Saturday, 3 September 2016

Responding to Kaerpernick.

I wrote a long post/essay today around the issue of Colin Kaepernick and his habit of sitting out the national anthem. To a European mindset there’s something surprising and mildly risible about the reaction to it – the gravitas attached to his action, the howls from the military personnel who say they’re being insulted by it, and the threat by the local police department to boycott the next 49ers game. (Trump’s opinion may be ignored as usual.)

It raised more issues than the mere protest of one American; it went into broader areas such as why America places so much emphasis on defence, why American children are apparently brainwashed into affording more reverence to the flag than any other cause, and why the term ‘patriot’ is given such excessively hallowed status. It was a long essay offering some pretty obvious suggestions, but I scrapped it because I’m not American and therefore not directly affected, and because I have no compelling reason to tread on sensitive American toes. Besides, there a some Americans for whom I have great respect. (Oh, and Europe isn’t perfect either.)

Let it suffice to say that I personally applaud Mr Kaepernick’s courage and sense of priorities, and leave it there.

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