Are peaceful protests disrespectful?

By: Grant Goetcheus
Twitter: @goetcheusg

The weekend of Sept. 22nd was an eventful one. On that Friday, President Donald Trump appeared at a campaign rally for US Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.). At that rally, Trump gave a speech stating, “We’re proud of our country, we respect our flag. Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when someone disrespects our flag to say, `Get that son of a bitch off the field right now! Out. He’s fired! He’s fired!’”
That following Sunday, according to ABC News, NFL players, teams and owners across the league responded to President Trump’s criticism of players kneeling by protesting during the national anthem. Some chose to kneel, others locked arms, and the rest chose not to participate in the national anthem ceremony at all.
This protest began last year when Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest racial inequality in America. Since then, the country has been divided about the idea that Kaepernicks’ kneeling was disrespectful to what the flag stands for.

I think that kneeling for the flag is not being disrespectful at all. I mean, why would it be?

According to 36 U.S. Code § 301: National anthem when the flag is displayed
(A) Individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note;
(B) Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute in the manner provided for individuals in uniform; and
(C) All other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart.

Nowhere in the code does it state that individuals must stand on their feet. I do understand, though, that just because it is not wrong to kneel that it might seem disrespectful. And that is what some people are viewing these protests as – disrespectful.

This is a protest and should be treated as such. We have a racial problem in this country that people either don’t want to, or don’t like, talking about it. As a result, we protest to bring awareness to this issue.

Now that people are vowing to stop watching television, companies will begin to lose money. The people running these companies hate losing money so, they will act. I do not know what those actions will be, but I wonder how long it will be until we see them.

I support this protest and believe that there are problems in this country that should be peacefully protested wherever and whenever.

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