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National Anthem Protest Takes America by Storm

Olivia Carter, Sports/Graphic Design Editor

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There is racism in this country, and I will not deny that. People deliberately harm and ostracize one another, and this sickens me. However, mutual respect for our fellow citizens and those who protect this country is a two-way street. Although peaceful protests have played a vital role in history, there is a certain line that must not be crossed, and one of the current protests going on is gravely inappropriate. Before I begin, let me put this out there first; I am in no way condoning the actions of anyone who has behaved with racial hate as their motive. Those who do so deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law and brought to justice. However, in recent events, it seems some Americans are fighting injustice with unpatriotic and tasteless behavior.

A certain professional football player, and we all know who, but quite frankly I do not believe his name deserves to be written in this publication, is currently attempting to make a bold statement by taking a knee during the national anthem. In addition to this, the attention hungry NFL quarterback recently announced that he did not have the decency to vote in the recent presidential election. My blood boils when I see such ignorance and disrespect displayed by people who take their freedom for granted. By doing so, he made his cause totally irrelevant and as a matter of fact, pointless.

When someone kneels for the national anthem, they undermine the freedom that the flag stands for. That flag represents a country where limbs are not cut off if you are accused of stealing. That flag represents a country where women are not stoned to death for showing their face. That flag represents a country where people are not thrown off buildings for having different sexual orientations. The American flag represents all of the soldiers that have made the ultimate sacrifice, and the families who have a yellow ribbon tied around a big oak tree in their front yard. When someone kneels for the anthem, they disrespect every single soldier who has come home with the flag draped over their lifeless body.

The national anthem recognizes the unity that our country and flag represent. When a man or woman gives their life for this country, you only see the flag. You cannot tell if they are White, African American, Asian, or Hispanic.  The fact of the matter is that people of all ethnicities have given their life for our country. Freedom is something we, as Americans, should be eternally grateful for, and we should not take it for granted by using our “freedom of speech” out of context. Fight for what you believe in and stand up against wrongdoing, but do not scorn the flag that gave you the right to do so. Unless you are willing to put on a uniform, you should stand up and show respect for those who protect you every day, no matter if you are an NFL star or a high school student. Not standing for the national anthem is unnecessary, inexcusable, and quite frankly embarrassing to the United States of America.

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The student news site of Lake Brantley High School
National Anthem Protest Takes America by Storm