Even as a Veteran, I say that President Trump is wrong. Kneeling does not disrespect our beloved Flag.
Kneeling, in fact, explicitly respects the Flag. Sitting? Disrespectful. Kneeling? Pointedly respectful.
The last thing I am, is a defender of Colin Kaepernick...But this is an extremely crucial point.
Colin Kaepernick, mind you, has done some disgusting, despicable things:
Cops go into Harm's Way, every single day, to defend the innocent. Theirs is the noblest calling of all.
There will always be racist scum. Some have infested the Police. They need to be driven out.
That does not change the fact that Cops go into Harm's Way to protect the innocent.
Cops die, defending the innocent, never again to enjoy the Love of their families.
Colin Kaepernick's blanket condemnation of Cops was contemptible.
And then there's this little matter:
What a disgusting disgrace. The only nations that have never institutionalized Slavery are the relatively recently independent ones that weren't around for the thousands and thousands of years when Slavery was practiced by all nations, with little regard for race. America was founded during a time when Slavery was still universally prevalent, and the raging hypocrisy of Thomas Jefferson and others is well documented, but she was founded as an instrument of Freedom, against oppressors without and within, and thousands have died in defense of that Freedom, including more than 360,000 Soldiers who died for Freedom during the American War to End Slavery. When you refuse to stand for the American National Anthem, you refuse to honor America, and you insult every Soldier who ever gave his or her life in defense of the Freedom that we all, including Colin Kaepernick and every Black American, enjoy. If an innocent White American is oppressed or murdered, it's despite the efforts and intentions of America. If an innocent Black American is oppressed or murdered, it's despite the efforts and intentions of America. Even the very institutions of America, designed to fight injustice though they are, have been on occasion used by evil men to do evil things...But that does not, in a thousand years, render America's noble calling, Freedom, itself, less noble, or less worthy of acclamation, veneration, and respect. To condemn America is to condemn Freedom, itself.
We are not in Pretend World. America is not some imaginary place where Justice is always served and bad things never happen to good people. The Evil and the selfish will always be with us, I'm sorry to say, everywhere around the world, and nobody with any sense ever pretended that they aren't right here in America, as well. Nobody with any sense ever said that American is perfect, and ought to be condemned if she fell short of that imaginary standard. America...is but an instrument of Justice.
To condemn America, I say again, is to condemn Freedom, itself.
But Colin Kaepernick is not without Grace.
Nate Boyer reached out to him...and Colin Kapernick, to his inestimable credit, listened...and acted:
He's still ugly as sin, don't get me wrong...And that Fro? It hurts my eyes. Lord have mercy.
But as disgustingly disgraceful as Kaepernick's first political statements were, statements that I believe he ought to redeem himself for, by publicly apologizing for, there is nothing wrong with kneeling for The Flag. Kneeling, in fact, is perfect. It exhibits solidarity with the victims of oppression, yet simultaneously honors this great nation and the thousands who have died in its defense.
That, Sir, is noble.
That, Sir, is commendable.
If he would only recant and rescind his previous, disgraceful acts, then he would illustrate that he is truly a Revolutionary, and a man of good will, and I would admire the man...and applaud him.