President Obama’s Insult To Americans: The Kaepernick Folllies:

First_Iwo_Jima_Flag_RaisingColin Kaepernick, the woman soccer player Megan Rapinoe, and the other athletes who show their disrespect for the American flag by sitting or kneeling when our national anthem is being played as a form of protest can be excused perhaps because of their ignorance. But how do you give President Obama a pass?

Here is what is reported that he said about Kaepernick. “When it comes to the flag and the national anthem, and the meaning it holds for the men and women in uniform, and those who’ve fought for us, that is a tough thing for them to get past to then hear what his deeper concerns are.”

That begs the questions “what about you, Mr. President?” and “what about the other American people who respect our flag?”

Apparently Obama has no trouble with disrespecting our flag. When you wonder what has happened to our nation then you have the answer right there. We have a leader who cannot stand up to and condemn a person who disrespected it.

Obama did not stop there. He went on to say: ”I don’t doubt his sincerity.”

What has that got to do with it?

He continued: “I think he cares about some real, legitimate issues that have to be talked about. If nothing else, he’s generated more conversation about issues that have to be talked about.”  He went on to say a little later: “Maybe some of his critics will start seeing that he had a point about concerns about justice and equality. That’s how we move forward.”

Obama doesn’t understand the critics are aware of his concerns but they don’t want to discuss them with him, a person who disrespected our flag.

It was interesting to see that the NY Times noted that the most popular comment of the week was one to the article on Kaepernick’s refusal to stand. Elisabeth King wrote: “The very thing the makes America great is our right to free expression, but don’t try to use it or you will be called un-American.” She is apparently suggesting there is something wrong in that response.

Do you for one instance think that if I said: “Transgender people who seek to exert their right to free speech should be imprisoned and tortured” – which is my right to free expression – I would not be roundly and rightly condemned and called un-American?  

King’s comment is the meme being used to support Kaepernick. He has the right to free speech. Anything he does or says is fine. Of course that is true but it has no relation to the matter at hand. No one suggests Kaepernick does not have the right to do what he did; but on the other hand I have the right to call it un-American and condemn his actions.

Kaepernick of mixed racial parentage is protesting America’s treatment of African-Americans; Rapinoe who is white said in answer to why she did it that:”Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties.” I had difficulty understanding what deprivations the gays presently suffer. She certainly hasn’t been denied any liberties.

She went on: “It was something small that I could do and something that I plan to keep doing in the future and hopefully spark some meaningful conversation around it.” What discussion has not been had about gay rights? It has been in the forefront of our conversations since 1969 with the Stonewall incidents.

She then noted: “It’s important to have white people stand in support of people of color on this.” She does not explain why white people have to support a person of color who decides to disrespect our flag.

How it is important to support any person, one of color or not, disrespecting our flag is beyond me? How many do you think would rise to the defense of a protester kneeling down who explains he is protesting because his taxes are too high? Will it be important to support him?

How it is that Obama forgets he is the commander-in-chief of the military. Shouldn’t Kaepernicks’s disrespect for the flag have the same meaning for him as it does for those who served and are serving in the military? That it doesn’t is telling. He apparently feels little affinity with them.

He tells how he can easily get past it and engage in listening to Kaepernick’s deeper concerns. What are we to take from that? Is it that those in the military and those who fought for us are some sort of block heads? Are they not intelligent enough to accept that Kaepernick’s insult to our flag and national anthem must be met by a deeper conversation?

The matter is not a matter of right but one of respect. When Obama enters a room people stand to show their respect. If someone sat would he then want to engage in a deeper discussion with that person? When judge enters a court or a priest enters to say a Mass, or a minister to take the pulpit, or a rabbi to intone the prayer’s the people stand out of respect for the person and the office. No one has to stand but if one doesn’t he must expect that most of the other attendees will have little brook with him and not want to engage in a conversation over his “deeper concerns.”

As a Marine the flag is an object of high respect. In raising it and lowering it we knew it should never touch the ground. We know of stories of people dying to keep from being soiled. We joined knowing we might have to put our lives on the line for what it represents.

Our great symbol is that of the flag being raised on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima by  Marines and Navy corpsmen. That island battle took the lives of 7,000 Marines. They died so others may live freely and speak freely and even show their disrespect of that flag that gave so many of them hope in the dark days fighting the Japanese. They did not fight and die for us to fail to exercise our right to condemn those who do not honor the flag and their sacrifice. Obama’s wishy washy response to the insult to our flag diminishes the sacrifice of those Marines.

46 thoughts on “President Obama’s Insult To Americans: The Kaepernick Folllies:

  1. Matt
    I called Harry Cooper a few weeks ago
    and invited him to speak in New England
    He is a WW1 WW2 submarine historian.
    Ronald Reagan was a lifetime member
    of his group Shark hunters, along with
    US and German military officers
    His new book details Hitler’s escape to
    Argentina at the end of WW2 with the help of
    the US Government

  2. I didn’t accuse the man of committing patriotism and of course we are free to scorn the act. I said that when these distasteful, troublesome acts occur, we should be inspired by the fact that they are protected, not from derision, but from prohibition.

    1. Hutch: we are inspired that our government does not prohibit anti-American speech or anti-American expressions. I remember many Vietnam Veterans against the war marched behind the American flag (see 1969 D.C. protests) or wore American flags on their arms. Some flags replaced the stars with the peace sign. Some held the flag upside down. A few burned the flag. Many condemned the flag burners.
      2. What CK did was unique: In the spotlight of national television before an audience of millions, he drew attention solely to himself, and away from the National Anthem. There was something especially repugnant about that. It was akin to the public burning of the flag, but worse. For some reason, it invoked in my mind those anti-war protesters who appeared at Vet’s funerals.

    1. What is there in your comment to refute anyway? Before the law there should only be citizens, not groups and race. I used to ask what I had to do to prove I was black if I checked that box on a federal form to get the extra benefits. All I was told was that in order to be ‘black’ I had to ‘share cultural ideals.’ Does that mean listening to rap music?

      How do you prove you are black or have black heritage, if asked? Or 1/16th Cherokee for that matter? My grandmother may have been African-American but she’s long dead. What race is Kaepernick anyway?

      As for the police, the militarization of the police in the US is something to very much regret.

  3. The two sports figures “sitting out” the national anthem are exercising their rights. Period. All the speculation on the state of their psyche or careers is beside the point. Only the NFL can discipline CK, and they won’t.

    Huge over-reaction here. The sky has not fallen just two public figures putting it on the line for what they believe in. Of course, if an average black man sat for the NA, it would go unremarked. That’s why it is important that nationally recognized figures make these gestures; headlines, commentary, predictable outrage.

    If you don’t think these folks are taking a chance with their careers, please reread the above comments, both for tone and thoughtfulness. Making the citizenry lose their marbles over your conduct is rarely a career enhancer. (Trump notwithstanding.)

    I love my country, but I hate mandatory patriotism. Or piety. At the start of a Portland Sea Dogs game last week, we were all commanded to stand and uncover for the anthem. Of course. Why not? I love baseball AND America!

    Then, mid-7th inning (I believe): “Everyone please rise and remove your cap for ‘God Bless America!'” When did this start? What’s next? America the Beautiful and This Land is Your Land sprinkled among the innings?

    Alright, already! I love my country but it seems like there is an ongoing contest to see who can come up with the Most (Real)American Super Patriotic Tribute ™ and woe unto he who somehow forgets or neglects his obeisance.

    First the Christian Taliban, and now the Patriotic Taliban, spring up to suppress vice, promote virtue and ensure that anyone who, you know, actually exercises any right not involving a gun, gets excoriated for it.

    It’s called “peaceful protest for the redress of alleged grievances” or some such. ALL of the alternatives to this have been proven historically to be pretty vile.

    1. Jeff:

      A few rejoinders or points. We do judge the actions of a person by the postion that they hold. If President Obama decided to sit while the national anthme was playing are we to not think or say anything about it other than to suggest he has a right to do it. It is part of our rights to object to people who do not show respect to our flag during the time it is called for which is during the national anthem. The higher the profile of the person doing it the greater will be the outrage because people in those positions are supposed to be examples for others. One thing you would expect from them is they act respectfully.

      I don’t buy the idea I love my country except ….. and because of that I will disrespect the flag. In doing that you are showing that your love is conditonal which is not love when it is based on contingencies.

      No one is requiring Kaepernick to stand. The outrage is because he did not do it. No one has said he must stand in the future or not exercise his right not to stand. But that does not mean they have to respect him or approve of it. Of course, if you do not respect a person for his actions, or even for what he says, then it will affect his future prospects as it should. If someone tells me all Irishmen are drunks he should not be heard to complain that I refused to give him a ride home. Basic physics: action and reaction. You want to OK the action and then condemn the reaction.

      A long time ago right after I got out of serving three years in the Marines I came home and ended up at a wedding reception. Half way through it someone decided to play God Bless America. I remained seated since I looked at those who were standing and singing the loudest as people I knew had ducked the draft with all sorts of excuses. I am against forced patriotism and do not see that there is connection between that and showing respect by standing during the national anthem.

      We all understand peaceful protest. It does not follow that we have to agree with those who are protesting. This issue is simple – did Kaepernick show disrespect to the flag by not standing. I believe he did. Should he be called out for it. I believe he should. Is it much ado about nothing because if one of the hoi polloi did it no one would care, I think not. Those in prominent positions have more influence than the rest of us and when they set a bad example they should be called upon it.

      1. well, even if Kaepernick does have a “prominent position,” I am wondering since when did NFL football games become forums for politics.

        Oh, wait – the NFL, all on its own, did that with the “cause of the week,” from pink ribbons to whatever the latest cause is.

        Personally, I was pissed when the NFL didn’t ban Michael Vick for life for his horrible abuse of dogs.

        Personally, I was pissed when the Vikings suspended Adrian Petersen for an entire season, for spanking his own kid.

        Personally, I am wondering why all of a sudden a football player like Kaepernick “becomes a spokesman” – for whom? He’s certainly not a spokesman for me.

        But I am extremely happy that he takes an ass, because he lambasted Billary Rotten Klinton for her emails. So maybe he is a spokesman for me after all, as far as Billary’s emails are concerned.

        As far as Rapinoe – I am wondering why anyone needs to know that she is gay, and why the only way she can talk about being gay is to disrespect the national anthem and the US flag.

      2. Hi Matt,

        I hope you and yours are well.

        Most of the commenters here understand the 1st Ammendment does not shield the speaker from social or cultural opprobrium, only from most legal consequences. “Let him speak, then let him have it” you might say.

        One of the hidden benefits of Decision2016(tm) is that everyone suddenly feels free to put all their cards on the table and just say whatever happens to pop into mind. No political correctness (or civility, for that matter) need edit the output. It can be cathartic and entertaining, for sure, but it leads to demonizing the opposition and creating an environment where a Trump or a Duterte or an Erdogan sees a path to power. I have been surprised at the vitriol expressed even by friends and acquaintances during this horrible election marathon. PC did have it’s benefits, but it’s best sometimes just to hear them speak their true minds, no matter how that affects your opinion of your fellow voters.

        Also: “I love my country. But,…” Is our only path to improvement.

        This IS the greatest country. We have done more for the world than most any. I would not wish to live anywhere but OUR America. But I know there are many things we can improve. We are a work in progress, which implies that we can get better at being best. I hate that even the most constructive criticism is met with contempt, hostility and the questioning of patriotism (you know, by the Real Americans).

        I love my kids unconditionally. But I corrected their actions when needed and set goals for them to meet. If they fell short; if they failed; I still loved them just as unconditionally. But we had responsibilities as parents to civilize our offspring in every meaning of the word.

        I feel that same way about the US. It is our duty to point out failings, argue them rationally and then work together to improve the country Trump insinuates is no longer great.

        Thanks for writing the blog. It’s a fun read.


  4. * its meaning and worth transcend any burnings, pointed disrespect as it waves during the Anthem, or whatever other abuse and invective roil round it from the discontented existentialists among us .

  5. Colin Kaepernick is suffering . If he was not suffering he would not behave this way. Accolades, money, fame, and attention are provisional fixes that ease, but do not solve the inescapable affliction : The agonized awareness that nothing halts death, nothing halts self-awareness of a seemingly ” God Rigged ” game where the House always, inevitably, eternally , and ineluctably wins

    So, my empathy and compassion for the emotional, and honestly protesting against the rules of a game he had zilch to do with writing, Mr. Kaepernick, remain intact . The Flag is a symbol long since impervious to desecration. It’s meaning and worth transcend any burnings, pointed disrespect as it waves during the Anthem, or whatever other abuse and invective roil round it from the discontented existentialists among us . Like Colin Kaepernick, their angst and their nausea ultimately has nothing to do with the Flag or the Anthem or ginned up scapegoating of the sentries standing on the ‘ Thin Blue Line. ” It is a desperation at the hand they are dealt at the great cosmic card game that terrifies them. It is the certain knowledge that senescence and death are the green felt field upon which those stacked chips lay that turns their ” screw the other guy Drive. ” They are ” the other guy. ” Don’t Embarrass The Family . 🙂

    1. Amazingly, I agree. (I think). If our beliefs are really true and strong, Kaepernick is little more than a washed-up quarterback working out his career frustrations. No big deal. Small beer. Whatever.

      But it says something about the fragility of our beliefs if we’re thrown into rage and turmoil by a pre-season kneel down.

  6. People are funny—they swoon in ecstasy over the freedoms of American republicanism but if the exercise of those freedoms touch an emotional nerve, they condemn the offender with the oldest slur in the book—question his patriotism.

    Don’t write him off as misguided or fatuous or simply dumb….no he/she is “Unamerican”. These self-proclaimed super-patriots have reversed the telescope. These guardians of what is right and holy for the U.S. should celebrate these acts as a demonstrative display of the strength of our experiment.

    Years ago I asked Bill C. (coincidentally during the flag-burning controversy) why is it that free-speech cases seem to pop-up all the time. His succinct reply explained that the founding fathers recognized that speech was the most important of our rights and that without protection, all others would fall. That is why the put it first in the Bill of Rights.

    “We can only maintain those rights we are willing to defend”. (I don’t know who said it}. So, let these demonstrations occur–no matter how ridiculous you may find them. They dramatize our freedoms.

    1. Hutch: we have the right to burn the flag, and we have the right to resoundingly condemn those who show disrespect for the flag. Kaepernick is not being patriotic; he’s being disrespectful; Moreover he’s drawing excess attention to himself. Venality!

    2. Unlike Russ:

      You must not confuse exercising rights with the response to exercising them. I do one suggests that Kaepernick has not right to protest. I do say I have a right to criticize him for doing so. So do others. To try to flip the equation by saying Kaepernick is exercising his right so others must sit back and accept it is to take away from others their rights.

      The rights of others is also to suggest that his refusal to show respect for the flag is un-American. Our president wants us to believe it is very American like to sit down while the national anthem plays because it is a form of protest intended to start a conversation. Others believe it is highly un-American to do so. Are they to be scorned because they question his patriotism. Do you celebrate things you find offensive just because a person is acting within his rights?

      If someone exercising his First Amendment rights did not like some of Russ’s actions and called for Russ to be tortured would you celebrate this as “a demonstrative display of the strength of our experiment” or would rise to Russ’s defense and feel less toward the person making that statement.

      You mention Bill C. He was one of the lawyers responsible for upholding the rights of the veteran organizers of the St. Patrick’s parade in South Boston to determine who would march in their parade. That was one of the rights they had. Did that stop the news media and judges from treating them like some sort of scurvy; weren’t they called bigots and haters when they exercised their rights; didn’t every judge except on in Massachusetts seek to deprive them of those rights? That was an example much worse than the Kaepernick situation where he is allowed to exercise his rights but is being criticised for doing so – the veteran organizers were not allowed to excercise their rights in the first place.

      Freedom of speech is a two-way street. You say something bad about a person he can say something bad back to you. You do something a person does not like he can tell you how he feels. You deeply offend a person exercicsng your rights he can have nothing to do with you afterwards. Here we agree Kaepernich has a right to sit; you must agree that people have a right to question his patriotism.

  7. Great reply, Doug. Now, we have something important to discuss. A little agitation is always necessary to stir things up.

    Bill: If you understood what a revisionist is, you wouldn’t call me that.

    Elmer: I had worried you’d spent yourself defending Ukrainian fascism, it’s good to see you back. You have a genuine talent for insult that only an education could improve.

    1. Khalid, I understand all too well the mindset of those who who deliberately distort history to suit their anti-American biases. You are rightly labelled a historical revisionist. Your hatred of America is palpable. Your hatred blinds you to the true history of this great country.
      2. “Revisionist” is not such a difficult word to understand.
      3. Khalid, stop pretending you’re better “educated” than the rest of us.

    2. Khalid:

      I am reminded of someone who once said: “Let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice.”

  8. Matt:

    Most of your columns are right on the money. In this case, your focus is blurred and prompts me to post my December 2014 column below, which came to pass.

    Is this conduct of “disrespect” or is Kaepernick using his status to do what hundreds of millions of Americans are unable to do? We no longer have a voice in America – we have been shut out.

    Based on my five decades of experience in racial matters, equal opportunity and Title VII, it’s as I said, discrimination is a multi-trillion dollar business in America and ensures that the racial divide is alive and well, with no end in sight. It’s, perhaps, the biggest con game in America designed to do what it does.

    “Royal black elitists” have a vested interest in racially dividing America. After they got theirs they stopped giving a damn and found out that ending discrimination would “ruin a good thing.”

    The sad news is that good police everywhere must accept the consequences of cowardly conduct, bad judgement and poor leadership.

    Here’s my column. All rebuttals, responses and especially criticisms are welcome. However, please remember one important fact: Working poor and middle class are the groups who pay for discrimination in both monetary and collateral damage.

    Best regards.

    by Douglas Kinan – December 30, 2014

    Any reasonable person knows that front-line police have one of the most difficult and dangerous, if not the most difficult and dangerous job in society. They place their lives on the line every working minute of every working day, never knowing if they’re going home, to the hospital or to the morgue.

    Because of a few “bad apples” front-line police across America are getting slammed.

    Keeping the police in the cross hairs is for the worst of all reasons: politics, money, budgets, greed, ego and cowardice.

    Essentially and unfortunately, two mishandled grand jury decisions and spinmeisters for profit have resulted in police now becoming “scapegoats” and “sitting ducks.”

    In a Dec. 28, New York Post editorial (“Holder and Obama are making race relations worse, inflaming hatred”) David Clarke, the black sheriff of Milwaukee said, “Law-enforcement officials are appalled at the way the Obama administration exploited tragedies in Ferguson, Mo., and New York City to appeal to its political base. … They trashed an entire profession with a broad brush because it was politically expedient for them to do so.”

    The Al Sharpton’s, the Rudy Giuliani’s, the various talking head spinners and those newspaper editors who selectively report (or remain silent) on the slanted side without telling about the “who” and the “what” is not the fix that is needed.

    Based on my direct knowledge, the United States Department of Justice’s (DOJ”) role in perpetuating the racial divide in America is huge and for some strange and unexplainable reason, the DOJ is determined to keep it that way.

    “Racial pimps”, hucksters and “talking heads”, are the professional flamethrowers of racial hate and divide in America and make a handsome living at it.

    As to the media’s role, it now seems that Rudy Giuliani and Al Sharpton have one thing in common: Keeping the police in the news, almost daily.

    Message to Sharpton and Giuliani: It’s not the police. It’s a “few bad apples.”

    The collateral effect of this racial divide rolls over to all Americans, but most white Americans, especially the few that see only color, seem to be unaware of this fact.

    America is focusing on the wrong issue. There will be no change unless and until people start talking about “what” and “who” causes the racial divide in America.

    Until and unless the United States Department of Justice takes proper and appropriate measures to remove “bad apples” from the Justice Department and get serious about wanting to fix the racial divide in America, as Harvard professor and former federal judge Nancy Gertner writes in her Nov.25, Boston Globe op-ed, “There will be more Fergusons.”

    The author, Douglas K. Kinan, is a Viet Nam Era veteran, a former DoD EEO Specialist and Black Employment Program Manager, former Human Resources Director, a retired sworn and commissioned officer of the Massachusetts Trial Court, a public service Community Advocate and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Boston State Hospital project representing the six areas of impact, Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain and Roslindale.

  9. I think Kaepernick’s protest would have been far effective if his career wasn’t imploding. Am I wrong in saying that Kaepernick stood for every single National Anthem while his NFL star was on the rise? That said, I agree with Obama. Kaepernick as the right to take a knee.

    1. I beg to correct you, DanC – Kaepernick is taking an ass, not a knee. Rapine is taking a knee.

      I have yet to see a clear articulation of what it is that Kaepernick is taking an ass for. And I agree with you, Matt – I, too, have trouble seeing what deprivation of rights there has been for Ms. Rapine.

      The fact that Obamatollah, a self-important little moron, an “educated” idiot, hates this country should be no surprise to anyone by this time. His religion, his god is “climate change.” Don’t dare question “climate change.”

      1. I’d give it a rest, Henry. You are citing the total number of Civil War dead, and you seem to have forgotten the fact that 285,000 of the fallen died fighting for the Confederacy and slavery. (Many believe the total number of Civil War dead is much higher, 750,000. )

        1. DanC:

          Please read my comment again. It does NOT include Confederate war dead.

          Actually, the most recent statistics are these below: (Time-Life Books: The Civil War series, as reprinted)

          Federal Army Casualties:

          Total casualties, 1861 to 1865


          Confederate Army Casualties:

          Total casualties, 1861 to 1865


          1. Wrong again, Henry. Evidently you don’t ever remember what you said: “Khalid, that flag was also flown over the bloody battlefields where 620,000 mostly white men and women died to free the ancestors of Mr Kaepernick from slavery.”

            Yup, that includes the Confederate war dead.

            Now you’re using casualty figures, which include both the dead AND the wounded, in a lame attempt to prove you didn’t screw up. You did screw up and you continue to do so.

      2. Elmer:

        We disagree on lots of things but fortunately in the spirit of America we do so civilly. I do not agree with you that Obama hates this country. However I must say that it pains me to have to agree that his actions in failing to condemn Kaepernick’s sitting down during the playing of the national anthem adds a little proof to your statements about Obama not appreciating what this country is about.

        1. Matt, I lost count of the number of times that there have been calls for various politicians to “distance” themselves from something or other, or from statement or other.

          The flag and the national anthem deserve respect – always.

          And the prez of the US should always stand up for the US, the flag and the national anthem.

          At the very, very least, Obummer should be distancing himself from Kaepernick sitting on his ass, not “understanding” why he does it, especially when Kaepernick has not articulated anything.

          And if Obummer supports Killery, since Kaepernick has also lambasted the Hildebeast, he should also distance himself from Kaepernick for that reason – at the very least.

    2. Dan:

      I suggest if his career was not in a tailspin he would not have done it. He’s obviously unhappy and showing disrespect for our nation’s flag during the playing of the national anthem is just another way to show it.

      I do not suggest he has no right to sit or kneel during the national anthem. He does not however have the right to do so without suffering consequences for his actions if people consider them wrong. I have a right to use the “N” word but if I did I hope people would criticise me for doing it. Obama was wrong in not criticizing him for showing disrespect for the flag.

  10. Free speech? Try publicly questioning the ‘facts’ of the holocaust against the Jews, or even, God forbid, doubting the dogma of ‘climate change.’

    And watch how fast your career, if you have one, circles the drain.

    Sure there is free speech, but, like everything, there are consequences.

    1. Henry: 1. Some nuts said the Moon Landings were “staged.” 2. No serious historian questions the Holocaust (millions of Jews killed; Nazi policy of genocide). 3. Climate change is generally accepted, but some scientists do question its extent and man’s contribution to it, and do question proposed policies and “solutions”. Gore engaged in hysterics. 4. Scientific consensus is sometimes wrong; in the 1970s, some were predicting a new Ice Age. 4. It’s true, though, that some academic leftists are threatening “free speech”. 5. Opposing views are good: for example, it seems, according to Seymour Hersch, that the Al Nusra rebels not Assad used Sarin Gas in Syria.

    2. Henry:

      Absolutely right. There are some subjects can that can send you off into oblivion even though you have a right to say them. Look at Mel Gibson and his drunken statements stupidly made against the Jews. His career crashed badly as it should have done. Even his intoxication was not accepted as a mitigation. You have a right to do things but there is no right to be free from the consequences of your acts as you properly note.

  11. “Old Gory” means different things to different people. During the later part of the VN war, the national rag was flown up-side down, pissed on, burned, and, worn on the ass-end of blue jeans. It was execrated as the symbol of an unpopular government and its’ disastrous policy in SE Asia. Today, for millions of people around the world, it is the banner of genocide. The Stars and Stripes proudly wave over drone strikes, water-boarding, Gitmo, and, Abu Graib. Likewise, stateside, people of color, and, other, minorities, see the rag waving over prisons and police stations. The Red, White, and, Blue, seems complicit in their oppression.

    1. Khalid, that flag was also flown over the bloody battlefields where 620,000 mostly white men and women died to free the ancestors of Mr Kaepernick from slavery.

      No other country has ever sacrificed so much to abolish slavery.

      1. Henry:

        Those sacrifices made by this country during the 1860s and the two world wars are easily forgotten. I’d hate to see what the world would look like without America.

    2. Khalid, your views are warped; you write like a true American-hating, historical-revisionistic jihadi. The number of people who disrespected the flag, even during Vietnam, was miniscule, a handful of leftist anarchists.
      2. Throughout history, Americans have fought to extend freedom to others. The US has made mistakes (Vietnam, Libya, etc.) but saved Europe, Philippines, East Asia (WWII) South Korea, Eastern Europe (collapse of Soviet Empire) and currently assists many countries in Asia and Africa etc, economically, etc.
      3. Minorities in America have more opportunities, more freedoms and more economic well being than almost anyplace else on earth. Yes, there is work to be done and policies to be opposed, but the US historically and today is viewed by most of the world (except the jihadis) as a liberator: the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    3. Khalid:

      Sure America has its faults but it is far an away the only nation that is keeping what remains of civilization alive. As a human institution it will of necessity have its imperfections. The American flag was desecrated during the Vietnam times so often that young men who were drafted into the service and forced to fight also were subject to ill treatment. It seems one has a choice – you can do what your nation asks of you or not. Those men who answered the call deserved to be honored; unfortunately, those who fled and schemed wrongly to avoid serving became the heroes.

      You fool yourself when you write like this. America is the place where many seek to come and live freely. It is only the “banner of genocide” by those who would do us harm. Are we not to fight back with drones against Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. Our killing of civilians is an accidental by-product of killing those who would kill us. Think of how many more civilians have been murdered by Al Qaeda and the Islamic State than by anything the US has done.

      America is what has held back the onslaught of dictators around the world and allowed most people to live free. It is our navy that protects the seas. It is our air force that keeps the skies free and open. Its flag deserves to be respected by its people during the playing of the national anthem.

      1. Matt:

        Did you mean dictators who object to US hegemony, as opposed to dictators who don’t?

        The largely innocent Afghani and Paki tribesmen on the receiving end of US fire-power, see US military activities as genocidal. There’s a lot of collateral damage. For every targeted person destroyed, drones and aircraft, kill unacceptable numbers of innocent people who happen to be in the blast area. It’s like sowing dragons’ teeth. For every mujahid killed, ten rise up to fill his/her place. Aerially punishing the innocent to raise the general level of terror in restive tribal communities is a bad policy.

        Overseas, in what used to be known as the third world, the US military is seen as the enforcement arm of corporate America. Foreign folks’ attitudes regarding the American neo-liberal neo-colonialist project are often very unfavorable. A lot of that dissatisfaction has to do with the predatory nature, and, extractive schemes, of US multinationals operating in their respective nations.

        American corporate greed is legendary, both at home, and, abroad.

        1. Khalid:

          Europe has seen peace since WWII because of America. The free nations of the world are free because of America. The largely innocent Afghani is not enslaved by the Taliban because of America. When your enemy sets up operations in civilian areas unfortunately innocent civilians have to die to ferret out the enemy as we saw in WWII. The tribes of Afghanistan and Pakistan should not provide refuge for America’s enemies. If they have no choice then our killing of those enemies is freeing those people who are otherwise suffering under them.

          I do not believe those poor third world people are suffering because of Americann multi-nationals. Their real suffering comes from their leadership and the lack of right they have in their country. I have recently been abroad and the talk of American multi-nationals controlling things is highly overblown.

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