I will stand, hand to my heart, when the national anthem is performed. I love my country, and pledge to support it. Colin Kaepernick? I don't know how patriotic he is, but suggest it might not be mine to judge.
The 49ers quarterback is again in the news, after an exchange between him and a Miami reporter revealed some of his views. Back in August, about the same time the Kaepernick thing on the national anthem was coming forth, he wore a shirt with pictures showing Fidel Castro and Malcolm X meeting. Now, the reporter wanted to discuss Castro being on the shirt. Kaepernick pointed out that Malcolm X was also on the shirt, and that the meeting with Castro showed the civil rights leader was open-minded. The reporter pressed for comment on Castro. "I'm not talking about Fidel Castro and his oppression. I'm talking bout Malcolm X and what he's done for people," Kaepernick responded.
So, before we paint Kaepernick into too tight of a fit with Castro, we should note the quarterback does believe Castro oppressed Cubans.
As the discussion continued, Kaepernick spoke of Castro investing money in education, instead of prisons, and indicated America might learn something from that. He also spoke of America incarcerating too many people, and of slavery, and of the genocide of Native Americans.
Kaepernick believes blacks still face bigotry. I'm not sure I disagree. He believes we incarcerate too many. I might concede the point and wonder if there are other ways to handle criminals. Kaepernick doesn't like it that there was slavery in America. Neither do I. He feels the Native Americans suffered in a genocide. I'm not sure but what he isn't right.
I can see what is wrong with America, but I believe what is right outweighs it. I love this country, despite its flaws. If I were to add to the flaws Kaepernick has pointed out, I would lament that we are a country that protects abortion, which leads to millions of lives being cut off even before the children are even born. To me, this is one of the greatest injustices in America.
I compare my views to those of Kaepernick, because I want to make clear where I stand. If Kaepernick wants to not stand during the anthem, if he and other athletes choose to protest by not putting their hands over their hearts, so be it. I don't know that I want to judge them, nor condemn them. Some of these might be just saying they see injustices and would like to see them corrected. Do some of them truly oppose our country? I don't know. I only know they are calling out flaws most of us might be willing to admit to. I say, let us wave the flag, be patriotic and love this country. But, when we see criticisms that are justified, let us acknowledge them and work shoulder-to-shoulder with those who bring them up in trying to correct them.