You Do Not Have To Be Patriotic! (And Other Fun Takeaways from the Kaepernick Kerfuffle)
Nathan Rabin
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Words Mean Things

“Patriotism”, according to Webster’s means “love for or devotion to one’s country.” I would say that one must be “patriotic”, but that “patriotism” has come to mean anything but “love for or devotion to one’s country”. It now means “mindless adherence to a specific set of beliefs or values, which are often used to marginalize large segments of the population.”

We’re all Americans. Our ancestors weren’t the cream of the crop wherever it is we came from. Whether it was Africans who were hunted down, rounded up on ships, sailed across the ocean, and forced to chop cotton in the Mississippi Delta, or any number of persecuted religious or political minorities in their country of origin, we weren’t “the in crowd” wherever it is we came from.

The right to dissent by written word or speech, to assemble to dissent, to tell our government we dissent — that’s the heart and soul of this Nation. There is no greater act of Patriotism than dissent.

When Jefferson and others assembled in Philadelphia 240 years ago, they weren’t “going along”. They told the British Crown they dissented.

But then they did something about it. It has taken 240 years to get to this place where we are today, but dissent and reasoned action has always been a part of this country. The true patriots in this present dust-up are the people who are taking a knee and saying “this is wrong.” I only hope that when they get up off that knee they go out and do something to make this a “more perfect union” and one in which the words “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” are truer for their actions than they were the day before this started. THAT is Patriotism, and that is the obligation of every American.