Sunday, August 28, 2016

Dissent: UnAmerican, or a Patriotic Duty?

I consider myself patriotic. But not blindly so. I love this country, with all its faults and inequities. I'd rather live nowhere else. If called upon to genuinely defend this nation ... I mean for real this time ... I'd do so without hesitation.

But those who see
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's act of dissent by refusing to stand for the anthem out of protest over how this nation treats people of color, as being worthy of punishment or worse, are false patriots.

I'm seeing it from the "
LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT!" crowd; whites who have never known prejudice; people to whom the concept of "something is amiss in this nation, let's try and make it better, more fair for everyone" is just plain unpatriotic. They are the ones who spit on the very Constitution they claim to love. They are blind patriots ... and ignorant.

When I got back from Vietnam I wasn't exactly grateful for the fact the US had lied to me and sent me there under a false premise. I was young and angry. 

Soon after my return home I went to a movie with the future Mrs. Hump. Back in '69  they played the National Anthem before the film. I refused to stand for the anthem. An old guy behind me growls: "Show some respect for your country."  I almost lost it but I didn't . I said seething through my clinched teeth. "I got back from Nam two months ago fighting for a lie this country sold us; so unless you're man enough to make me stand go fuck yourself."

I don't regret it.  Neither my act of dissent, nor my retort.

And that's about all I have to say about that football player's right to express his dissent and his dissatisfaction with how people of color are treated in this nation.  Other than to say I support his action of conscience ... and his courage.


Carl said...

It's kinda like when an atheist refuses to pledge alligence to the flag which the theist would think its unpatriotic but in reality it's a protest to what the original pledge was with no god. He is right in his protest just like we are in protest to make equality for all.

Jefandrues said...

About the time o your war of indeopendence, Samuel Johnson wrote "The Patriot", an extract from which is:

"A man sometimes starts up a patriot, only by disseminating discontent, and propagating reports of secret influence, of dangerous counsels, of violated rights, and encroaching usurpation. This practice is no certain note of patriotism. To instigate the populace with rage beyond the provocation, is to suspend publick happiness, if not to destroy it. He is no lover of his country, that unnecessarily disturbs its peace. Few errours and few faults of government, can justify an appeal to the rabble; who ought not to judge of what they cannot understand, and whose opinions are not propagated by reason, but caught by contagion.
The patriotism may be justly doubted of him, who professes to be disturbed by incredibilities."

NewEnglandBob said...

Patriotism is just another example of tribalism. When a country becomes perfect, or close to it, then unbridled patriotism is deserved. The U S has a lot wrong with it, quite a bit by those who claim to be super patriots.

David said...

It is the first I have heard of the story, living here on the other half of the world and all. But this man I knew nothing of a few minutes ago, I now respect. Nothing ever changes unless you take a stand, and that will often make you unpopular. He is a very brave man, you should be proud to call him a fellow American.

Anonymous said...

Interesting video on the moral problems with the 10 Commandments