Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard the tale of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusing to use his legs at the start of a football game. As an act of protest, he refused to stand for the national anthem. The national anthem is played at the beginning of every football game, and it is customary for everyone to stand as a token of patriotism and respect. Angering many, Kaepernick refused.
Much of the anger directed at Kaepernick is unsurprisingly erupting from folks situated on the far right of the political spectrum. This isn’t unique. This anger is unleashed whenever a person of color acknowledges America isn’t perfect, and the systematic mistreatment of minorities occurs all too regularly in American life. Interestingly, this anger usually takes a predictable form. It’s as if the far right spins a wheel to decide how they want to express their anger. Check out the six options of far right anger below!
If you hate American so gosh darn much, why don’t you just pack your bags and find another country to call home!
If you aren’t going to stand up for the national anthem, why don’t you go ahead and burn the American flag on television as well!
It’s no surprise he’s disrespecting America. He’s secretly a Muslim!
If you protest anything about America, you must hate our veterans and active servicemen.
Your parents are white! This means you don’t get the privilege to comment on racial matters in this country.
You make millions of dollars playing an unsafe game owned and operated almost exclusively by the white establishment. You are a hypocrite when you make a protest statement like this.
Do you want to guess which option Donald Trump decided to use? It might be tricky to guess. Donald Trump is usually all over the board with his diatribes. However, if you guessed option one, you’re right! This shouldn’t really be a surprise for many people. Donald Trump has built his campaign on wanting people out of the country.
Donald Trump showed his preference for option one when he spoke to radio host Dori Monson. He said, “I have followed it and I think it’s personally not a good thing. I think it’s a terrible thing, and you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him, let him try, it’s not gonna happen.” In other words, Trump wants the quarterback to just try and find a better country than America.
Of course, Trump’s position is slightly ironic given his war cry of making America great again. If America truly isn’t great anymore, why should anyone want to stand for the national anthem? Does he expect people to stand for the flag after he is elected and has succeeded in making America great again? Once again, we can see how Trump has a rather impressive collection of strange opinions stored in his head.
On a more serious note, it goes without saying that the essence of America is about being able to make your voice heard. This includes the action performed by Kaepernick. If we forced Kaepernick to stand, we would be losing what actually makes America a wonderful country. People are allowed to have whatever opinion they chose, and people can express that opinion however they want. As long as nobody is getting physically hurt or property isn’t being damaged, your thoughts and emotions can be expressed. This includes deciding to remain seated during the national anthem. You would think Trump would know that!