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.