The discourse over of the act of kneeling during the national anthem or pledge of allegiance has turned into a focal point of the news media because of racial biases and improprieties against minorities. It has started a discussion among individuals throughout in the United States on account of the error between the plan of the activity versus its elucidation.
In 2016, Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback for the NFL team the San Francisco 49ers, concluded that he would not stand when the national anthem was played at football games. His objective was to speak out against police brutality and the systemic injustice against minority groups that exists in the United States by utilizing his prominence and media impact to bring the issues to the forefront of social discussions in the country.
The First Amendment gives all American citizens the right to free speech. Kaepernick chose to utilize his Constitutional rights to challenge what he believes to be a nation-wide social issue in a non-violent manner, while still sending an effective message. However, some individuals view Kaepernick’s activism as being disrespectful to America’s values and to the troops who fight to protect America’s freedom and security. By not standing to respect the flag amid the national anthem, he has received intense criticism for not respecting the nation that has given him the freedom and opportunities he has today.
Kaepernick actions deserve a responses nike, people of every ethnicity and social media were some of the few people who acknowledged his action. Nike supported Kaepernick by using a quote he made up “Believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything”(kaepernick colin,just do it campaign ). People felt like this was a sign of disrespect to there home land so they started to protest by burning nike merchandise to show patriotism. This caused a lot for the actions he did to protest racial shamefulness and police brutality.Everything we see through the media it brought many players together and joined Kaepernick by kneeling in their games, for example, the ‘White Patriot’ rally in Charlottesville,VA.These movements brought many politics like Donald Trump. Likewise, there has been some genuine thought for how understudy competitors can and should deal with their convictions.
African-American anthem protesters adhere to an alternative view of basic patriotism that dates back to what W.E.B. Du Bois coined as ‘twofold cognizance’ — the sentiment of being a piece of the American commonwealth, yet not completely of it. This insider-outcast status has driven a longstanding battle among black Americans to discover room in the political framework that has denied them full citizenship.
The ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ itself has been a subject of that battle. This mainly stems from the fact that Francis Scott Key, a slave-owner and Washington legal counselor, composed the song to celebrate the American victory over the British amid the War of 1812. The tune would not uncertainty have been lost to obscurity to the general American public had the United States military not appropriated it for banner functions and other symbolic uses starting in the late nineteenth century. This history appears to show the mixed connotations of the anthem with respect to the African American populace, especially if one considers context of abhorrent treatment to African American since the abolition of slavery such as the prevalence of lynchings in the Deep South. Some may even consider the patriotic fanfare to be straight of hypocritical since both the flag and national anthem were proudly displayed during famous baseball games when African-Americans were banned from playing or even viewing white baseball.
Many African American civil rights groups and activists saw this glaring association. One such organization was the Negro Press, whose extraordinary daily papers of the mocked and alluded the tune to be the ‘The Caucasian National Hymn.’ Black writers undermined the melody by uncovering a long forgotten line in the third stanza that read, ‘No asylum could spare the worker and slave/from the fear of flight or the anguish of the grave’. Black activists at the time interpreted this line as the arranger’s anger and the indignation he felt towards the British government, who guaranteed of liberation to select oppressed African-Americans who helped the British forces during the War of 1812.
By the mid-twentieth century, African-Americans who felt scorned by the racist sentiments exposed in the anthem and who were fed up with general racial persecution faced in the country started to substitute ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ with ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ as their song of allegiance. This song, also known as the Negro national song of praise, was composed by James Weldon Johnson and his sibling, John Rosamond Johnson. Many African Americans saw this song as a true anthem of allegiance and as a recognition of being loyal to a power higher than the U.S. government, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In addition, the song recognized, included, dignified, and validated the tough and oppressive history African Americans faced while being apart of this nation, something many people felt that the national anthem failed to do. This can be seen with entries such as ‘We have come, treading our way through the blood of the butchered’, which acknowledged the reality of lynching and bondage in the national history.
The perceived belligerent and jingoistic values in the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ would be omnipresent in daily American life, as Americans revived it to the mainstream amid World War II, giving the possibility of patriotism an undeniably restricted — and battle-ready — reverberation. The Negro press connected Du Bois’ twofold awareness commandingly amid this period: it portrayed the war as a fight to crush two adversaries — Nazism abroad and Jim Crow isolation at home.
The dark papers additionally brought up the fraud of showcasing American opportunity in the melody when servicemen and servicewomen of color were kept on army bases where segregated lodging, motion picture theaters, and transports was all too common. With soldiers of color being exposed to segregation and rampant racism even though they sacrificed their lives for the opportunity to protect American freedom and way of life abroad, the various social symbols that represented America — including the national anthem — began to be subject to deconstruction and negative feedback.
This demeanor is still broadly held among African-Americans. An ongoing survey shows that 66% of African American trust that the national anthem protests started by Colin Kaepernick are worthy. This is in stark contrast to fact that the same survey showed that most whites oppose this idea. Furthermore, the idea that individuals are considered patriotic just because they sing of stand for the national anthem still holds influence in the mainstream. Many whites interpret the song as peak patriotism.
According to its definition, patriotism is the pride of and devotion to one’s homeland. However, explaining the concept comprehensively is rather complicated. Patriotism is a difficult idea that depends heavily on the country it is displayed in, as well as on the country’s historical and geopolitical background. Some patriots may put more emphasis on politics, while others focus on the geographic qualities of their other country. In the United States, patriotism is seen as an essential part of the American culture. More than half of the population owns an American flag and almost as many own apparels with the patriotic symbols on it. Phenomena such as flag ownership seem to occur across all generational groups. American patriotism is rooted in conservative values which include honor, loyalty, and bravery among others. Thus Americans serving in the military and fighting in a war are regarded highly. Joining the army is a reasonable choice for Americans to display their patriotism, but also a way to ensure financial stability. Veterans are respected, though in reality, they often struggle to find their place in society after returning from war. Independence Day and the Fourth of July are arguably the most patriotic holidays for Americans. Although it is not officially connected to the military, it often includes the displaying of the American flag, American merchandise, parades and political speeches along with fireworks and lots of food.
According to New York Times “The National Football League’s decision to punish the protesters was through a threat of fines sets the stage for a potentially combustible football season” (Johnson, pg1). The National Football League’s choice to reduce the dissents through the risk of fines sets the scene for a possibly controversial football season that will correspond with the midterm races and will give the president the unprecedented opportunity to abuse racial divisions. The association’s choice is probably going to radicalize players who have come to trust. They have a task to carry out in the discussion about police brutality and the resurgence of racial oppression in the time of Donald Trump. Kneeling on the field may have been quite recently the start.