U.S. National Anthem: Kneel Or Not To Kneel, That Is The Question – By Charles Chuck Rowe

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U.S. National Anthem: Kneel Or Not To Kneel

U.S. National Anthem: Kneel Or Not To Kneel, That Is The Question – By Charles Chuck Rowe

Lets talk about the uproar surrounding the NFL, Colin Kaepernick and those who are choosing to follow his lead along with the equally sanctimonious “other side.”

Colin Kaepernick, choose to kneel during the playing of our National Anthem not stand with his hand over his heart or look forlornly into the distance, massage a football, or do any of the other hundreds of things people ordinarily do at public sporting events. He said he was kneeling to bring attention to what he felt was an issue of interest to him.

Not to judge, but as protest go, his option to kneel, which is tantamount to bowing and is a universally accepted position of reverence, submission and loyalty would have seemed to me like a very lite choice for a protest. Historic research shows that the Kneeling position renders a person defenseless and unable to flee and for that reason, in some religions, in particular Christianity and the Muslim faith kneeling is a position for prayer, demonstrating submission to God.
The term “hind sight is 20/20” comes to mind, a lite choice for a protest, I don’t think so, this protest has set off a firestorm, a rockets red glare of interest with bombs of partisan rhetoric bursting in air. Lines are being drawn in the sand, people are un-friending on Face Book and the leader of the free world has elevated the debate of kneel or not to kneel to a fever pitch making it an ultimatum or litmus test to demonstrate patriotism. Good God, who would have guessed?

Francis Scott Key, who was inspired by the battle at Fort McHenry August 13, 1814, during the war of 1814, wrote the National Anthem. The U.S. wanted to take Canada from Brittan and was ready to fight for it, clearly, the U.S. underestimated the Brits (you might note that to this day Canada is not part of the U.S.) The fight at Fort McHenry, in Baltimore Maryland, just in light of the geography would demonstrate that the Brits were willing to bring the fight to the U.S.

The Brits offered positions in the fight to blacks, including run-away slaves, committing not to send any back into servitude, over 6,000 joined. Many of the 6,000 fought at Fort McHenry, It is hard to say if those 6,000 fought to save the Canadian colony or more specifically fought to be free, maybe both.

The very idea that blacks would pick up arms for freedom was abhorrent to Key and memorialized his distaste of such a protest in his Anthem:
“No refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave and the star spangled banner in triumph doth wave O’re the land of the free and home of the brave”
In light of this, the term “free” and “brave” may resonate just a little differently when I sing or hear our National Anthem.

Francis Scott Key, was a slave holding lawyer from an old Maryland plantation family, who thanks to a system of human bondage had grown rich and powerful. It was key who said, while speaking of the Negro: “a distinct and inferior race of people, which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that afflicts a community.” (it is difficult to hear or read these kinds of words when the reader/listener is the referenced “so-called evil).

Therefore, I again arrive at the hypocrisy of our country, the idea of all men are created equal, inalienable rights, freedom of speech and justice for all, concepts placed in our constitution, our bill of rights and in our collective psyche by less than perfect men, and fought for by more perfect people.

Rights belong to every man, women and child; these rights are inalienable and shall be afforded no matter how uncomfortable it may feel to any individual or group.

Colin Kaepernick has the right to kneel and deserves our effort to protect his right and others to kneel during the National Anthem, conversely the NFL, or any private company, has the right to fire Colin Kaepernick, assuming they do not violate his civil rights or are in conflict with any applicable laws. More importantly, we the people have the right, perhaps even a duty, to peaceably support or protest against either side of the issue we choose.

I suggest that we choose to ramp down the vitriolic speech and choose to ramp up our patriotic understanding of our republic and in that show our patriotism…

Because Chuck Rowe said so!


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