Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Stand or Sit for the Anthem, and I Will Support You

This whole standing for the anthem thing has certainly snowballed. The protest started by Colin Kaepernick began to protest police brutality, and somehow along the way, it became twisted into a disrespect for the anthem, the flag and the military. It became about the morality of the protest, and how people disagree with how the protest is performed.

That's what I'd like to address today.

I come from a military family. My father served, as did both of my grandfathers. I grew up on bases my entire adolescent life. I have visited the Normandy beaches, and countless battle fields of history which turned the tide in the battle for Freedom, and what it represents. I am a Canadian, and I have tattoos of the Maple Leaf and the blood red Poppy which represents our Freedom on Remembrance Day.

And I say that, to say this:

Whatever you want to do, stand or sit for the national anthem, or the rising of the flag in my country, I will support your choice to do so.

I will support your choice whether or not I agree or disagree with it, and I do this because I Love that I live in a country where we have that choice to do so. My Love of that choice supersedes my opinion, and it certainly overrides my belief system.

To me, it is quite irrelevant as to what I believe. I'm deeply rooted as to what I believe in, and I'm crystal clear on that. And I know that I'm the only person in this world that shares all of my beliefs and morality. I don't need the world to agree with me, so what I do need is the unique ability to have people peacefully express their points of view, especially when they disagree with mine. So, protest peacefully. It's a right we have to protect us against tyrannical governments who repress the ability to have a free thinking society.

The thing about protests are, they're rarely ever about the cause or reason they are protesting. The Boston Tea Party had nothing to do with dumping tea into the harbour. Rosa Parks' protest to give up her seat had nothing to do with public transportation or buses, and kneeling for the playing of the national anthem has nothing to do with disrespecting the flag, although that's the way some people want to take it.

Protests are about raising awareness because our society is an ever evolving world, and we have a long way to go before we live together with equity and equality.

So as the NFL supports and employs men who assault women, yet shames those who sit for the national anthem, I really have to ask myself, where is the logic there? If you are for equality, you choose Freedom for all, not just who you want it for. If you want to control what others believe in, or what you believe in, that's called tyranny, and it's the opposite of what you might be thinking it is. W
In fact, what that is, is about taste, and not freedom. As an American Supreme Court Justice once said, "It's useless to argue about taste, and even more useless to litigate it."

Plainly put, have your opinions. Express them if you feel the need. Then allow others to do the exact thing on a soapbox as big as yours, opposing your view at the top of their lungs for all to hear. Then listen. That sound you hear is called Freedom, and its a damn wonderful thing. It's cost millions of lives to grant it to you, so enjoy it, and allow others to do the same.