Here we have two pictures. The one on the left came from a sub Reddit called Accidental Renaissance and the one on the right is a famous photo of athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos in the 1968 Olympics.
On the right, we have children who, for good or ill, have been indoctrinated at an early age to feel a certain way about the national anthem. They’ve been told… something. They’ve observed…. something. On the left we have two thoughtful young men making a statement about human rights and solidarity which would later be taken as a show of “Black Power”.
While we might look back on Tommie and John with admiration, we should look at these kids, and this is just my opinion, with pity. While the athletes believed something and were simply showing the solidarity and a connectedness we should all feel, these kids don’t feel that or embody it. Too many times have we seen protests by people who don’t know what they’re even protesting. What did the parents say? “Don’t pledge allegiance to a corrupt and crumbling system that longs to be changed but instead defiantly raise a closed fist, the fist that will one day clutch that system and crush it” or was it more like, “Damn the government. I think I’ll piss on it” or maybe it was more simple than even that.
Do I agree with the pledge in schools? Not really. I don’t think children should have to participate in school prayer or any show of patriotism and I think they both amount to the same thing…. empty gestures. Your relationship with God and your love of country are two things that shouldn’t be questioned in school or in public under any circumstance. But I would ask that children not participating in either be respectful of those who would and that’s what this boils down to.
I agree with the football players who take a knee but I know, understand, and agree with why they’re doing it. I understand it has to do with police violence and not that they’re just crapping on the flag or disrespecting this country. These men, and Tommie and John too are patriots. These children are parrots and the parents should be ashamed.