There is large controversy with athletes across the nation protesting the National Anthem, but are Brenau athletes/students willing to join the “fight”? There is no doubt that our country has its injustices, but how far are you willing to go to take a stand, or maybe even kneel. Pro-athletes such as ex-San Francisco 49ers player, Colin Kaepernick, and Malcolm Jenkins from the Philadelphia Eagles have both publicly refused to stand for a country and support a flag that oppresses people of color.
The question is, how far are the athletes/students of Brenau willing to go? Being a school of diversity, our opinions on this situation matter, our rights matter and our students matter. Do some students feel as if it’s disrespectful? Our soldiers fought for us for many years, our country has tried its best to protect us from rival countries, are we neglecting their courageous decisions? Do some students feel the complete opposite, being that our country’s history contains slavery, segregation, oppression, or hatred; maybe the fact that we are still living in oppression and hatred?
After speaking to some of my peers, some of them feel as though “our country has disrespected people of color for years, our ‘equal rights’ have been jeopardized, and this country is against ‘all lives matter’, so why should we?”
Our right to kneel is our freedom of expression. There is no mandate for citizens to stand during the national anthem. However, we should respect our soldiers and the freedom that was given to us. Though, we continue to fight for justice that has yet to be gifted to us. Many schools across the nation have said no to protesting, threatening to punish any student who will do so, taking away their right to express how they feel. Choose what you want to do! Below, I’ve decided to share some reasons to stand for our country’s anthem, but also some reasons not to:
- Our country fails to live up to its ideal. Justice for “all”? Land of the “free”? Instances of police brutality, social injustices, modern day racial injustices, and unequal freedom is why we protest.
- It is a peaceful way to protest.
- It is a way of exercising your constitutional right, which is the freedom of expression.
…or not to kneel?
- Most feel as if it is pure disrespect to those that fought for our country over the years.
- It will definitely and always be an argument.
- You should stand out of respect for your school/facility if their no means no.
The question is, what is Brenau willing to do? What will be our voice in this fight? How will our fellow students and athletes stand for what’s right? As a community, what will we decide to do? While thinking of your answer, keep in mind those who died for inequality, racism and oppression. Also, consider those who march, those who make sacrifices for you to have a voice and those who fight and protect our country to make it a better place.