Is Doing it Right?

I remember being taught at home and in the classroom that just because I have the right to do something, I need to think it over – is doing it right?

Even if you’re not an NFL football fan, you have probably heard about the latest football controversy that occurred before the last San Francisco 49ers preseason game. Cameras caught Colin Kaepernick sitting on the bench during the National Anthem. He explained later that he was protesting black oppression in the United States, especially by the police. Social media has predictably reacted with an untold number of tweets, Facebook posts, and editorials for and against his actions. My father and my husband both served in the U.S. Air Force, and many relatives on both sides of the family are veterans. I taught social studies and produced a patriotic Memorial Day assembly for the students at my middle school(s) for years. So I guess you know which side I’m on in this situation. However, I’m just SAD instead of incensed over Kaepernick’s action, because I’ve observed that once again we are divided by racial lines. On Facebook, several of my former students sided with Colin, seeing this country as one that is not a blessing for people who look like them. I taught them and still care about them, so I am conflicted about seeing my view as the “only acceptable ones.”

However, many in the news have no problem stating how they feel:  Donald Trump said, “It is a terrible thing. Maybe he should find another country that works better for him.”     Allen West took Kaepernick to task, citing his white parents, our black, biracial President, the last two Attorneys General, and the current Secretary of Homeland Security who are black, as are many police chiefs and officers. Former 49er player Glenn Coffee was exemplified as an NFL player who chose to leave the football field and its millions to enlist in the U.S. Army and defend our nation instead. And then there’s Philadephia Eagles player, Myke Tavarres, who plans to join Kaepernick and sit during the anthem at his next game. On and on and on it goes . . . and we are divided as a nation. I am reminded of the quote: “United we stand, divided we fall.”

I guess I agree most with what I saw written by Jim Wright, a Navy veteran and writer, who concluded his lengthy post by saying, “If you don’t like what Kaepernick has to say, prove him wrong.  Be the nation he respects. America must be worthy of respect.”

We have a lot of work to do, but I believe we can do it – one person at a time. We have to be a nation that follows the law. However, as a Christian, I know God has all the answers. He will help us come together as we treat others the way we wish to be treated. That’s why it’s called the Golden Rule, not the silver rule.

Sue, Voice II

 

I totally agree with Sue in that we need to speak on behalf of a united nation and not a divided one. We are such a global nation now that we have to look to the good of every citizen in our world and it needs to begin with looking within ourselves. In our book, “One God, Two Voices,” Sue and I have a chapter where we agree to disagree. That is because we see things from our own point of views, upbringings, and experiences.

When I reflect on Kaepernick’s latest actions, I assume that he is expressing himself from a prospective I truly cannot understand. However, if he really wants to sit down due to black oppression, then he should sit down out of a game every time a black on black crime occurs, such as the recent shooting and murder of Dwyane Wade’s cousin. America has and will continue to pay for the sin of slavery, but some African-Americans can’t pick and choose when to cry “foul play.” Either you are for uniting us as a country or you become a part of what continues to divide us as a nation. That is why I strongly disagree with any American dishonoring any historical  symbol of our country. I love our flag, the bald eagle, the Statue of Liberty and the twin towers that were blown to bits and pieces by acts of hate and terrorism. Any disrespect to any symbol upon which the power and principals of our country were built is extremely hard for me to understand or support. Furthermore, the source of exchange  we use almost daily reads, “In God We Trust.” AMEN! Where and how does one separate and divide which symbols of America we keep, toss aside or disregard?

America is still “ONE NATION UNDER GOD,” whether people accept it or not. Our voices stand united as we admonish the Christian community to pray, repent, and continue to heal together as necessary.

Deidre, Voice I

 

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