I’ve been debating what to write about today, and while I was thinking about writing about heroes and battles because I am reading Beowulf, I decided the instead talk about respect. Now, as you know, 2016 is an interesting time in life. I, myself, am a cool 21 years old and have really just gotten the hang of knowing things…sort of. Anyway, respect is something that I hear thrown a lot today, and it really is hard for me to understand where people are coming from.
Let’s take the Trump campaign (an ever wild ride). People are saying that it’s their right for us to respect their opinion, or that we are being disrespectful by not condoning their bigoted statements because they are entitled to them. And that’s actually well and true—they are allow to say all these things, and in some ways it is disrespectful to disagree with them. However, it is also true that disagreeing with their opinions is also a right, and by saying we shouldn’t do so, they have created the same argument for us which they used to protect themselves. So that doesn’t really work.
Now let’s tackle respect for the flag. A symbol of the nation. By not standing during the national anthem, Colin Kaepernick challenged the idea that we must always respect the symbol of our nation. And he’s within his rights to do so. Peaceful protest is protected by the nation, and to say that it should not be done is simple minded. Nations fall and rise over the course of history, like everything. I guarantee you the party of Lincoln is vastly different today than it was when he was alive. Everyone remember the USSR? What about the great Roman Empire? The idea of a nation is a human construct, just like our rights. That being said, our rights are a positive construct, while a nation is always debatable. Kaepernick believes that our nation currently isn’t a positive construct, because it does not treat all people equally. And in all honesty, he’s right.
So the claim that he’s being disrespectful to our nation comes under the assumption that our nation always deserves respect. And it doesn’t. Respect is a human construct to preserve alliances and avoid violence. But it is only earned mutually. A person cannot say “you must respect me” and then spit all over you. Or rather, they can say it, but you will not harbor any respect for them. So this claim by conservatives makes no sense. Why would Kaepernick respect a country that has shown time and again that it does not respect him, or the idea he is representing?
Faith. That’s such an unfair argument. To “have faith” that these people will not treat him wrong, when statistics are in favor of the white man. I think, in all honesty, that I would take the one theme throughout history over a single nation’s measly 230 odd years. And that theme is being human. Black lives aren’t being treated as other human lives are being treated. They deserve that respect. Some people are claiming that they are being disrespected by the Black Lives Matter protesters because it’s anti-American. Well if it’s anti-American to claim human rights, is the problem the people, or the country’s standards? Ask yourselves that, conservatives on this issue, and realize where you stand on the side of real respect.
What do you think? Am I totally wrong? Are my points valid but need a better structure? Let me know!