Solano Stories

United We Stand, Divided We Fall

Written By: Rex Solano - Sep• 11•16

Any which way we look at it or read about it, Colin Kaepernick stance protesting the singing of the national anthem by kneeling instead of standing, given my own personal view is contemptuously wrong. Colin Kaepernick may have his reason by voicing his own opinion with the constitutional rights being conferred or granted to the American people, but to dishonor and disrespect the symbolic freedom of our patriotic flag is as disdained, despicable and ignoble as anyone can imagine. The singing of the Star Spangled Banner in any sports events, concerts and other entertainment functions have been a social and cultural tradition that had been practiced since the time he was not even born to life. What made Colin Kaepernick think that his protest against social injustices and police brutality as he personally claimed by not tending to honor and respect the national anthem will solve social ills and racism that is confronting America today? For me it just does not make any sense at all. Really! Why desecrate the American flag for which our branches of United States military and even our police officers had fought, for our freedom and democracy; to me, this is in itself a travesty and unpatriotic to our own creeds and beliefs for the way we lead our normal life.

If Colin Kaepernick continues his protest by kneeling during the singing of the National Anthem while the rest of the football fans are standing with some placing their right hands on their hearts, then with Colin’s arrogant stance dishonoring and disrespecting the American flag; he just made some people especially the football fan looks like a fool.

But I still do not get his point though. What police brutality and social inequality is he talking about? We all have our constitutional rights, but he must bear in his mind, that our constitutional rights have also its limits. Do we have constitutionally a right to drive speeding in a freeway over the posted speed limit as governed by laws because one is going to be late for work? Or to smoke in any establishment where a no smoking sign is posted and then continue to smoke because one has to satiate his own habits? Or even when a police officer stops a motorist by running a red light, and then when apprehended resisted to cooperate with the cop thereby insinuating police brutality? Colin Kaepernick just totally missed the whole picture. He probably did not know what the American flag stands for. It is a symbol of America’s strength and unity. It beholden us to beam with pride and inspiration, that our brave soldiers had fought for our freedom, liberty, democracy and the pursuit of happiness that million of American people have now come to cherish and embrace for. I may not possess a brilliant mentality as what Colin Kaepernick is trying to infer but I will not follow his stance protesting by kneeling at the singing of Star Spangled Banner because deep in my heart it was absolutely wrong even if he was freely given his constitutional rights of the so called freedom of expression.

I knew and I always believed that America is fair. As a Filipino who came to America in awhile ago, I always have great admiration of how America shapes the lives of its citizens. When I was drafted by the United States Army and eventually assigned to the war torn country of South Vietnam, where during the times the escalation of the war was extremely dangerous, I feared for my life. I asked myself, “What am I doing here?” Either I can go back to the Philippines or become a conscientious objector? But I put aside all those thoughts and fought side by side with American soldiers because I love to live in America; willing to fight, protect and secure the freedom of a great nation even if I had to sacrifice my own life. This is what Colin Kaepernick could have done. Seattle Doug Baldwin once said that “we honor those who have fought for the freedom we cherish. And we stand to assure the riches of freedom and the security of justice for all people. Progress can and will be made only if we stand together.”

But for Colin Kaepernick, however, he took a different stance, making it hard for other people to understand his true gestures, the real reasons behind his advocacy and to justify his personal attacks about country’s injustices and discrimination.

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