accidental existence

Life, one sentence at a time

BELOW THE FOLD: Taking a stand for #TakeAKnee September 29, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — emletterman @ 5:33 pm

I no longer buy ink by the barrel.
But you better believe I still have opinions on things.
As part of my decade in journalism, I wrote a monthly opinion column.
Topics ranged from my pug to maternity leave.
It was one of my favorite parts of the job.

While I’m no longer a working journalist, I’m still a writer.
And writers have to write.

Until now, this blog has been dedicated to my random daily musings.
Dog sweaters, IT guys and what’s for dinner.
Today, it becomes just a bit more.

I’m going to continue writing my monthly column: Below the Fold.
I’ll share it in this space.
Read it, skip it, ignore it – it’s your choice.

I want to write it.

I was inspired.

Here’s the first installment.
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

If you don’t support #TakeAKnee, you’re wrong.
It’s just that simple.
I’ve heard the arguments for respect and for keeping politics out of the workplace, for honoring  our soldiers and for patriotism. Those sound like valid reasons. They make great sound bites and nice memes to share on Facebook.
But if you actually put brain to thought and think about them, they’re shit.
They make no sense for once simple reason: The Constitution of the United States of America.
People have the right to protest.
Let me say that again so it can sink in: People have the constitutional right to protest.
That means they can protest anything they want, anytime they want, anywhere they want – shocker – even if you don’t like it.
Even if you call them “sons of a bitches.”
The founding fathers believed in that right so much, they wrote it into the very document that makes us who we are as a nation.
Unlike the walking bigot we have in office now, I think fictional President Andrew Shepherd once said it best:
“America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You’ve gotta want it bad, ‘cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, ‘You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.’ You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now, show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free.”
Our country wasn’t built on a flag. Millions have not lost their lives for a flag. Patriotism isn’t just the stars and stripes – it’s what that flag stands for.
Kneeling before a flag should be equally as honored as waving one in celebration for they are two sides of the same coin.
This isn’t a right vs. left debate. This isn’t about snowflakes or gun-toting patriots. Black vs. white. It’s not about you, it’s not about Colin Kapernick, it’s not about me.
This is about the United States of America.
And the most American thing you can do is protest– just ask King George III.

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