Unfair to military
As the proud father of a son currently serving in the United States Air Force, I was totally offended by comments made in the recent column by Michael Rivage Seul, “Boos for NFL player rooted in pro-war brainwashing,” concerning the reactions of fans to Colin Kaepernick.
While I was upset about many of his views, I question his claim that the military is made up of “under-educated” personnel.
My son received a full Air Force ROTC scholarship to attend the University of Kentucky. Upon his graduation he was selected for pilot training and currently serves as an instructor pilot. I supposed by Rivage-Seul’s observation, that if my son and the other men and women serving weren’t part of the “desperate under-educated surplus workforce,” they would never have achieved anything.
I hope that should the professor find himself at a public event where the national anthem is played, a flag displayed and members of the military standing by that he would exercise his right to take a knee. From there he can kiss the boots of the great men and women of the military who serve to protect his rights.
9/11 wrong time for protest
As a veteran and former cop from a family of veterans and first responders, I was angered by the NFL players’ refusal to honor our American flag and the National Anthem on Sept. 11.
I have a proven track record of believing in the right of free speech to legally protest on issues of great importance. I wrote a book on it literally and figuratively speaking.
However, there is an appropriate time and place for protesting, and to do this on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks was, at the very least, in extremely poor taste.
I was in Canton, Ohio that weekend attending the funeral of a WWII veteran who was a prisoner of war at the Stalag 17 Nazi concentration camp. Veterans like this have sacrificed way too much for football players making millions of dollars to inappropriately use this venue.
The flag they protested represents the very freedoms that enable them to protest without being jailed or killed, which still happens in many countries.
While most Americans would acknowledge that there are problems in the law-enforcement community that need addressing, the players did not further their cause. In fact, they damaged it.
Darlene F. Price
Value our country
Thank goodness professor Michael Rivage-Seul and NFL player Colin Kaepernick have the right to express their opinions without repercussions from our government.
What government model, past or present, would their supporters prefer?
The Nazis, which we would have been under without the military/corporate effort that allowed the U.S. to enter World War II?
The Soviets, who would have prevailed had we not maintained a superior military force during the Cold War?
The socialist regimes that have brought Greece to the verge of bankruptcy and are threatening other countries?
The multiple theocracies, secular and religious, that deny human rights to anyone other than the rulers?
Our Constitution and a capitalist economy have allowed the citizens of the United States to prosper for 200-plus years. Of course we can never achieve utopia. I notice the professor did not provide any solutions in his rant. Here are a few:
▪ Recognize that hard work provides pride in every individual
▪ Educate our children to the maximum of their capability.
▪ Respect our laws and those who are charged with enforcing them.
▪ Place term limits on Congress (eliminate the “professional politicians”).
▪ Vote. If you can not fully support any candidate then you must select the least damaging.
Less respect for the pledge
San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick generated a lot of outrage when he decided to make a political statement by not standing for the national anthem. Kaepernick reportedly refused to stand because of oppression of people of color.
It is reported that he is paid something like $126 million to play football. Well, at least he isn’t economically depressed.
But we in Fayette County shouldn’t be too outraged. A friend who teaches in the school system reports that in a class at one of our high schools, none stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.
Apparently these young scholars have not learned the lessons of Normandy, Iwo Jima, Pearl Harbor and the other places where high-school-aged patriots spilled their blood in defense of their country. Disgraceful.
But then, the superintendent is doing a superb job and is surely on the verge of solving the achievement gap. In a high school class in Fayette County, not one student stood for the pledge. No achievement gap there.
Does anthem fit us?
Football player Colin Kaepernick has made news with his refusal to stand during the singing of the National Anthem at the beginning of games. He is protesting the failure to treat all Americans with equality.
Written by Francis Scott Key in 1814, “The Star Spangled Banner” only became the national anthem in 1931, after prolonged discussion. If you listen to all the words carefully, it is a celebration of warfare. It is also not easy for ordinary people to sing.
It is not my favorite song, but I stand quietly out of respect for others. I do not stand for the singing of “God Bless America.” I take religion — my own and the religion of others — seriously. I don’t like religion to be forced on people. I don’t like people to give me orders, such as when to stand.
Probably, both Kaepernick and I developed our independent streaks as a result of growing up in a free country.
If I had my way, our national anthem would be Woody Guthrie’s song that begins “This land is your land, this land is my land.” Perhaps we need a national discussion about what anthems actually define us as a nation.
Thomas M. Dicken