#TakeAKnee: Colin Kaepernick Is An American Patriot

Rather than unpatriotic, what Colin Kaepernick is doing is the height of patriotism. By refusing to stand for the national anthem, he is exercising the very liberty and freedom enshrined in symbols like the American flag, the values upon which this country was founded and for which we fought the Revolutionary War. Requiring everyone to engage in certain rituals and express unconditional fealty to American icons and symbols is the opposite of freedom and liberty, the democratic ideals our military is all over the world promoting and fighting for every day. It’s the values underneath the symbols, not the symbols themselves, that matter most. Kaepernick is merely shining a light on longstanding hypocrisy when it comes to race and the emptiness of symbolism compared to reality, and asking this country to live up to its founding principles. Loyalty oaths were outlawed decades ago. Yet, Black people and people of color are always required to prove our patriotism, loyalty, and commitment to America, as if we should be grateful for just being invited to the party irrespective of how we are treated while there. Our citizenship is tenuous at best and always on the verge of being revoked. One “false” move is all it takes.