When Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem I believed that was wrong to do so because the flag deserved our respect and the flag represented our nation. Prior to him and a handful of others doing so I had never heard of him.
When Trump went to the draft board with a fake (his favorite word) letter from a podiatrist attesting to an injury that did not exist I believed that was wrong to do so because those who serve in the military represent our nation and a deceitful action to avoid doing so is wrong.
I am left with weighing the balance when considering the action of Kaepernick when compared to that of Trump. Whose disrespect of the flag is greater – one who kneels when the National Anthem is played; or one who concocts a lie to avoid doing his obligation to a nation
First, I ask what was the purpose behind the action? Was it done to benefit oneself or to benefit others? Was it noble or disnoble? Was it done in the full light of day or under the cover of darkness? Was it done with the knowledge there may be serious consequences to it or knowing that none would follow?
Kaepernick’s action was open, noble, unselfish, purposefully done for the benefit of others, in the face of dire consequences.
Trump’s action was hidden, craven, selfish, done for himself, with no consequences.
Thus Trump’s disrespect for America was a many times worse than Kaepernick’s when considered in that light.
Second, I ask did the action adversely affect another. Kaepernick did not directly or indirectly affect anyone else. Trump’s action may have led to the death of another who because of Trump’s villainous behavior was destined to be taken into the.military and sent to Vietnam to die in combat.
No matter how you twist or turn it Trump’s action defamed and showed the lack of respect for our nation and the flag many times worse than Kaepernick’s.
We would not even be considering this except that Trump has brought it back up. Why? Does he think we forgot about what he did? Or is it he knows that no matter how much worse his actions were his folk will try to point the finger at others to hide them?
I said at the time I believed Kaepernick was wrong. Then the more I thought of it I realized I was wrong to think that way. His action was magnificent. He hurt no one. He profoundly expressed his belief that African-Americans were treated wrongly in America by whites. That the American flag did not deserve his respect until America changed. He did it knowing white America would see that he suffered for expressing his personal belief in such a public arena.
He did suffer. The white team owners like the overseers on the slavery plantation drove him from their fields and ensured he could not exercise his trade again. His fellow brethren stood by silently complicit in the team holders actions thus betraying him.
Kaepernick has suffered since. The NFL owners and players are now recognizing Kaepernick’s cry for help while the Great Hypocrite Trump attacks them as he did before. Had we listened to Kaepernick before perhaps Floyd George’s death may not have occurred. Is this another death we lie at Trump’s feet?