Tri-Color Times

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Standing or sitting for the national anthem?

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IN THE year 2016, Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice. It became one of the most controversial protests in the United States currently. On Sunday, September 24, 2017, after Twitter disputes involving Donald Trump, NFL players from every team decided to take a knee like Kaepernick did in unity against Trump’s comments.

This divided the NFL and their fans. One side of fans became outraged with the action taken on Sunday and many of them ‘booed’ their teams. For example, this was seen during the Patriots vs Texans game. The other side is in complete support, and some minor teams including little league teams throughout the country have taken a knee as well in support.

According to CNN, two football players in Texas were stripped from their uniforms and told to leave the field with just boxer briefs and socks. That would be pretty humiliating, nobody should be stripped from their clothes in front of a large crowd. The country is how it is because of things like this. No student should go through that, so I went around and asked the administration about what the consequences would be if such things happened.

Granger High’s administration stated that there will be no punishment regarding the protest if it were to happen at our school. They added that the students have a choice, but respect to the flag is encouraged. I agree with Granger’s administration and think they have an unbiased way to handle to it. This is something the rest of this country needs.

“State High School Associations in places such as Minnesota and Louisiana have informed schools that it is up to them on how they want to handle protests,” Forbes.com states. Hearing all of this action being taken shows that instead of helping raise awareness, it is just causing more disunity.

I think the protests have potential for change in how everything is viewed in this country. The side opposing protests believes it disrespects the flag and country.

The First Amendment states “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; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

This means Congress cannot make any sort of law prohibiting freedom of speech, religion and uniting to protest peacefully. From The First Amendment, we get freedom of protest as long as it is peaceful. I see taking a knee as a peaceful yet powerful movement with the potential of creating change.

By Donald Trump and his followers saying people cannot take a knee is quite hypocritical, when Republicans typically follow religion. It does not sound fair for a Republican like Donald Trump to have a freedom of religion when he is trying to oppose freedom of speech and peaceful protest. All three of these freedoms are included in the First Amendment.

During the 4th of July, the word ‘freedom’ is used a lot. American citizens celebrate the freedom this country stands for. Troops fight for this country and its values. Taking a knee is a peaceful protest, as nobody has been physically injured from the protests.

Since peaceful protest is part of America’s values, I do not see how it is disrespecting the flag and country when the people taking a knee are legitimately practicing the values this country stands for. We disrespect the flag a lot more by wearing it on underwear than by taking a knee during the anthem that holds the same values that the whole country does, which includes freedom of speech and peaceful protest.

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Standing or sitting for the national anthem?