Texas high school student made headlines after he was suspended for refusing to stand during the pledge. Just last week, an identical incident occurred in Illinois but this time it was the teacher who got suspended after physically pulling 15-year-old Shemar Cooper out of his seat and forcing him to stand for the pledge. Cooper's family declined to press charges, but stood by their son's right to express his beliefs.

One Nation, Under God

A group of kids saying the Pledge of Allegiance The Pledge of Allegiance also illustrates the connection between patriotism and religion in the United States; a love of God and a love of country have been entwined ideas for much of American history. In 1954, Congress formalized this relationship by passing a bill which added the phrase "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance. President Dwight Eisenhower signed the bill, stating that "from this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural school house, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty"."

Frankly, it's of no surprise that many people equate a belief in God with American patriotism, and vice-versa. If you think about it, religious references are commonplace in the United States. In addition to the Pledge of Allegiance, the phrase "in God we trust" is stamped on our currency, our presidential oath includes the line "so help me God", and we are even expected to swear on the Bible when testifying in court. Despite increases in religious diversity, America remains a Christian nation in many ways.

Jehovah's Witnesses

Of course, not all religions welcome patriotism. in fact, some shun it completely. For example, Jehovah's Witnesses believe that performing overtly patriotic gestures is an affront to God. According to their religious teachings, saluting the flag or singing the national anthem is a form of idolatry, and should be avoided. Under the U.S. Constitution, their actions are protected by freedom of religion.

Double Standard?Free speech graffiti

The First Amendment provides the right to freedom of religion and freedom of speech. So, why the outcry when it comes to freedom of speech? Some find it curious that Kaepernick and the Florida school district have endured such heavy criticism for demonstrating a similar constitutional right. Might there be a double standard at work here? Being an American means the freedom to act how you want within the confines of the law. Theoretically, this freedom includes the right to salute the flag or to not salute it. Could you make the argument that not saluting is also patriotic, in its own way? Further, if a person is forced to participate in an act of patriotism, is **it possible that the act loses some of its meaning?**


  1. Paul's Avatar Paul

    Swearing allegiance to something man made is a violation of the first of the ten commandments in my opinion, and I'm not a JW.

    Also advert nationalism does remind me of the NAZI party, and should be considered going against the founding principles of this country as well. After all how can it be a "we the people" when the state is soon as far more important than the people, this is why we have so many problems in the world today. We now live in a time were countries are seen as more important than the people, laws are more important than people. The key thing is that we are suppose to have a country that exists because it is in our best interest to exist to protect our freedoms from oppressors, but when this is used to support oppression and go directly against the bible that many follow there is a problem. What is next, sending people to concentration camps or sending them for reprogramming?

    I did see an interesting video on this on youtube

    1. Donald W Schmidt's Avatar Donald W Schmidt

      A fair amount of nationalism is necessary in order for "we the people" to intrinsically desire to support the government, the laws and freedoms necessary to maintain freedom from oppressors and for the general good of a society. It's nationalism that should be "people powered;" not government driven. The problem is when, as you say, government becomes more powerful than people. There is no room for absolute power in any society. A balance is necessary and that, all too often, sways the wrong way when people keep silent.

  1. Alexander's Avatar Alexander

    i dont understand what this has to do with Faith or Religion i forgot Americans think they are the center of the universe

    USA is an unholy land, a nation that worships money and power, they have been so corrupted so poisoned it shadows the good and the decent.

    they will never find the light, the truth until they look in the mirror, i think it all comes down to when the first christians came and enlsaved the natives the so called christians that owned and tortured people and pours scorn and wrath on the poor, hypocrisy is as american as apple pie

  1. Randy Ford's Avatar Randy Ford

    Standing is simple respect--it is not the same as saluting, such as by covering one's heart; nor is it the same as singing along or reciting a pledge. One should exhibit the basic sense of respect of standing for other countries' and religions' symbols as well--it shows respect for the people, not an agreement with their government or religion. I would politely and respectfuly stand for the North Korean anthem, as my uncle would who fought their government and my father who served on the DMZ would have. They taught me to respect people. To protest during our Anthem should not cause one to be arrested; to do so while at work should cause one to be fired.

    1. Jailyn's Avatar Jailyn

      I agree. I always stand and salute the Nazi flag. I mean I don't agree with it or anything but the Nazis deserve basic respect.

      1. Jay's Avatar Jay

        What????? Boy I hope that is sarcasm.

        1. Donald Mckernan's Avatar Donald Mckernan

          Not really if you must stand for a flag then any flag must be stood up for. Or you allow people to not stand

        2. Duane Smith's Avatar Duane Smith

          Why would it have to be sarcasm to be a German Nationalist? I don't see anyone saying, hope that's sarcasm when Black pride is posted or always talking about people of "color". Grow up, life is what you make of it. Be proud of who and what you are.

      2. Rusty Gilligan's Avatar Rusty Gilligan

        A stupid and disrespectful comment... it adds nothing to the conversation.

        1. James Gillespie's Avatar James Gillespie

          Actually her point is well made. There is a statistical chance that only due to your birthplace is your religion predestined. India=Hindi Middle East=Muslim German=Lutherian Alabama=Baptist Brooklyn=Jewish

          1. Ken's Avatar Ken

            That is the basic idea of us as a human race. We are born with no allegiance. We become indoctrinated through our society. Some more so than others.

          2. Raymond's Avatar Raymond

            Good point. At birth we are like clay and can be molded to what ever is presented. This is why religion is so important. To raise your child in good and not evil. We've all seen how raising a child to hate can kill millions.

    2. Dragon Priest's Avatar Dragon Priest

      Forced patriotism is tyranny! I will not salute if I think it appropiate and no GD Republican religious nut bag is going to force me. That is why we have the 1rst amendment for. I wonder if the constitution is even in force anymore. I see no disrespect by bending the knee. Only IDIOTS see that as an insult. So many REAL problems facing this nation and they pick this! Imbeciles! That is meant with extreme disrespect.

      1. charles O'Donnell's Avatar charles O'Donnell

        Name calling is generally a sign of a challenged intellect.

      2. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

        Boy, Paul. You probably ought to drink less caffeine. This is not a Republican or a religious issue. The first amendment doesn't mean people can't think you're a spoiled, ungrateful hypocrite who should spend some time in a war-zone or an oppressed country to learn why they should have gratitude and respect for this one. And BTW, we will not have a Constitution for long if it is up to people like you.

      3. revbarbarajadams's Avatar revbarbarajadams

        I am an Independent that often votes Republican. I am not damned by God, nor am I a nut bag. Plus, I am not about to "force" you into anything, Paul. I am not an idiot or an imbecile. Your "extreme disrespect" is noted. God Bless you and hopefully, your unkind words and mean spirited nature will someday find peace.

      4. Paul's Avatar Paul

        Easy with the insults and name calling. I agree with the sentiment but not the tone. I honestly believe it is patriotism (love of country) to constructively express displeasure over your country's shortcomings or things that should be changed/discussed. As for Kaepernicks protest, I see no disrespect, he is merely kneeling, not refusing to participate entirely. If your have to pressure or force someone to express patriotism, it's not sincere and is basically a lie. I for one do not like being lied to.

      5. John hopkins's Avatar John hopkins

        Get out of my country if you don't respect it just leave you are breathing my precious oxygen

        1. Helena's Avatar Helena

          You, sir, are the very reason why we are protesting. Why didn't your ancestors leave us alone. They stopped us of who we were for their own personal gain. So, go back to what? Because of slave owners, people of color do not know where we really belong.

      6. Tired's Avatar Tired

        There is nothing being FORCED here. Forced would be people putting hands on him and preventing him from taking a knee. He has the right to do what he is doing BUT people also have the right to disagree and use the 1st amendment to voice that they don’t like him for it. I find it funny though that you talk about the bill of rights which is something that is represented by the same flag he is protesting agents. As I have said in a number of these comments…The flag does not stand for the bad cops, it stands for your right to stop those bad cops, to speak out agents them, to make sure the bad cops are held accountable. He is protesting the very thing that fives him the right to protest. To me that is the definition of an “idiot”…the person that protests a symbol of the thing that gives them the right to protest. And why would you want to use “extreme disrespect”? Why can’t we as Americans have a respectful conversation without anger and valance?

    3. Dreamsinger's Avatar Dreamsinger

      Aye, Randy. When I was living in Mexico for a while, when their anthem played I also saluted. "When in Rome..."

      1. rodrick's Avatar rodrick

        you say when in rome... but if rome is hurting someone still do as rome NOT

        1. Steve's Avatar Steve

          And just as Rome failed so shall we... We are now in the end of times, I hope you are all happy.

          1. Matthew AKA Michael's Avatar Matthew AKA Michael

            Right, and don't forget the world is ending (again) on November 14th, 2016.

          2. Raymond's Avatar Raymond

            History does repeat it's self. I'm sure these football players will enjoy three rights when Muslim terrorist take over. After all they keep black people as slaves still today, less than a pet standard. Have you notice that those against America aren't veterans. Look at the media, college professors, actors. They all gave no problem leaching of those that served and at the same time demonizing those that did. Just like the double standard mentioned with this football player. Those that served should be respected for there choice. Aren't we supposed to be all equal!!!!!

            1. ULC Rev Paul's Avatar ULC Rev Paul

              Muslim Terrorists taking over??? Oh, brother. I'd worry more about the "Christian" Nationalists taking your rights, right now. Nazis can march in Charlotte under the banners of hate and that's cool but if African-Americans exercise their 1st Amendment right to peaceful demonstrations you think Muslim terrorist are taking over.

              Media, actors, professors? Such a sweeping generalization. How about the Right's obsession with celebrities that run for office? Trump, Reagan, Schwarzenegger, Oz, Ventura? Or media outlets like Newsmax, FNN, OAN? How about those professors from Bob Jones College or Liberty or BYU?

              Real veterans know what they protect That's why it's the FIRST Amendment. First is defined as "coming before all others in time or order, foremost in position, rank, or importance."

              We have NEVER been all equal since the birth of this nation and when we try we get compared to terrorists!

          3. Michelle's Avatar Michelle

            Dang it, Matthew! Now we have to stone you for false prophecy. haha

      2. Anne's Avatar Anne

        Respect is the key word here as you said when in Rome. I dont always agree with all our laws and political issues but I will always stand I chose to be in this great country. All the hatred about America, well you have a choice move somewhere else, you have the freedom to choose. My family and I came from another country so I can surely say its great to be here.

        1. Helena's Avatar Helena

          Respect? People of color are disrespected daily. When is that going to change?

          1. Raymond's Avatar Raymond

            People of color!!!! When that type of thinking stops. Please, tell me what people aren't of color????? Standard race hating terminology. Where did you learn it from. School, family, friends or your local church. Look inside your self before looking at others.

          2. Tired's Avatar Tired

            Do you understand you are perpetuating the "us -vs- them" mentality by using the term "people of color"? Why cant we stand together to stop bad people of every race from doing bad things to people of every race? You are not the only person OR color that has had bad people do bad things to you. Until people stop the "us -vs- them" mentality and stand together as human beings this will never end.

        2. Minister L's Avatar Minister L

          This is cancerous. "Until you stop saying people of color." Once people stop denying that fact that certain people are treated differently...YES solely on the color of their skin then we can change.

    4. Rev: Henry's Avatar Rev: Henry

      Show respect for your country are leave. It and go live someplace else. Like the Middle East.

      1. Dr. David's Avatar Dr. David

        They are respecting their country by protesting to make it better. I do not understand why that is so hard for people to understand. This country has so many problems right now perhaps more people should be protesting what is happening.

        I imagine you believe under god should be in the pledge of allegiance as well? What about those that don't believe in a god(s)?

        Are all Jehovah Witnesses wrong because they don't believe in any of these symbols or religious holidays?

        And it goes on and is getting worse and worse.

      2. Helena's Avatar Helena

        Go somewhere else? White people took black people to an unknown land away from their family and heritage. They stripped us of who we were to work in their fields, take care of their children, and clean their houses. Over time, black people got educated and now want the rights that the "flag" is supposed to give every person. The problem is, when the constitution and rights were given, they did not have people of color in mind. Your statement is your opinion, but it does not nclude all people. How would you feel if you were treated in the same manner as people of color are. You would be changing your statements. It does not feel good or give people of color pride to be ridiculed, and discriminated against. Yes, 2016, it is still happening.

        1. DonBiase's Avatar DonBiase

          Helena The chip on you shoulder must weigh a ton.

          1. Helena's Avatar Helena

            Chip on my shoulder, nah, just stating facts. You don't care about anyone but yourself. Typical. So I will pray for you. Meanwhile, people are getting killed and racism is an Everest occurance. God bless you.

          2. Minister L's Avatar Minister L

            You sir prove a point many times over. Someone makes a legitimate claim and gives you examples, yet you come back with "get over it." This is the PROBLEM. Instead of "get over it" lets address these issues as a nation. Lets address the profiling of Americans of color, lets address the fact that orphanages are overflowing yet we adopt overseas, lets address our political system, lets address the fact that we complain but put the same people in congress, lets address the fact that Americans truly do not respect one another.

        2. ULC Rev Paul's Avatar ULC Rev Paul

          Helena, don't forget the near planned genocide of Natives. Adolf Eichmann was probably greatly influenced by Andrew Jackson!

      3. Matthew AKA Michael's Avatar Matthew AKA Michael

        So well said, it brought a tear to my eye.

    5. Rev paul's Avatar Rev paul

      I support Collen Kaepernick not standing for the national anthem with so much racial injustice in the united states

      1. Jackie's Avatar Jackie

        perhaps instead of behaving like an uninformed child it would be more helpful if Mr.Kaepernick worked to have the things he ubjects to changed. he could donate his wages to groups who believe as he does. he could loby to have the pleadge returned to its original version. he could move to a state or country that is run the way he wants. but if he did any of these things he might make a difference and lose his extra camera time and or some of the money that living in the U.S.A. allowes for him to make.

        1. Dr. David's Avatar Dr. David

          Sad that all you see is someone looking for publicity. Why are minorities always the ones that should be giving back to their communities? If he lived in another country and talented as he is he would be successful as an athlete so it is not an issue about "living in the USA." Is it really that great a country? A narcissist, liar running for President, African-Americans being shot by cops at an extremely high number, religion taking trying to take over Government by attempting to pass laws against gay marriage, abortion, allowing people of other religions into the US. It seems like a country of hate and exclusion instead of inclusion and welcomes.

        2. Liz's Avatar Liz

          You are on point Jackie. His salary alone could make a huge differences in the lives of many African American communities. He could invest in neighborhood housing, or open businesses in those neighborhoods, scholarships. etc. There are many positive things he could DO, but instead, he takes a knee while the cameras are on him, sacrificing and giving nothing of himself. "Be the positive change you wish to see in the world"

          1. Helena's Avatar Helena

            To Jackie and Liz, do your homework. He did donate some of his money for the cause but one person can not do it alone. How about acknowledging that their is a problem and then addressing it.

          2. Helena's Avatar Helena

            He did sacrifice himself. That is why he is not getting any playing time. Ha ha on them because he is still getting paid, the squad is losing, and more people have joined the movement. You must not be of color because you, along with so many others, just do not get it and your narrow mind will not try to understand someone else's pain.

        3. ULC Rev Paul's Avatar ULC Rev Paul

          You, Jackie seem to be the uninformed one. "Colin Kaepernick Puts His Money Where His Mouth Is."


      2. John hopkins's Avatar John hopkins

        There is no racial injustice .just a bunch of welfare recipients living in the past wanting everyone to pity them come on people enough is enough grow up its 2016

        1. Helena's Avatar Helena

          FYI John, there are more white people using the system. The media has portrayed black people in such a way that it makes one believe that black people are just waiting for a check. Sir, I am obtaining my PhD and I have been working since I was 15 years old, yet I face racism. I am proud to be black. I never have been arrested and there are more black people who are educated without criminal records and they face racism. You and people who think like you are why this country will not move forward.

          1. Duane Smith's Avatar Duane Smith

            Your statement about whites receiving assistance, yes there are more, but proportionally it would be expected. Whites make the majority of the population. Percentage is the mark, blacks refuse to look at. Yes life is a bitch, grow up and get over it. Until then, stand up and show respect to others and May be they'll show the same in return. Courtesy is what we all want out of others and the whining can stop any time.

    6. George Coniglio's Avatar George Coniglio

      Agreed.It's about respect. Colin hasn't helped anyone .It's football privileged at work.. can we ignore standard rules of conduct in our workplace? The cause is cause and needed. The method all wrong.No positive impact.

      1. Helena's Avatar Helena

        Your missing the point. Colin said he will not stand for the flag because of injustice. I am black and know first hand of racism. I have experienced it in job interviews and at the workplace. If you have never experienced it you would not know how black people or anyone of color feel. You should at the least, try to understand. It is the most horrible feeling when you are judged by your skin and not your abilities. I have 3 college degrees, 3 certifications, and I am working on my Doctoral degree and yet I still recently faced racism.

    7. Len Rudnick's Avatar Len Rudnick

      I stand. I also absolutely support the First Amendment right of those who choose to not stand in protest. Supporting the Second Amendment but not the first does not make a better person or American. Choosing which part of scripture or amendment you like best and quoting them should be totally unacceptable. I wrote a blog about the First Amendment and the Supreme Court opinions since the Bill of Rights was passed. It has a lot of research and many facts. You can find it at; It will be worth a few moments of your time. Personally, I prefer intelligent consideration to emotional rants.

      1. Dr. David's Avatar Dr. David

        So well said and so true.

    8. clinton's Avatar clinton

      I would not stand for the Nazi flag nor North Korea's flag when those are symbols of hatred and oppression. It is not respectful to shot and kill people and as long as we continue to do that the words of the anthem are hollow and do not represent the truth. Living a life of delusion and not actually respecting the lives of those who are down trodden is total BS. America was born out of ethnic cleansing/genocide of native peoples and the enslavement of black people. Until the words "Liberty & Justice for All" are actually a statement of truth then the notion MUST be challenged or you are just as complicit to the racist hateful acts that still divide this country today. Would you have joined in Hitlers crusade if you were in his "Rome"? What a self centered load of total crap...

    9. Chris Campbell's Avatar Chris Campbell

      I'm an old guy, so when I was a public school student in the K-8 school, we were required to stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance every day. It was followed by the Lord's Prayer (!!!). Both became a sort of rote mumble. The Pledge did not make me patriotic nor did the Prayer make me religious. My patriotism arises from what I understand about our country's virtues, imperfect as they may be. Wearing a flag lapel pin tells us nothing about patriotism; standing for the anthem doesn't either. Some people may be genuinely motivated by patriotic emotion; some are simply conformists or trying to out-flag another candidate. My Dad had a flag pole and raised the flag on it almost every day. He had been in Europe in WW II. I respected the basis for his action, even if I did not always share his level of enthusiasm for our national virtues. What really makes me patriotic--what really distinguishes us from other nations--is the first amendment, which lets each one of us make our own judgments and own statements. As soon as we start to enforce "patriotic" actions, we lose that distinguishing characteristic.

      Chris Campbell

    10. Clayton Beardmore's Avatar Clayton Beardmore

      Respect - too many people have died for our country for Americans not to show respect (stand) during the playing of our National Anthem. Paid competitors in a sporting event should not protest anything - they're getting paid to play a game and entertain others.

      1. Helena's Avatar Helena

        So your entertainment is more important than human beings being killed and facing racism?

    11. DJ's Avatar DJ

      These are all great comments and appreciate everyone's whole hearted thoughts. United we stand divided we fall. We are the people of the united states does not matter color or religion we all cohabitate together I pray for everyone

      1. Clayton Beardmore's Avatar Clayton Beardmore

        We all should.

  1. Miranda Allison Young's Avatar Miranda Allison Young

    Most courts now do not require a person to swear on the Bible. All that you have to say is yes to the question, "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?" I was in court on the 6th on a civil matter and this is what the judge asked us.

    1. Dark Gray's Avatar Dark Gray

      Actually, a lot of places now ask "Do you swear or affirm . . ." so as to accommodate Quakers and other folks who obey the Biblical injunction not to swear oaths.

  1. Brother John's Avatar Brother John

    The indoctrination of the population, particularly children, is common to many fascist nations….

    1. Donald W Schmidt's Avatar Donald W Schmidt

      That's true, but it's not unique to "fascist" nations. Every society/nation -- fascist or not -- indoctrinates their children to integrate into their society through reinforcing societal norms.

      1. Clayton Beardmore's Avatar Clayton Beardmore


  1. William Davis's Avatar William Davis

    In response to this article, again certain people and their beliefs are effecting the bigger picture in life. We all have an option to do and live our lives the way we want to. This is my view for the past 40 years given me by my parent's. " as long as we try our best, not intentionally hurt anyone and try to help whenever possible to make life better for our family and others" Then we need only believe in our goodness and to be allowed to live life the way we want. Remembering we are here but a millisecond or less in the grander scale. Help when you can,be kind when you can, and believe in yourself and only follow the many pathways of life you, you're family, friends, and people you meet along the way choose to take. You may not need one thing to believe in you may find faith, belief in life it self in what you learn everyday and what you do. Just enjothe ride and give something back if you are able, if you can see,feel, and be part of something real them it may be just right for you. My family tick my boxes and that's good enough for me.

  1. Mary Therese Lemanek's Avatar Mary Therese Lemanek

    Patriotism does not mean "my country right or wrong". To sing or recite words is not indicative of a belief in them so much as it is a habitual, socially expected response. As long as the refusal is done with respect, there should be no complaints.

    1. Dreamsinger's Avatar Dreamsinger

      After all, the Confederate battle flag was called "just a worthless, meaningless piece of cloth" after the Charleston shooting. The flag means nothing to me either, it is just a piece of cloth. But to others, it means they exist; without the flag, they are powerless, useless, worthless, persona non grata.

      An object only has a meaning for the person who needs to use it. The flag does not jump into a tank and blow up a town because it is angry. The flag does not rally the masses for good or for evil. The flag is a piece of cloth, but the person who needs to use it can make it into a weapon of peace or war.

      1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

        Exactly. I agree whole heartedly. To top that off people who sit or kneel are in a very respectful stance, not hurting anyone, not killing anyone. When people feel the need to peacefully protest something I honor that. I don't entirely agree but I do honor it. You want that to change? Follow our houses of government and vote against things that take rights away from people. Stand up to those who degrade or belittle others for being what they were born as, be it race, gender or what-have-you. When everyone is represented equally then we won't be squabbling over the rights and wrongs of simply standing or sitting at an anthem. Quite frankly its ridiculous to be offended before finding out the why in depth instead of criticizing in a thoughtless indignant rage.

  1. Kirk's Avatar Kirk

    Kaepernick can do what he wants in the only country in the world that would allow him to get a multimillion dollar a year contract to play a game even though he is a person of color. If people of color were being oppressed, Kaepernick would not have that contract, Obama would not be President and Oprah would not be a billionaire. So if Kaepernick doesn't want to look stupid, he should stand with hand over heart during the national anthem.

    1. Dreamsinger's Avatar Dreamsinger

      Wow, you just called almost every American who watches NFL games on tv as "looking stupid", because most Americans don't stand and salute the National Anthem when they watch it at home or at the bar. In fact, a lot of Americans don't even watch NFL, MLB, or NBA games, because they have more productive things to do in their lives.

      Nice way to convince people you're the good guy. Papers please!

      1. Kirk's Avatar Kirk

        What papers? Most Americans do not wear a uniform, but most Americans at events where the anthem is played do cover their hearts and stand. I stood and put my hand over my heart during last year's Super Bowl when I was at Buffalo Wild Wings.

    2. Jailyn's Avatar Jailyn

      Look, guys! Some black people are doing well so racism CAN'T exist! Oh the irony of this comment.

      1. king Bob's Avatar king Bob

        Jailyn - a voice of clarity in a fog filled world. So glad to hear im not the only one with sense on here

        1. Peter's Avatar Peter

          The New Yorker has an article showing the huge economic disparities which continue to exist between the races, much of directly attributable to outright racism.

          1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

            At least SOME of those economic disparities HAVE to be caused by behavioral disparities. You cannot honestly blame it all on racism. That in itself is racist, because you absolve one race from any responsibility (or CAPABILITY) and put the guilt on another.

        2. Lida's Avatar Lida

          Amen....I'm surprised at the level of disconnect on here. I should've learned by now not to read the comments section, as it's too disheartening.

    3. Ta's Avatar Ta

      Great answer!

      1. Peter's Avatar Peter

        So, John Owens, you agree that at least some problems for the black community are caused by racism. That's quite a concession.

    4. Tom's Avatar Tom

      Keapernick donated $1,000,000.00 of his salary to causes that support helping others. How many millions have you donated to worthwhile causes?

      1. Tired's Avatar Tired

        That is 5% of 1 years paycheck...I know a lot of people that give more then that. My parents have given 10% to church since they started working. They will never see a $1,000,000.00 and if they did they would give more. It only seems like a lot because most of us will never have that much. But it's not about throwing money at a problem. It is about him protesting the very thing that gives him a right to protest. The flag represents a country that allows people to protest and stand up to injustice. You cant doo that in all the countries of the world.

        1. Peter's Avatar Peter

          Where is the rule that a professional athlete has to give a certain amount in order to acceptibly protest? He has the right to protest simply because he's a citizen.

    5. Helena's Avatar Helena

      That statement does not make sense. Those celebs you speak of are celebs. There are more people out here who suffer racism. It just happened to me and I have college degrees and certifications, yet I was told, along with the other black person, they will call you and the white people were given on the spot interviews. I am still waiting on that call. Black people have always had some form of skill but was given an opportunity to use those skills based on new laws. There is more people who are suffering and people like you keep them suffering with statements like that.

    6. Clayton Beardmore's Avatar Clayton Beardmore

      Not only would Kaepernick not have that contract, it should be taken from him for not showing respect for the National Anthem or the American Flag. See how he does on $8.75 an hour. As far as I'm concerned, he's not even worth that.

      1. Helena's Avatar Helena

        Spoken like a person who have not experienced the deplorable behaviors of racist white people.

  1. Dark Gray's Avatar Dark Gray

    I generally don't put my hand over my heart during the national anthem, not unless someone makes an issue of it. I'm a good singer, though, and I attempt to sing it as well as possible, even if no one around me is singing. For me, that's a surer sign of respect than the location of my right hand.

    Although, to be honest, I'd actually prefer to sing "America the Beautiful" than a song glorifying a battle scene.

    "Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it." -- George Bernard Shaw

    1. Dreamsinger's Avatar Dreamsinger

      "America The Beautiful" is a much more uplifting song, definitely. What's sad is that every time the "record label singers" sing the National Anthem at sporting events, they don't sing it -- they destroy the song's beauty and meaning by turning it into a club remix with autotune and flourishes and millions of dollars of pyrotechnics shooting out of the mic...

      Seriously, the community Little League teams have more sense than the adults.

      1. Brother John's Avatar Brother John

        I see what you mean, Dreamsinger.

  1. Dreamsinger's Avatar Dreamsinger

    I think I'll just leave this here for you guys to look at, during your own respective leisure, because it is the basis of what patriotism is supposed to be about -- and is not being shown by any of today's "patriots" that Samuel Johnson warned about in 1775.

    Emma Goldman's quotes describes how America use patriotism, and enforce ignorance, to idolize fascism.

    Richard Aldington's quote echoes President Dwight D. Eisenhower's warning about the militarization of American society.

    Stephen Nathanson's quote accurately embodies the frustrations a lot of Americans have at being ostracized for refusing to sport armbands and parrot jingoistic catchphrases on command.

    Sam Shepard's quote is something that resonates deeply in my heart, based on my WW2 U.S. Army WAC grandmother's lessons on what being a good person, not just a good citizen, means. I think she'd probably tell you where to stick your patriot cards, quite frankly, and not in very polite terms.

    John Chandler's quote condemns the attempt of Christianity establishing a military theocracy, while condemning protest and dissent as "persecution of Christians." (Still wondering how you can fear persecution, when you're holding the sword. Pretty paranoid, to be honest.)

    Ernest Belfort Fax nails the double-standard behind the Establishment's mudslinging of citizens who empower others for the good of the community, not for the good of the oligarchy.

    Call me a deplorable or a terrorist, even the worst insult or slur you can imagine, but at the end of the day your condemnation of another man's individuality is only the affirmation of that man's good character.

    1. Kirk's Avatar Kirk

      You insulted me in my previous post, so I guess I'm now supposed to thank you?

  1. Tom's Avatar Tom

    In my view, there are far more meaningful ways to demonstrate one's patriotism than placing a hand over the heart or reciting a pledge or singing a National Anthem (and ours is very unsingable). Are we serving our country both in uniform and/or in civilian clothes? Are we caring for our neighbors who are in need? Are we active in encouraging good solid people to run for elected office at all levels of our self-government? Do we really think about how to build a better country for everyone? No, we would rather point fingers at those we deem to be unpatriotic because they do not stand or salute. To me that is worse than the bible thumper who prays on Sunday and sins on Monday. I cannot really blame anyone who refuses to stand and place their hand over their heart for the National Anthem. Read all the verses of that poem by Francis Scott Key! The third verse, in particular, is not something to be proud of. Look it up. Patriotic citizenship involves so much more than drinking the Kool Aid at sporting events. If you think for one minute that saluting the flag makes you a patriot, you are definitely in the wrong country. Get real! Do something patriotic. Hooray and hats off to all those millions who do.

    1. Eunice's Avatar Eunice

      Thank you

    2. Walter Green's Avatar Walter Green

      You have to read the verses in context of the time they were written. The wording "no refuge could save the hireling and slave" has been quoted by many in the context of today's understanding of the term slave as African-American. However, this is more likely a reference to the history of the American Revolution in which the terms were used to apply to "hirelings", the German soldiers of various principalities who served under contract with the British (commonly called Hessians, although not all were from Hesse) and to "slaves", British soldiers who were seen as slaves of KIng George.

      1. Helena's Avatar Helena

        Nice try. The person who wrote the national athem was a slave owner. The rights so many eloquently speak of was not meant for people of color.

  1. Jack Lam's Avatar Jack Lam

    If a u.s.person decides he or she has a stand against something and decides to knee during national anthem, it is there privilege.but they are not thinking of the cercomstanes.I am old school x military. Volunteered think u.and to this day I would die for my golly!will these unpraytric citizens making over millions $ die for this country?I ask u how were they what is in there brain.I can see now how terrorist get these young people to join them.for our young people can't lead they are only followers .they are so stupid don't even know geography, presidents,vice presidents,math,dropouts are up .I think some of them are smarter than our college kids.ask waters from fox.he makes them look stupid as heck. Think what the world thinks of us.I am ashamed of our learning ability.lazy 100% lazy.on there vidio games,computers,and I phones.they never get challenged.well this country is not great anymore ,we are going to far left&if something isn't done.the young people are not ready to lead.I am glad my time is coming close to end for I don't want to be here when we start speaking another language. I'm to old.I'm just saying.I am a Christian and paster and I'm proud. God bless those that wants a blessing!

    1. Tom's Avatar Tom

      Please! Get real!

    2. Jailyn's Avatar Jailyn

      It's great that you decided to put yourself in danger but many people of color HAVE NO SAY when they are put in dangerous situations just because of their skin color. Also it's probably not a good idea to use poor grammar and spelling to complain about how stupid everyone else is...

    3. Brother John's Avatar Brother John

      How ironic that you would include "I am ashamed of our learning ability.lazy 100% lazy.on there vidio games,computers,and I phones." in your comment, Jack. It is nearly "another language". Instead of disparaging the young as stupid and lazy, why not set a good example and brush up on your syntax and spelling?

  1. Sammantha R's Avatar Sammantha R

    Free speech is free speech. Whether you agree or not is immaterial.

  1. Brother John's Avatar Brother John

    Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it. George Bernard Shaw

    Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. Mark Twain

    Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. Samuel Johnson

    The greater the state, the more wrong and cruel its patriotism, and the greater is the sum of suffering upon which its power is founded. Leo Tolstoy

    Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism - how passionately I hate them! Albert Einstein

    A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. Edward Abbey

    Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons. Bertrand Russell

    One of the great attractions of patriotism - it fulfills our worst wishes. In the person of our nation we are able, vicariously, to bully and cheat. Bully and cheat, what's more, with a feeling that we are profoundly virtuous. Aldous Huxley

    Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear - kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor - with the cry of grave national emergency. Douglas MacArthur

  1. tecuso's Avatar tecuso

    I find it very odd that people are claiming racism in this county louder than they have in years while their is a black president; somehow it's very contradictory. As far as these POS not addressing the flag during the anthem at televised games... I say Shame on the camera crew. The camera crew should only show those that are showing respect for this country... the camera crew has the ability to put this so-called protest to bed. I believe the networks should not allow shots of those In protest to be shown. There would be no point in them doing it if no one was paying attention. I just watched the anthem before the NFL games in London and the A-holes that did not put their hands on their heart during the US anthem.. Those same men DID put their hands on their hearts during "long live the queen" London anthem. idiots! Network owners, please stop giving these guys attention.

    1. king Bob's Avatar king Bob

      Comments like this sum up what is wrong in this world. Keep following orders and be a good boy eh? Typical redneck attitude and stock fingers in your ears so you cant hear about the REAL problems. Wake up

      1. rich08854's Avatar rich08854

        @King Bob, no one is saying we dont have problems,, Do you think Burning Down Ferguson solve any?

        Honoring the Flag is about remembering the millions who have died to give us the freedoms we enjoy, Try burning down a city in Russia, China, and see how long you would live!

        1. Helena's Avatar Helena

          You and other white people enjoy freedom. What about the rest of us?

    2. Peter's Avatar Peter

      No wonder you're confused, you're barely literate and daily events must seem very perplexing. Think about this way: Do you really think there would be so much opposition to Obama if he were white? Did anyone ask for a Bush birth certificate? Or Romney's?

    3. E M Moriarty's Avatar E M Moriarty

      So you prefer controlling the message to oppose or support issues. Historically, that has been the tactic used by repressive leaders throughout history. That control is the antithesis of free speech.

  1. king Bob's Avatar king Bob

    I respect someone more for following their own beliefs other than doing whats expected. America is in a mess right now but god forbid you dont toe the line and fly that flag. Instead of bombing other nations and de-stabilising them, the US should get its own house in order. Land of free? Whoever told you that is your enemy

    1. rich08854's Avatar rich08854

      It is apparent King Bob you have never served in Uniform, otherwise you would have a better understanding of why as a nation we are involved in the Middle East.. Every terrorist attack America (excluding Oklahoma City) was planned, funded and carried out my radical islamic extremists.. We have lost 8000+ Americans and Coalition forces fighting them, so again, you believe the US is flawed please feel free to migrate to another country where you might be happier.

      1. Peter's Avatar Peter

        I have an Honorable Discharge and a few pension dollars. When you say that "Every terrorist attack America (excluding Oklahoma City) was planned, funded and carried out my radical islamic extremists" you are simply wrong.

        Timothy McVeigh, why should we exclude him, is the spawn of the militia movement who killed 168 people? Dylann Roof, who killed nine people in a Charleston church. Buford O. Furrow, was a Nazi who fired 70 rounds into a Jewish kindergarten in Los Angeles. Or Nazi Wade Michael Page, who killed six people in a Wisconsin Sikh temple? (Hey, it's a "temple" and to a Nazi they're all the same…)

        The latest is Nathan Desai, a Houston attorney who shot nine people in a mall in September. As the New York Daily News headlined, “Texas lawyer in Nazi uniform opens fire at strip mall, 9 injured.”

        Maybe Trump should seek to ban Nazis....

        1. rich08854's Avatar rich08854

          Peter, how many of those were radicalized muslims??? Every major attack against America was planned, funded and carried out by the peaceful religion of islam.. tell the parents who lost their child in the Boston Marathon bombing, or the children who lost their parents on 911 or maybe the unarmed soldiers who were murdered by maj Nidal while yelling Alah Akbar, and our muslim president deemed it "work place violence"

          Many are quick to Condemn tell me Peter, why do we have some many people want to get in,, and so few leave???

          1. Peter's Avatar Peter

            None -- it should be pretty obvious that no group has a monopoly on violence or stupidity.

          2. Val's Avatar Val

            Peaceful Muslims did not carry out terrorist attacks. Read the Quran. Jihad is a personal attempt to cleanse oneself from wrongdoing and to be a better person. All religions have members who use their religion for their personal agenda. Talking about WW2 and terrorism does not address anyone's constitutional rights to peaceful protest. Consider how many black unarmed people have been killed. Consider how many young black men are in prison for crimes white men would have been sentenced to probation. Are these posts really arguing about a person using his constitutional rights? A football player peacefully protests racism and we can't understand it isn't about patriotism or spoiled athletes? Racism isn't abolished because a small percentage of people that identify as black are wealthy and respected. Racism is in our attitudes, speech, and behavior toward anyone that is different from whatever we like to label ourselves. Love thy neighbor as thyself. That's a quote from my commander-in-chief. I'm not sensing that in these posts.

  1. Bill's Avatar Bill

    Wow, why is it that everyone must comment on what other people are doing in this universe? Maybe if we concentrated on our own lives instead of others? Have we all become so bored with our lives that we must comment on situations like this? There are far more important things to do instead of worrying about what others do. The only time I worry about others is when they ask me for my help. What if someone we knew personally did this, what would you say to them?

  1. Mrs Johnson's Avatar Mrs Johnson

    Coming from a military family and I will never again stand up for the national anthem it don't mean that I'm not for my country it means that I'm not for the song and what it stands for .

    1. rich08854's Avatar rich08854

      Mrs Johnson, what it stands for is the millions of men and women, black, white, red, yelllow and brown who have LOST THEIR LIVES to provide you with the freedoms we have... God Bless the USA!

      1. Constance Holland's Avatar Constance Holland

        I'm in agreement with you. The Song itself stands for the men and women of all races who fought and died for this country. I've listened to the song, and read over the lyrics many times to try and determine what is in this song that is demeaning to so many, and I just don't see it.

        Everyone has the right to free speech, and they are entitled to protest peacefully here in the U.S. For me, making a difference, and drawing a light to issues and concerns is more about doing something that will bring about change, such as working with the citizens and police in your neighborhood to discuss how we can all improve.

      2. Alvin Cummins's Avatar Alvin Cummins

        You forgot Gays and Lesbians who have also served and lost their lives...

    2. Alvin Cummins's Avatar Alvin Cummins

      Mrs. Johnson...I totally understand where you are coming from.

  1. rich08854's Avatar rich08854

    After reading many of these responses.. It isn't any wonder why our country has continued to deteriorate; honoring the flag and saying the Pledge of Allegiance is about remembering the millions of patriots who gave their lives so this country could be what it is? We have our problems, but those who believe we are a racist nation are FREE to relocate to another country and lets see how far they get. The problem with "Black Lives Matter" is that they have lost focus.. burning and looting a town or city, only further proves the points of others that they are radicalized.. and most of the people who were killed by police had criminal histories.. so lets try to remember we are ALL AMERICANS..

    Lets not forget how many citizens died.. Black, White, Yellow, Brown etc, giving us the freedoms we have now,, no matter how they are abused.

    1. Helena's Avatar Helena

      Yes, many people of all races fought and died for this country, but the freedom they were fighting for did not apply to everyone. That is what Colin is talking about. I am a proud black woman and have faced racism many times in my life. Where is my freedom, justice, and equality?

      1. Tired's Avatar Tired

        You have the freedom to speak your mind, stand up to injustice or inequality, freedom to talk bad about the country or people that you don't agree with, you are free to work hard and get an education like the college degrees you spoke of in another post, you have the freedom to make millions of dollars like have freedoms. YOU are not a slave that has no rights or you would not be on here voicing your opinion and taking part in these discussions. It is great that you are a proud black woman and there should be more people that speak up but that doesn't mean all white people are bad people that are trying to hold you down. We are all human and color should not play a part in it and by separating yourself you are furthering the same division that the racist jerk that calls you names is trying to further.

  1. franklin's Avatar franklin

    I'm under no law but God's

  1. Richard James Clay's Avatar Richard James Clay

    ANYONE living in this country, who enjoys the benefits of the limited freedoms living here provides us, NEEDS to show respect for the Nation and the Flag of the US. If I had an employee that refused to show the proper respect these entities deserve, he or she would be fired out-of-hand. I feel that the whimpering baby of a "football" player should be fired from his team and blackballed from any further employment by any professional sports organization. The cry-baby reason he is citing for his unacceptable behavior is insufficient to allow such disrespect. These pathetic, over-rated "Pros" set examples for our children. He is setting the wrong example and should be barred from any public display of this nature. If I had a child that misbehaved in such a way, he or she would be grounded until he or she saw the error of his or her ways, and could convincingly explain why he or she was wrong in the first place. No TV, no radio, no video games for the duration.

    1. Peter's Avatar Peter

      From a 1943 Supreme Court decision: "Struggles to coerce uniformity of sentiment in support of some end thought essential to their time and country have been waged by many good, as well as by evil, men. Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard. It seems trite but necessary to say that the First Amendment to our Constitution was designed to avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings.”

  1. Rusty Gilligan's Avatar Rusty Gilligan

    I feel that this sort of protest is misplaced - if there is an issue, do it in a different manner... there are fans, children, and various supporters watching and it sends the wrong message.

  1. Thomas Brink's Avatar Thomas Brink

    I think about the various units, on both sides, who fought in the Civil War between the States that did everything to keep their Flags up during battle including giving their lives of that effort. As a WW2 vet, that served in the Pacific, find it repulsive that someone would honor our enemy's anthem.

  1. Paul Hoogeveen's Avatar Paul Hoogeveen

    What seems to be missing in this conversation is a thoughtful discussion on the difference between nationalism and patriotism. From what I have observed over the years following 9-11, a new nationalism has emerged, albeit in the guise of patriotism--and that is not necessarily a good thing.

    The subject of respect has been mentioned several times in this thread. I would submit that when it comes to the lyrics (in full) of our current national anthem, there exists considerable, perpetuated disrespect to a sizable minority of US citizens. This makes not just appropriate, but imperative for us to revisit and discuss. Colin Kaepernick's actions, whatever else one might say about them, have afforded us the opportunity to examine this issue and consider that our efforts as a People to address entrenched, systemic racism are an ongoing process, not a defined point in current or past history. Just as individuals who wish to grow spiritually, mentally or physically must engage in ongoing processes appropriate to the goals, so must we do as a nation.

    We don't have to like it. But we do have to do it if we are to continue being a vibrant, growing, and improving society. Often, swallowing bitter pill is a must if we are to get better.

  1. Rev. Anita's Avatar Rev. Anita

    ? I suggest maybe having all of the players stand OR take a knee and have a "Moment of Silence". Forget about the song altogether!! This way if they choose to Pray, Protest, Speak Privately to our Fallen Military/Loved Ones or even focus on the game, it's all covered and we won't have so much unnecessary drama going on for our children to witness. If players feel the need to protest....... Do it on your own time and please keep it out of the game........ Just a Thought ?

  1. Edwin G. Burdette's Avatar Edwin G. Burdette

    Colin Kaepenick has a perfect right under the 1st Amendment to stand, kneel, or whatever when the national anthem is played. The fact that folks like me don't "get it" is beside the point. I do think it somhow ironic that a pro football player who is getting paid in one year what most of us get paid in a lifetime is protesting oppression! Certainly he is protesting on behalf of others who are, apparently, being oppressed. He is, on their behalf, cursing the darkness. One wonders if he has tried lighting a candle.

  1. Alvin Cummins's Avatar Alvin Cummins

    While I myself, learned the pledge of allegiance, the National Anthem and do rise ... it is ok to criticise if one doesn't yet his right to do so cannot be denied. I was raised by an agrarian family, and taught how to shoot and respect guns. Though criticized that I did not hunt, I did assist in preparations of the animals that were hunted and will add that it was done respectfully. Not for just the fun of the hunt, but utilized by our families for food. I am a Democrat that fully supports the Articles listed above and the US Constitution, but also realize in the world in which we live in now...knowing how to do background checks, etc. have a strong feeling about background checks and keeping guns out of the hands of those who are on a no fly list for example... we can have responsible gun control without damaging Article II. Just as we can respect while not agreeing to for ourselves, one's rights under Article I. The U.S. National Anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, was written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key. Key was sent to the British fleet in Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812 to secure the release of Dr. William Beanes on September 13, 1814.Written 17 years after the signing of the US Constitution.
    During this time of great division in our country, I feel that the constitution is at our Nations core belief. Our forefathers wanted ...just a few excerpts ... ARTICLE [I.] 13 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; of the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. ARTICLE [II.] A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. ARTICLE [IV.] The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. To me, the most important part of our great nation is our Constitution. If deaf and unable to hear the anthem, or blind to never see the flag, we always have the document that forged this GREAT NATION. Patriotism, just as joy and grief can be expressed in many ways and we live in a nation where we have the right to do so. May the United States and the rest of the world, learn to Love and Respect one another, and most of all ... to know and feel Peace.

  1. David's Avatar David

    I can only say what is in my heart . I live by two golden rules. We will always have a choice to make. Good or bad. There will always be consequence . When you choose on anything is it your own desires or for the two golden rules. You make the choice. We all fall short. .

  1. John's Avatar John

    Here in the UK, we're not so 'fixated' with patriotism and the National Anthem. When I was a young man, all cinema performances used to end with the National anthem being played. You should have seen the stampede when the credits began to roll. Most times, only the Ushers were left to stand. I'm British and proud of it. I don't see how standing for a piece of music makes me any less patriotic than the next man.

  1. Rev. Ida M. Grossi, M.Div's Avatar Rev. Ida M. Grossi, M.Div

    It's time this country begins healing itself. We need to stop pointing fingers and blaming people. We all need to lock arms like Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., had done back in the 1960s. It's because of Rev. King I became an ordained minister. I could never fill that great man's shoes but I hope to maybe make a difference, no matter how small. Like in John 4:1-42, "Jesus Talks To a Samaritan Woman." Even back then there was prejudice and hatred between people. The Jews and Samaritans hated each other. Jesus, was setting the bar for all of us. I pray we can all become one nation, under God again.

  1. hilldun's Avatar hilldun

    What if your morals and ethics are informed by freedom enabled by your country, but not defined by it.

    Many western countries have the same basic ideas of freedom and human rights as we do. It is pointless to discuss who did it first. At this point in time, I am more interested in standing with people of all nations who stand for the basic rights that we cherish.

    The reason to pledge allegiance in the first place is to declare that you are aligned with our ideas about human rights and freedom. But now, we are past that. There are many nations that can stand together is support of our basic rights and freedoms. That is what I stand for and pledge to.

    So I would pass on pledging to the US because I think that the US, as a concept of moral and ethical behavior has spread beyond the Americas. In the traditional sense, I don't consider myself a patriot because I think that the many nations who support human rights and freedom must stand together.

    I honor those who have paid the highest price so that we may enjoy these liberties and I don't take them for granted. In fact, by not solely aligning myself with the US above all others, I am trying to fulfill that which they have fought for.

    As for protests that are not violent, obscene or crude, that is exactly one of the rights that people gave their lives for.

  1. john's Avatar john

    I don’t consider myself particularly liberal, however I feel strongly that we should consider a new anthem. The 3rd verse of the anthem, below should raise concern that The Star Spangled Banner is inappropriate as our anthem:

    Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave' From the terror of flight and the gloom of the grave: And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave

    In way of explanation of this verse:

    During the Revolutionary War and, more substantially, the War of 1812 the British emancipated slaves and many were recruited into a very effective fighting force: the Colonial Marines. Without this force of freed slaves the British would probably have failed to capture Washington D.C. The accomplishments of this freed slave force heightened the ever present fear of slave rebellion. The possibility of a British sponsored slave rebellion terrified the whites in the middle states.

    Were such slaves treasonous? One slave queried his bemused owner: “Didn’t General Washington fight for his freedom too?”

    Not until the 1930s, at the height of Jim Crow, was The Star Spangled Banner named as our national anthem.

    It seems to me that, in this century, this anthem is inappropriate. That may not be the reason why some people don’t stand. Nevertheless, failure to address the anthem’s tribute to slavery clearly reinforce the notion of institutional racial bias.

  1. Meg's Avatar Meg

    I think it is disrespectful not to stand during the national anthem. In my opinion the NFL should step in and make it a requirement before a player signs a contract. Ask them questions about their patriotism. You are signing up to play in the National Football League, making megabucks. I work in a corporation and we have rules that we must follow if we want to continue to work there. This is the same thing. With "National" in the leagues name, patriotism should be required. There is a time and a place for everything and that (work and on t.v.) is not the time nor the place. I am so offended by these athletes, entertainers making political statements when we pay good money and take the time to go and see them. We want to be entertained, that's what we paid for, not to hear your political opinion. They need to chill out and keep it to themselves. They are paid to do a job, just do it. You don't get paid to talk and think about politics. You get paid to entertain us.
    Secondly, this guy is a hypocrite. He is living the dream. How dare he say he is oppressed. He is priveleged as so few are and lives the life. He can protest all he wants, however he should face consequences, either by his employer or by the American people.
    And that's what I think.

    1. Jonathan's Avatar Jonathan

      Since the NFL is becoming international are you suggesting that people from other countries be made to stand for an anthem that is not their own? I find it amazing that folks think if you make money you should shut up and just take what happens. Colin is a human first and for most and by being an American has every right to voice his opinions on what he sees as injustice in this country. Just remember you may work for a private company but there are some rules they can not and should not try to make their workers do. And know you are enjoying the right to say what you've and so should he.

      1. Meg's Avatar Meg

        Yes, he does have a right to voice his opinions, but not at work. He can do it anywhere else he goes where they play the national anthem. It is still disrespectful but wth? Players should be required to stand People aren't tuning in to a political event. They are trying to enjoy some football. .

        1. Peter's Avatar Peter

          "Yes, he does have a right to voice his opinions, but not at work." What stone table tells us this?

          "Players should be required to stand." The NFL -- Colin's employer -- disagrees.

          1. michael's Avatar michael

            justs shows he a over paid baby

        2. Helena's Avatar Helena

          So your main concern is watching a football game? Anyone who puts a sport over basic human rights must not be on the receiving end of the problem. People lives matter more than sports.

    2. Lou Anne McKeefery's Avatar Lou Anne McKeefery

      The Germans were very patriotic and soon they became Nazis. Freedom to express should never be taken away especially under the pretense of patriotism. Once you are told how to think and how to act we are in for trouble.

    3. Helena's Avatar Helena

      I thought the anthem represented freedom for all? If the NFL or any other sport make one stand, does'nt that take the person's rights away? This is a democracy country not not a dictatorship.

    4. Swany's Avatar Swany

      Well said Meg!

  1. TigerMoon2's Avatar TigerMoon2

    I think it was Teddy Roosevelt who said something to the effect of 'America will only be a great place for people to live when we've made it a great place to live for ALL the people who live in America'. I have a great respect for Colin Kaepernick, even though I'm an old white woman. He is staging a public protest in the best way he knows how, while taking a lot of heat for it. It really isn't an easy thing to do. Much of America's civil rights advancements came about through the efforts of public protests by such people as this who weren't afraid to take the heat. Paul Valery said, "The world acquires value only through it's extremists, and endures only through it's moderates; extremists make the world great, moderates keep it stable". You can nitpick the quote, but the gist of it is that we need both kinds of people in the world. Those who challenge our values as well as those who uphold our values. Kaepernick's protest is a peaceful one doing no harm to anyone or any thing, except in the minds of some, who will always choose to take things out of context.

  1. Brendan's Avatar Brendan

    It's not about freedom of speech or freedom of expression it's about showing that you stand by all other Americans. It's showing that you respect the people that fought for the country and who protect the country and the rights and freedoms all Americans share. If they want to go to a knee to show their solidarity with an anarchist terrorist organisation BLM they have the freedom to do so. To do so should have consequences though. These losers are not to be the role models of children. They should be sacked for spreading this hatred. Since when do we take the knee to support racism and hatred?

    Since the life church has been invaded by and taken over by losers who are down with the cause of racism and segregation I find it fitting that they wouldn't have a clue what it's all about. In fact I think that the average blogger for the church is about as dumb as a bucket of hammers.

    Shame for accepting hate groups. SHAME

    1. Helena's Avatar Helena

      BLM is not a terrorist group. People of color are TIRED of being discriminated against. ALL lives matter. If you have never face racism, segregation, or been discriminated against then you don't understand how that affects people. I have faced these things and I have never been arrested, am finishing my PhD, and have many years of experience in my field, yet I have been discriminated against in job interviews and in the workplace. If you never experienced it you will not understand.

  1. Prof. ML Watrous's Avatar Prof. ML Watrous

    The flag of any nation represents that nation, its people, and what it stands for. Ever notice that those who want to show disrespect for our flag have found out that this is one way for them to draw attention to their little smelly narcissistic butts. By the way ... that is my opinion ... and I have a right to it. If those shallow, lazy, simple-minded, people have a cause for which they want support ... ever notice how their majority reaction is to ignore "helping" their cause by doing something constructive for the objects of their fake support? Instead, they beat their "little egotistical drums" as if to say "look at how good I am." They try to occupy the "moral high ground" by their little selfish exhibitions of disrespect for everyone else. We have caught on to you. All of your are just a little bunch of "trash climbers" who will never contribute to the cause you claim to represent. You are all worthless hypocrites that seek praises for yourselves rather than support for those who really need the attention. I stuck my neck out for my country for six years by making myself available to fight with the US Marine Corps. Semper Fi. Some of you might want to insult this great nation with your little puny demonstrations, but I have absolutely no respect for you or for the fake causes you cannot even describe.

    1. Helena's Avatar Helena

      Black people being discriminated against, facing other racism, and being killed in the street by those who swore to protect and serve is a cause that you do not care anything about. Keep enjoying your white privileges. That do not apply to people of color.

  1. michael's Avatar michael

    hm...................honestly if anyone of us did this at work we be fired.....its something u do on ur own time,,,,not paid time,,,,and he was brought up 100times he knows ass

  1. Colleen McAllister's Avatar Colleen McAllister

    I do believe that there might be a better way to protest, but Kaepernick did show a form of respect by either kneeling or simply standing. As to the pledge at school, when I was younger no big deal was made of it. Any child who didn't want to participate could simply not say it. This public shaming is much worse than any supposed offense.

  1. Jonathan's Avatar Jonathan

    I've been reading people talk about how disrespectful not standing for the anthem is to the people who fought for them. Let me tell you how respectful folks have been to people who fought for them; my father a WW2 veteran came home to be told to step off the sidewalk if a white person is coming toward you, take your food outside we don't let your kind eat in here and and you cant sit there its for whites only; that's how they respected his sacrifice. Had a neighbor from the Vietnam war lost both legs could not afford treatment at a civilian hospital and the VA only gave him a 10% disability my family helped feed and take care of him until his death that's how this country respected him. I love being an American just don't like how it treats some of its people sometimes, so no I'm not going to leave it 'cause I have just as much of a right to be here as everyone else and I have a right to stand or not stand for its anthem and still have respect for the men and women in military service (who are making it possible so I can voice this opinion). Colin has never said his protest is about the military and last time I looked this country has more then folks in military living here, but when one group has been singled out to be oppressed the National Anthem is not supporting them so why should they feel obligated to support it by standing in respect for its Anthem?

    1. Tired's Avatar Tired

      As a retired vet myself, I see the people that do those kind of things are part of the problem and they are not what the flag represents to those of us that fought for it. The flag stands for your father and for the neighbor…the people that fight to make this country better for everyone regardless of race, color, creed, religion, ect… It represents the men and women that came home with the flag draped over them and the right to stand up to the people that let differences segregate the US. People should associate the flag with people like your father that put his life on hold to stop a man from wiping out a certain type of people from the earth. It should NOT represent those that low class of people that mistreat people. When someone disrespects your father they are disrespecting what he fought for…that flag. And those of us in the military see that when someone like Kapornick disrespects the flag as disrespecting people like your father. THAT is the way people should be looking at this situation. If people had not fought for that flag these people might not get to protest today.

  1. Swany's Avatar Swany

    America is different and unique in it's self! As the world goes we are a new government, country and culture. We the people are basically an experiment and building our own history now as we live. We don't have the the racial identity of a region nor time of thousands of generations of culture to identify with. We come from every walk of life and from every country and come in every color, American! We teach our families traditional arts, culture, ways of life from whence we came and that's okay, we are American! At the end of the day no matter what our color, where we are from or born right here there is some things that should always be respected in this country more than any other! The National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance and the U.S.A. Flag! In our case it's not about idols, extreme patriotism, it's simple respect, identity and unity as Americans! At the end of the day they are the only symbols that say we are America, I am American! So when we teach our kids different faiths, and we teach our kids foreign languages, and we teach our kids to respect others cultures, foods and beliefs! Teach them to always stand proud out of respect for our National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance and the U.S.A. Flag! If we lose this we lose our identity and our country! Teach our children Respect! Teach them what it is to be an American!

    1. Helena's Avatar Helena

      Black people lost their identity 400 years ago when they took us from our land and families to come to America. Did you for get that because that is a fact. We ended up making somewhat a life for ourselves but only under the rules of White people and their White Supremacy ideologies. We only want to truly be free. Why is that so hard to understand. Colin used his platform for people who did not have a voice or would have been dismissed. If you are so for American, beeing free, ect., then why don't you help the rest of us so we can all be free.

  1. Rev. Jon's Avatar Rev. Jon

    Old glory is a sign of freedom When union troops arrived in the south carrying her , slaves knew they were about to be freed .It should be respected.Everyone with half a brain Knows we have a ways to bring equality To the races.But let's not do it at the Expense of a flag that means so much To all especially those who were in bondage for four hundred years .rev joncc

  1. veronica brandon's Avatar veronica brandon

    I will an always have stood and pledged the American Flag because thats how i was raised an thats how i believe in showing respect for my country

    1. Helena's Avatar Helena

      If I walked up to you and disrespected you, would you just accept that? This country has been disrespecting people of color for years. Is it your position that the men and women who fought for freedom, only white people are entitled to that freedom, yet we all still have to honor the athem?

      1. Tired's Avatar Tired

        Helena you are the main person making this about color…this is about the fact that Kapornick is protesting a symbol of the very thing that gives him the right to protest. Everyday bad people of every color discriminate and hurt and kill good people of every color. This should not be a color thing…it should be good people stopping bad people. Not all black people are gang members and not all white people are racist. You talk like you are the only person who has had bad things happen to you and it only happens because of your color…it happens because of bad people. I have stood for more than 21 years next to FRIENDS of every race, color, religion, ethnic background under that flag trying make the world a better place. The flag doesn’t stand for the racist that discriminate or the gang members that loot and steel or the cops that overstep their bounds…it stands for those of us that fight to stop those things…the good cops that help people, the families that can voice their displeasure and bad cops, the people that want to live in a world where everyone is equal…THAT is what our flag stands for. Kapornick is the one associating our flag with bad people and that is why we are upset. Stop trying to make this about race…it’s about what we want the US to be.

  1. Jeffrey Peterson's Avatar Jeffrey Peterson

    Professional athletes are paid by the franchise to play football as part of a team. We don't care what they think as part of their job when they are on the job. The 49ers and others have every right to limit the speech and expression of their employees while they are in uniform or as part of a franchise activity. If anyone cares what athletes think about anything, they can walk out after the game and enjoy their first amendment rights then. If teams permit open ended expression during a game what else can we expect besides taking a knee during the national anthem if an athlete has something to get off their chest? Open that door and let the fun begin.

    1. Helena's Avatar Helena

      Well, if black athletes start doing that, sports will not be the same. You must be white and enjoy your white privileges because us black people don't enjoy the same quality of living. I am black, educated, no criminal record, and I still get discriminated against.

      1. Jeffrey Peterson's Avatar Jeffrey Peterson

        Yes, I am white which has nothing to do with my point. All athletes are privileged, black or white, and they get too much attention, in my opinion about things they probably know little or nothing about. If sports franchises give them the right to say, verbally or otherwise, pretty much what they want on subjects unrelated to what they are being paid to do- perform athletically-, I suppose that's their business. If things start getting over the top on distractions from the game, people will start looking elsewhere for their entertainment.

        1. Helena's Avatar Helena

          Well, let people go elsewhere for their entertainment because people's lives should mean more than that. Athletes get paid to do a job they are not robots. They can think and speak just like you and me. I guess you feel if it do not affect me then it does not matter. Sad for you. Does anyone else matter besides you? I guess not.

  1. Tired's Avatar Tired

    I am a retired, 21 year veteran of the US military and while I agree that the US is not perfect and some things need to be fixed, I do not agree with how he is doing it…Please let me explain.
    This flag that he has chosen not to honor is not just a symbol of the police that he has a problem with…it is also a symbol of your right to stand up to those police, it is a symbol of those you want to help and their right to find justice. It is a symbol that allows people that live in poverty to work had and become millionaires like Kapornick. I have been to other countries that if you are born into a lower class it doesn’t matter how hard you work you cannot move to a higher class, you will always be looked at as the lower class. This flag is also a symbol of the people that want to stand up to the government as he is doing. This flag is the symbol of your right to voice your displeasure and change injustice. This flag is a symbol of the people that have supported him in his career not just when you win but the truly loyal people that supported him when things were not going well. And finally this flag is a symbol of the men and women that fought, and in some cases gave their lives, to give us all the freedom to protest and fight to change injustices just like we have been doing since April 19th 1775 (The official start of American Revolutionary War) Next I would like to point out that not all police are bad. I spent 18 of my 21 years as an Air Force Policeman. I know that there are some bad policemen in the US but that doesn’t mean that all police are that way. Kapornick said that he doesn’t like that police get paid leave while investigations into their actions are going on. Every bad guy I had to deal with tried to say we did something wrong to have their case thrown out of court. All people are innocent until PROVEN guilty. So should a good cop lose money and potentially let his family go hungry until he is proven to be innocent? IF it is proven that the policeman was in the wrong THAT is when you take is job and pay away…not before. If someone said Kapornick hit them in a bar should they stop his pay and not let him play until he proves he didn’t do it? The answer is no and it should be the same for police as it is for anyone else.
    Are there racial injustices in the US? Yes…on both sides of the table. Are their bad cops? Yes, but that doesn’t mean all cops are bad. Just like if a football player murders someone, beats up a girl or harms a child doesn’t make all football players bad. There are better ways to get a message out. Find a case where the cop IS bad and stand with that family BUT say that you are not calling all police bad but you want to help the good police get rid of the bad ones. He should point out that looting and burning businesses of hard working people don’t have anything to do with the incident does NOT make you a protester, it makes you a criminal. Stand with those innocent business owners and help stop the criminals that use these things as an excuse to get free stuff.

    1. Tired's Avatar Tired

      With that said I agree that he has the right to do it but we also have the right to not like him for it.

      1. Helena's Avatar Helena

        You do have that right but then that means that you do not care that other people are hurting and suffering. What happened to love thy neighbor?

        1. Tired's Avatar Tired

          It does not mean that at all…I have spent my entire life trying to protect those that can’t protect themselves. I do care that people hurt others and I don’t like those people either. The flag stands for those of us that PROTECT others from the hurting and suffering. Love thy neighbor is great but we are not gods so we are not perfect…every person has someone they don’t like. You can have love for your fellow man without liking them for what they do. Do you like all the people that cause the suffering? No, and if say you do then you are lying, misguided or are one of them. I say that because no man is perfect and if someone hurts your family you might forgive them but you do not like them. You’re not going to invite them to your house for drinks. But again this is off the main topic…So I will say it again…The flag does NOT stand for those that cause the suffering…it stands for those of us that are doing our best to stop those causing the suffering.

          1. Helena's Avatar Helena

            Sir, you still miss the point. I work in healthcare and many times I had to take care of someone who called me a N@#%%?. As much as I did not want to help them, when I took the job I took an oath to provide care. Can you imagine bathing, feeding, changing their diaper all while they say racist remarks and spit at you? No I did not like their behavior, I knew it came with the job, but I still had to do it. How can you expect someone to respect something that still says you are nothing. You cannot imagine what people of color go through daily. It is real out here but if you never experienced it you won't understand. People are dying and being discriminated against. Why is that so hard for you to understand? The freedom you fought for is not the same for everyone so why are you trying to make it seem like it is. I have many family members who was in the military. One died in Granada in the 80's, two brothers in Afgahnastan, others in the Marines and Navy. All black and still faced discrimination after serving. How is this fair? That is why Colin protested. He did not do it just for him, he thought about all people of color.

          2. Tired's Avatar Tired

            My point is that the flag represents people like YOUR family that served and died to make positive changes. Not the ass hole that calls you names or bad cops...that is NOT what the flag is represents the people that are trying to make changes for the better NOT the assholes that want to keep the divide. I don't know how else to make people understand that.

      2. Peter's Avatar Peter

        I think this is right. Colin has a right to protest and you have a right to disagree. Equally, you have a right to post and Colin -- if he's out there -- has a right to disagree.

        1. Tired's Avatar Tired


  1. Tired's Avatar Tired

    People are arguing about two different things here…what he did and why he did it.

    So first there is the WHY…some bad cops do bad things and sometimes they are not the same color as their victims…but sometimes they are.

    So let’s talk about the WHY: Are there bad/racist cops? Yes…just like there are bad/racist people in every profession. Does that mean that every cop is a bad/racist? No…Just like every teen is not a gang member, not all priests molest children and not every football player deflates the ball. Is there still racism in the US? Yes…there are still bad people of every race that dislike others because they are different. Will racism ever be completely gone? We can only hope.

    Next is HOW he chose to bring attention to this problem: In the US, are you free to protest things that you think are wrong? Yes…that is a freedom given to you as a US citizen. What tells the world that you are a US citizen? It is represented by the flag that men fought under to gain and defend those freedoms Does the flag represent the bad people that try to oppress others? No…the flag stands for those that stood up to the bad people of the world and said ALL people have rights.

    So does it make sense to PROTEST the symbol of the country that gives you the right to PROTEST? NO

    So while I agree that he DOES have the right to protest and WHAT he is standing up to needs to be stopped I disagree on HOW he chooses to stand up to those people.

    1. Helena's Avatar Helena

      How should he protest? People of various ethnic background fought for our freedom but it is being dictated so we are really not free. So I am free to do what you tell me to do or I am nit patriotic? Scratching my head on that one...

      1. Tired's Avatar Tired

        That is again not what I are free to do what you like but how is protesting the flag that is being stopping bad cops? I have never told you to do anything but I ALSO have the right to not like how he chooses it. By your thought presses you have the right to be upset but I don't...why because I am white? I have never owned a slave, I have friends of many colors and ethnic backgrounds but because I don't agree with you I am the bad guy...WHY?

        1. Helena's Avatar Helena

          If you have friends of various backgrounds then you should understand even if you don't agree.

      2. Tired's Avatar Tired

        What I am saying is that HE IS PROTESTING THE VERY THING THAT GIVES HIM THE FREEDOM TO PROTEST!!!! why cant you see that?

    2. Tom B's Avatar Tom B

      everyone should be free to act as each wants, as long as there is no conscious intent to hurt anyone else...if multi-million dollar sports teams consider it embarrassing to have a player take a position politically motivated, then prohibit it in the player's contract...then the player can decide to sign or not...but the teams will not do that, because there is too much money involved, and the basis for virtually all negativism in the world is money

  1. Duane Smith's Avatar Duane Smith

    Is it not interesting how we begin with display of patriotism or religion, and what constitutes proper behavior. Then comes the claims of discrimination and suppression. The only thing holding anyone back in this country is the man (or woman) they face in the mirror. I am not of their color, because I don't judge that way, I am worse, I am an ex-con...try that suit on and see how you are treated. Still I move forward and make life good for me and mine, because individuals of solid character do that. Stand up and support your country no matter what, because that's what real men do...cowards take a knee.

  1. DJ's Avatar DJ

    It is a simple matter of respect. If you have no respect for yourself, you will not respect anything or anyone else. To make that public to the world is a poor choice indeed.

    1. Helena's Avatar Helena

      Oh he showed respect. He quietly protested people of color being discriminated against because it does happen daily whether you want to face the truth or not. You do not have respect for human life if you ignore the racism and blood shed happening in 2016 in the street. A White man went into a church full of Black people and wounded and killed the members. He was taken out in handcuffs and it was stated he had mental issues. A black healthcare worker had his hands up, was trying to explain to police that his patient had a toy truck not a gun, and still was shot. Is this respect or American-like?

  1. Ruth's Avatar Ruth

    The reason he didn't stand for the pledge was not because of pledge but he said it was to protest our law enforcement. These people who think everyone owes them something instead of going out and getting a real job like everyone else. No one that is alive today didn't bring anyone over to become slaves or indentured servants. And if it wasn't for those brave people that came to the new world none of us would be here today. This is a just a guy who has no respect for all the people that have fought and died for him to have the freedoms he has to today. And we are suppose to be "One Nation Under God".

  1. Ruth's Avatar Ruth

    I was reading the other day about they correct way flags were to be display and in there it also stated if you call yourself anything but "American" then You are considering yourself another nationality and do not have all of the Rights of "Americans". So, if you call yourself Mexican-American, Aferican-American then you are not an American because you chose the other nation first. People needs to read and educate themselves and come together As One Nation Under God with Liberty and Justice for All.

    1. Helena's Avatar Helena

      Ms. I mean no disrespect but are you White? If so, please understand that many many years ago and still today, White people have robbed everyone of their identities without regard for anyone. If that is what you read, please tell me why Black people were treated like animals. They were beaten, raped, hung, castrated, had to work in cotton fields, cleaned the slave master's homes and took care of their children? Is that the American way? Other nationalities, such as Indians, were robbed of their land and treated unfairly. This is history and it cannot be erased. Today, Black people face racism in another way; through jobs, in the criminal system, by the police who swore to protect and serve. Who are they serving? Yes, there is crime and it comes in all races. At least white people get their day in court while blacks and other races are beaten and killed right in the streets. Ms., I am Black. I have no criminal record. I have 3 college degrees, 2 certifications, and am in the process of obtaining my Doctoral degree. I have been working over 29 years and I am 44. I was just recently discriminated against in a job interview where the White applicants had on the spot interviews and the Black ones were told "we'll call you." I am still waiting on that phone call. The only people who are free are White people while everyone else is free to do whatever the White people allow us to do. I thought this country was under democracy not dictatorship? If you never experienced racism, racial profiling, ect., then you don't understand how this affects people, and I get that. But you could at least listen and try to understand someone's pain. There is good and bad in every race but that does not make White people Superior. I am not racist and respect everyone. I cannot understand how people can act like racism does not exist because it does. I know because it happened to me on several occasions.

      1. Tired's Avatar Tired

        Why would it be disrespectful if she is white? You know I have tried to read your posts and have an intelligent conversation with you but I give up…you are as bad as the racist white people you think every white person is affiliated with. White people are not the only bad people on the earth, and not all white people think whites are superior and people of all races have been oppressed at some point in life. You claim to be educated but I think you only look at the history you want to see…that furthers your racist mentality. YES I called you a racist…you feel YOU are superior because slaves are in your background. YOU are not a slave and you DO have freedoms and opportunities that EVERY other person in the US has. IF white people where still as bad as you think they are then there would not be black millionaires or a black President. So get off you pitty pot and start being part of the solution instead a part of the problem because when a person hates someone because of the color of their skin they are a racist and it is not a whites only thing. You have made it abundantly clear that you blame white people for everything bad that has ever happened to you and everyone else and that hate every white person for it. That makes you just as bad as the white racist. Did you know that other tribes in America are the ones that captured the slaves and sold then to the slave traders in America? Did you know there where white slaves in MANY parts of the world throughout history? Do you know that those of us in the military are still on the lookout while we are overseas because there are still people of ALL races that kidnap and force girls of all races into slavery? Those girls don’t have freedoms…you do or you would not be allowed to be on here voicing your racist redirect. Do you know the “white applicants” that got the interviews? Maybe they already had their Doctorates or 4 college degrees…the fact is you don’t know what are in those peoples mind or hearts you ASSUME they don’t like you because you are black but maybe your attitude got you asked to leave. Maybe you need to take a look in the mirror and ask “How can I make myself better?” instead of blaming others ALL the time. But you know I people like you. You will come up with a reason why I am wrong instead of opening your mind to the views of a “white guy”. I have had to deal with people like you here where I live…they are white supremacists that called me a “nigger lover” because I tried to show them that race is not the problem. It is people that don’t see they are farthing the problem by making EVERYTHING about race. Is racism still alive in the world…YES on all sides of the table… That’s it…I’m done

        1. Tired's Avatar Tired

          Auto correct...what I meant to type Did you know that other tribes in Afferica are the ones that captured the slaves and sold then to the slave traders in America?

          1. Helena's Avatar Helena

            I do know that and it still doesn't make it right.

        2. Helena's Avatar Helena

          I started off as respectful as I could in my previous response but because your response to me was angry, I will enlighten you on a few things. First, I am not racist but know it when I see or hear it. Just because there are rich Black people and a Black President doesn't mean racism doesn't exist. Check your history there were rich Black people during slavery; Madame CJ Walker was the first female Black millionaire. FYI. The interview I went on was invitation only if your background was what they were looking for. I had the highest level of education between the six of us and we all had to take a knowledge test along with the application. So yes I was qualified. Now if saying good afternoon my name is HH is incorrect I must learn the new jargon. Also, the applicants and I was conversing while waiting. As far as you stating I am seeing the history I want to see is absolutely a dumb statement. I am seeing history, period. Although some if it is heinous it is still history. I cannot help it if White are still being racist. People are angry but if you don't have experience in what we go through you cannot discount it. You say be a part of the solution this is what I do: I volunteer and donate to help domestic violence survivors. I take care of the elderly. I take car of children. I help people with addictions. I work in mental health. I take care of people with developmental disabilities. I mentor children and teens in music. Finally, I spread love and teach people about God's unconditional love. I do all these things without regard about color or financial status. You don't know me to have an opinion about me and I don't know you. I can only speak from what you post and it does not come across as someone identifying with the fact things have to change. You are not even trying to hear others point of view. By the way, you did not have to say the N word in your post. It is such a horrible thing to say. Good day.

          1. Tired's Avatar Tired

            See no open mind...just you are right and I am wrong...go figure. I have seen it and I do believe that there is still racism but it IS NOT only white people. I have seen it and stood with my black friends agents it so you don't know me either. Yes your view of me is from my comments on here and by the same token I have made my judgments off your comments on here which are all anti-white. (Just because you work with people doesn't mean you like them...white supremacist show that everyday) But just like I said in the other post "You will come up with a reason why I am wrong instead of opening your mind to the views of a “white guy”. And I used the word I was called and YES I did have to use the whole word. We should not be afraid of it. The people that used it towards me are not afraid to use it and to fight it we have to show we are not afraid of it which is what it looks like when you cant even say the word. And my last question...who was the first white woman millionaire? Who was the first Asian woman millionaire? Who was the 1st millionaire ever? You just proved my point by making it only about a BLACK millionaire... Now with that said I don't dislike you but having to deal with members of the Arian nation in my job (21+ years of Military law enforcement) many of the things that you have typed are almost verbatim of the logic they use to further their cause...blaming everything on the Black, Jews, Muslims, affirmative action and so on... just like what I am seeing in your post towards white people. I.E. I see you in the same light as the racists I have spent most of my life dealing with. And don't think that it is easer for me because I am white...they see me as a race trader because I choose not to see color...just people. So if that is not what you mean then you need to look at how you are saying things...not all white people are bad yet that is the tone of your post.

  1. Tom B's Avatar Tom B

    The flag is not freedom; it is not is a symbol...when people get locked into the importance of symbols, it avoids dealing with people

  1. Tom B's Avatar Tom B

    Agreed...the newspapers should stop identifying people by race...while it is understandable that police reports need all the identification possible, the newspapers should simply talk about people without discussing race...the newspapers (which print very little news that is not incendiary, salacious and intended to be what the Confidential and Enquirer used to be) should not be police and celebrity blotters...if Alexander Hamilton saw what Rupert Murdoch has done to his newspapers, including the New York Post, he would have a stroke

  1. Scott Forsberg's Avatar Scott Forsberg

    What is patriotism? I had a boss who didn't like some people protesting Travon Martin's. I was glad they weren't rioting so I said,"It's their right to free speech. Let them protest."

    He replied,"Well maybe not everyone should have free speech."

    I don't think that is a definition of protecting freedom, of patriotism.

    As ministers, we need to consider the amount of hurt, frustration, grief and sense of injustice it takes for someone to publicly disrupt a public ritual.

    Why is quiet protest so much more dangerous than riots? Why do we, as ministers ignore such pain? Why is it so easy to ignore injustice?

    For those in the military, as a civilian I have learned to separate the war from the warrior. I understand you don't serve in the military unless you think its important. Civilians don't face life and death. They face loss of family, friends and society. With protest, a civilian can serve others who cannot be heard. I think that is patriotic, too.

  1. Merrill Bouray's Avatar Merrill Bouray

    I am a Veteran of this great country of ours an I Love this Country an what it stands for an because of that if you ask me if I like it when these people don't stand for the National Anthem To be honest I would have to say yes an no An what that means is yes I don't like it when they don't stand an show respect for this Country but on the other hand it is there right so on that hand I don't care because it is there right to do so an I also know that they are not doing it to disrespect anyone because they love this Country to an they do respect our First Responders the Police's an the Military Now getting back to why I join the Army an that was to protect our rights the Civil War was about those rights World War 1 an World War 2 was about those rights when any Country that tries to threatened those rights we will go to War to protect those rights. Now we like to call ourselves Christians or say that we Respect Gods word or we Respect the Bible Colossians 3:13 NIV Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Or how about Ephesians 4:31-32 [31] Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. [32] Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

  1. jenni morgan's Avatar jenni morgan

    The flag is not freedom; it is not America…it is a symbol…when people get locked into the importance of symbols, it avoids dealing with people

Leave a Comment

When leaving your comment, please:

  • Be respectful and constructive
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Avoid profanity, insults, and derogatory comments

To view the full code of conduct governing these comment sections, please visit this page.

Not ordained yet? Hit the button below to get started. Once ordained, log in to your account to leave a comment!
Don't have an account yet? Create Account