It's Time to Listen
It's been a difficult few weeks. It really does break your heart to watch the coverage of the George Floyd murder and then the subsequent protests and riots. I've had so much to say about the topic, but then I read other's thoughts on race relations in this Country and I came to the realization that it was better to listen then to speak.
The biggest problem in this Country is that we don't take the time to listen to each other. Our politicians are so quick to put us on one side or the other. The truth is they can raise more money if they divide us. Don't let them! You're either a Democrat or a Republican; Black Lives Matter or you support our brave police officers; you can support our military and American Flag or you support those who kneel in protest. Why can't we do both?
I stand for The National Anthem because I am proud to be an American. I'm proud of the sacrifice the brave men and women of the armed forces have made so I can be free. I stand for The National Anthem because despite all that is wrong with America, the United States is the greatest country in the World. The United States is one of the few countries where its citizens have certain rights guaranteed under the constitution such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion. This also includes the freedom to protest.
Yes I stand for The National Anthem because my life experiences are far different from many minorities. When I've been pulled over by officers, I never once feared reaching into my glove compartment to get my insurance or registration. My parents or grandparents were never blasted with fire hoses. I'm not a women denied equal wages even though I perform the same job as my male counterpart; and I'm not a gay man or women who was denied the right to marry the person I love.
The United States of America was founded based upon individuals exercising their right to protest. From the Boston Tea Party to Selma, Americans have been speaking out against oppression. So yes I will stand for the National Anthem but at same time, I will respect the rights of others to protest against what they feel is wrong with America. Patriotism means more than just saluting a flag and singing the National Anthem. It also means listening to others speak (even if you disagree with them), and respecting their rights and freedom to protest.