At the risk of losing all of my American readers, let me be the first to thank everyone who participated in today’s widespread anthem protests. You are making a difference. The fact that you are drawing the ire of the opposition just goes to show how effective your protest is being. I’d also like to offer a heartfelt thank you to the commissioner of the NFL for respecting and honoring the players’ constitutionally guaranteed rights. That says a lot about the quality of your character.
You’ve drawn the ire of our Dictator-in-Chief who seeks to transform this country into the likes of North Korea, the USSR and Nazi Germany with forced flag worship. You’ve drawn the ire of the racists, the white supremacists, the misogynists, the homophobes, the transphobes, the Islamophobes, the anti-Semites, the atheiophobes (yes, I made that term up myself), the autisophobes, you name it. You’ve drawn the ire of those who blindly and robotically worship the US without critically thinking about what it is they support.
Whether you realize it or not, your silent protest is having an effect. Please note I stand (or kneel as the case would be) with you. I have faced away from the flag during the playing of the anthem for the last 15 years or so. Kneeling or facing away from the flag can be a perfectly valid sign of patriotism in light of the inequalities so inherent within our system.
I’d like to share with you now my Facebook rant about it. I’m reposting it here but you can read it on my Facebook page here.
If you are seriously offended by people so-called “disrespecting” a fucking piece of cloth, it is you who are a snowflake. The thing with symbols is they mean different things to different people. To people like me it stands for oppression and inequality. That’s just my perception. If you perceive it another way that’s on you. I am in no way offended by someone saluting the flag despite what it represents to me.
No, I am NOT proud to be an American. Nor would I be proud to be (insert whatever other nationality here) that by the sheerest of random accidents I could have happened to have been born in. The notion of patriotism is foreign to me. We are all on this planet by the sheerest of random accidents. Why then are we proud of something as artificial as where we hail from or where we live?
That is why I will not salute this flag or any other flag (if I ever eventually expatriate). I pledge no allegiance to any country or government. I only pledge allegiance to my own conscience.
Nobody is better than anyone else due to such things as where we come from, who we love or anything else. This hyper nationalism just further divides the human race. Maybe it is time we ended these displays of hyper nationalism (including the recital of the anthem at sporting events).
That right there is probably the best solution.
To conclude this post, I encourage you to read the post I wrote on Independence Day along the same lines (link). I’m not looking to sway what you believe or how you personally conduct yourself during the anthem. That is up to you. I’m just asking for a little mutual understanding toward those of us who choose to kneel, face away from, etc. the flag.
Thank you. Goodnight.