Kneeling takes over as ineffective protest

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Kneeling takes over as ineffective protest

Design by Grace Summers

Design by Grace Summers

Design by Grace Summers

Design by Grace Summers

Graham Hill, Staff Writer

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An article such as this must be prefaced by saying: it is entirely legal to kneel/not stand up for the national anthem. It is a fundamental right guaranteed in the first amendment to express oneself, including when someone disagrees with the government.

However, while people can kneel for the anthem, they should not. The song and flag symbolize American principles. This includes all of the rights, freedoms and privileges that come with being American.

With this in mind, it is somewhat ironic to protest the same country that gives that right to protest.

America is rather unique in ensuring so many rights for its citizens; many other countries don’t clearly give these rights to their citizens.

Kneeling as a protest to the president or to any current event is an interpretation of the flag and anthem that really cannot be supported.

The flag and anthem do not symbolize one person or era. They are an idea. They are a physical representation of the privileges America affords its citizens.

It is interesting to note that such protests really do not occur outside of America. In other nations, even if the athletes disagree with current leadership of their country, they still stand out of respect for their country.

Kneeling for the anthem is perfectly legal. Sitting for the “Pledge of Allegiance” is also perfectly legal.

But just because you can do something does not necessarily mean you should.

I understand that some of the president’s recent comments, especially concerning this topic, are incredibly inappropriate and not at all what one expects from the leader of the free world.

I disagree with his comments as much as anyone, but kneeling for the national anthem is not an effective protest. Coming out and speaking up is an effective form of protest. Kneeling for an anthem that honors a country which affords us so many freedoms and privileges is only ironic.

Kneeling makes no argument; it says that you disagree with the country without ever having to debate or argue your point.

If you have something to say, say it. Take action. Kneeling expresses nothing. Every significant political or social movement in history was vocal.

Abolitionists were vocal, suffragettes were vocal, civil rights leaders were vocal. Kneeling is weak compared to those movements.

I fully support peaceful protests, but there are much better ways to make an argument than kneeling for the national anthem.