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The Flag

2017 November 22

This past Sunday, I made it to a Packers game at Lambeau Field for the first time. After living in Wisconsin for almost four years and never going, I jumped at the chance to finally visit the storied stadium.

As part of scoring the tickets (thanks Raff!), we also got the opportunity to be part of the pregame ceremonies on the field. We were to help hold the giant American flag during the anthem.

Getting to go on the field was awesome, but I was somewhat conflicted about the flag part. I thought about the protests that Colin Kaepernick started and other players have taken up. I support their cause and had a fleeting idea of kneeling as well.

I ended up standing, but the experience really made me feel how hard it must have been and continues to be for players to kneel during the anthem. They are risking backlash and their profession and livelihoods to make a powerful statement against police brutality and racial inequality.

Let’s face it. The history of America is a history of racism.

The mistreatment of African Americans and minorities by police officers is just another blip in that pattern. There are people who criticize the players’ protest during the anthem as disrespectful to the flag and to the country. But to me, they are really just trying to use their power to once again reinforce their place in society.

As I’ve learned, pretty much everything relates to power dynamics.

The purpose of protest is to bring awareness and action that leads to change. It is silly to tell someone that the way they’re protesting is disrespectful.

The flag means what you want it to mean. If you’re focused on the flag, then you’re missing the entire point of the protest. Think about the why¬†and you’ll start to see.

“If peaceful protests did nothing, the powerful wouldn’t try so hard to silence them.”

#TakeAKnee

 

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