The Great National Anthem Debate

Warning: The following contains controversial subject matter. Reader discretion is advised.

We’ve all read the stories, have had our debates, and our own say on the subject. Many would love to see these NFL players supposedly be put in their places, while others believe Colin Kaepernick, the ringleader in this quarry, is being treated unfairly. Some say players are subject to their work employer and should be banned until further notice. Others say social injustice exists in America and the NFL is a great platform from which to spread awareness. There will always be two extremes to every story.

I’ve become part of the controversy when my Cleveland Browns knelt to pray for America before a Week Two pre-season game when I defended their decision with passion. Many took this for me being someone who doesn’t support what America’s police force and military do, and what our veterans did when I defended this. Many have since deemed me as unpatriotic in my views of the subject, especially when I’m in tune with my questioning of whether America really is the greatest country in the world, which I’ve questioned several times over the past two decades. Today, I’m going to clarify some things.

For one, I neither condone nor condemn the players sitting or kneeling during the National Anthem at sporting events. In America, we have the First Amendment rights to express ourselves, and it DOES include doing so in a work environment. Since I’ve stated my view, why isn’t it done? This is because America is what I call a Corporate Socialist nation. What I mean is we’re run by corporations, the so-called capitalists, who own us to the point where we’re losing our rights to express ourselves in the workplace. We’re all individuals, not robots. We’re people, not slaves. We aren’t mascots, representatives, or products. And these corporations are subject to the Constitution of the United States. It’s unconstitutional to fire these men who are expressing their views in the same way they see fit. For that, Kaepernick is getting a raw deal, but Marcus Peters, Michael Bennett, and others have picked up where Kaepernick left off. We’re a free nation, as our Founders intended, not a nation where the power elite enslave the masses through bribery in the workplace, and the NFL is and should be subject to that.

Then again, are these people uniting us or further dividing us. Once again, it’s become an issue of race, until Browns tight-end Seth DeValve became the first white man to kneel during the Anthem. Enter former running back and lifetime Cleveland Brown, Jim Brown. I have a hunch on what Jim Brown told those who wanted to make a statement and further spread awareness on that fateful night in August. Brown gave these men the ultimatum.

“Do you want to unite the people or further divide them?” I believe Brown asked. “What you’re doing is further dividing America by kneeling. If you want to make a statement of unity, you must include people of every race and occupations you’re against.”

Remember, the police union refused to attend the pre-game ceremonies in Cleveland. However, the police are to blame in this debacle. Since the end of the Civil War, America has yet to see an end to social injustice, especially through law enforcement. Therefore, people are kneeling, and exerting their God-given right to liberty. They have the liberty to express themselves as they see fit, and police brutality and corruption is a big thing in America right now. We must remember we’re not a divisive police state, who judges not on race or color, as many in the police force have done and will continue to do. America is supposed to stand united, at any given circumstance, and never be divided, as it’s been in the long, winding, 241-year history since its inception in 1776.  We know that, and the players know that.

We aren’t a country where showing respect to the flag in a cult of personality is required, and we must never become that country. America is exceptional, and I believe in American Exceptionalism. We’re free to see things as we see fit and respect things if we choose to. If we choose to disrespect the status quo, which is what standing during the National Anthem is all about, it’s our own, individual choice. This is an article about individualism, not statism, and if we require standing at attention during a National Anthem at any even or else, we’ve become a statist nation and have lost the values that founded America, when we refused to show King George III and his brutal British Army (policemen of the day), proper respect.

I’ve always said and will continue to state, those who support actions of police, just or unjust, would’ve been British Loyalists. If you supported American Forces setting up bases in over 150-countries worldwide, you’re supporting American Imperialism, which is what America broke away from in the beginning. Now we’re becoming the British Empire? We broke away from the British because we didn’t want to be them. We wanted to be different, but we’re not different. If you support imperialism, you don’t support freedom. If you support Donald Trump in believing his propaganda that military action in DPRK and Venezuela is necessary, you were a Loyalist sharecropper in Colonial America in a past life!

Nothing is more American than supporting the right to free speech. Nothing is more American than supporting the rights to bear arms. Without the First Amendment, we don’t have a Second Amendment. Without the Second Amendment, we don’t have the First Amendment. And if you support Donald Trump’s militarization of the police force, you support a Big Brother Government reminiscent of George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, a world in which he forewarned us about in 1949. For that, we’re no longer America, we’re Oceania.

Back to Jim Brown, who said we need to unite, and the Browns did so. They stood with their arms interlocked with service members and police. But be warned, we must not allow neither police nor service to rule over us with an iron fist, as they’ve done in so many other different countries worldwide. We’re no different than what we’ve read in the history texts, but since we’re doing it, somehow it’s right. It’s not right. What’s right, is standing up for your beliefs. I was impressed with the display of unity last Sunday at First Energy Stadium, but the display must mark us as equals, if the rest of the nation were to follow. This display of unity must show we don’t support the negative actions of the police, or the unconstitutional takeover of many other nations worldwide. We must be united as one, on an equal platform, without the Men in Blue, or the Men in Camo, standing over us holding the gun.

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