Regarding the NFL Controversy

Regarding the NFL controversy, I am tired of racism, mindless jingoism and dishonesty co-opting an important issue and the right to free speech. The protests were about the unfairness, often deadly, with which African-Americans are treated by law enforcement and the justice system in this country. The protests are about that, they show no disrespect to our military. No soldier who gave his life in WWII did so for a flag or a song. They did so because they didn’t want Hitler or Tojo ruling the United States and the world.

I have many issues with our country. I love it’s people, my friends and family, nature, and selfishly that it’s a relatively tolerable democracy for a privileged white man like me. And, it’s where I live. But I am not going to prostrate myself at the feet of a nation whose genesis was slavery, slaughtering Native Americans, oppressing women, relegating them to second citizen status and denying them the right to vote, abominable treatment of generations of immigrants, the Jim Crow era, deeply embedded institutional racism and bigotry, bigotry directed today against Mexicans, Muslims, African-Americans, our colonialist past, hegemony, supporting dictators, and waging immoral wars like Vietnam and Iraq resulted in the deaths of millions. A country that emboldens the wealthy and corporations on the backs of the poor, is sexist, doesn’t care about the elderly and middle class. A country that elected Donald Trump. A country that has no empathy for those in need of quality healthcare.

Embracing the pledge of allegiance, the national anthem and showing respect for a flag that has been co-opted by the right-wing is not what I choose to do. I believe in the promise of this nation and the right to free speech and expression. I want to help make it a better nation, with liberty and justice for all. I also believe that anyone that doesn’t agree with my opinions out there in the cyber universe has the right to do so. Thank you.