I have spent most of my adult life steering clear of politics, my eyes often glazing over as I listened to others discuss it. It didn't even matter what kind; Canadian, American, World, it all just bored me.
That is not to say that the world of politics is boring - far from it. That world seems rife with excesses in money, sexual exploits, and especially lies. That last one is really what kept me away from it for so long, very few politicians tell the truth, or even answer a direct question. I find it maddening.
With the rise and subsequent crowning of the messiah of the 'forgotten man', I am loathe to admit that I haven't missed a day watching CNN. If I'm awake, it's on my TV, even if I'm not really paying attention. I soak this drama up the same way some people devour the exploits of the Kardashians or the Real Housewives of [insert city here].
Mostly I feel like I'm watching a train wreck in slow motion - I really cannot believe that this is actually happening. Sometimes I watch, mouth agape, in sheer disbelief of what I have just witnessed/heard/read... sometimes all three at the same time. I often can't understand how anyone with a functioning brain stem thinks that this man, and what he clearly stands for, is fit to run a lemonade stand, much less an entire country.
Now that that's out of the way, I, like so many others, feel the need to weigh in on the Trump/NLF battle raging in the US right now. Why should you listen to my opinion? Why am I qualified to even give an opinion? Well, you don't have to read this, and I'm not really qualified for anything, but my opinion is mine, and that is why I have a blog called sonjarants. I do more cooking, baking, and reviewing than actual ranting on this site, but when I feel strongly about something, I need to let it out.
I'm going to start by saying that I was initially against Colin Kaepernick not standing during the US National Anthem. I take great pride in my country (I'm actually Canadian, in case you didn't know) and often actually well up when I hear my anthem. I feel a great respect for our anthem and our flag, because they represent the men and women who fought and continue to fight (in numerous ways), and those who gave their lives so that I can say and do pretty much anything I want. In other words, something as simple as a song and a piece of cloth represents so much more than I can articulate.
I felt (what feels like 100 years ago) that anyone, anyone who doesn't respect their country's flag and anthem, no matter the reason, was in the wrong. case closed.
It was Donald Trump himself who changed my mind.
I, unlike Trump, knew why Kaepernick was kneeling, but I thought that he could maybe find a different way to call attention to it. Racial inequality and police brutality are important issues which require attention, conversation, action. I hate to admit it, but I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention to it. It's going on in the States (not saying that we don't have our own racial issues here), it's involving a protest by an NFL player (I only watch football once a year), and, quite frankly, before January of this year, I didn't really keep on top of current events. I knew what was going on, knew I didn't approve, I moved on with my life.
Since this whole thing has blown up on CNN (I might have mentioned I'm slightly addicted), I've had the opportunity to learn more about it, to reflect upon the meaning behind it, and to change my view.
I realize now that by kneeling, Kaepernick isn't disrespecting those who fought for his freedoms - he is showing his outrage that those who are still suppressing him are the ones actually showing disrespect for all of those who fought and died so that he could take every advantage of them.
I hope I said that clearly enough: in the US right now, his freedoms as a human being are somehow different from mine in the eyes of the law, mainly because he is a black man and I am a white woman.
Your constitution is not mine, but I think that we all know the phrase "All men are created equal". Equal means equal. The same. Identical. Uniform. Alike. Parallel. I could go on with the synonyms, but I'm sure that anyone reading this will understand at least one of those terms. And since he, and those he is kneeling for, and many countless others are not being treated equally, two centuries after those words were penned, well, that isn't right, and should be protested.
Follow this link to hear Dale Hansen explain what's going on - he does a great job for those of you still on the fence on this issue.
President Donald J. Trump has more immediate issues that require his focus rather than picking a fight with the NFL over an issue he doesn't even understand. Like The disaster in Puerto Rico. Like DACA. Tax reform. Obamacare. Travel bans. Insane travel costs incurred by spendthrift cabinet members. Jared's emails. The Russia thing. Shall I go on? Because I could. The list seems almost endless. Perhaps right at the top I should have mentioned mending race relations or even calling Nazi white supremacists sons-of-bitches, instead of peaceful protestors.
I'm pretty sure there are numerous Americans (and people all over the world) who are just holding their breath, counting the days until this nightmare presidency is over so that they can start to finally pick up the pieces and try to heal their country.
Kaepernick was trying to do just that when he started to #TakeAKnee.
#45's sad legacy will be The Great Divider. He promised to Make America Great Again, but all he seems to be doing is tearing it apart for ratings.
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