Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Respecting the National Anthem Is All about Honor

I believe most Americans would agree that the ability and freedom to express an opinion is more American than any effort at trying to silence the speaker.

However, the discomfort many Americans feel when we see our fellow Americans refusing to stand and honor our country during the singing of the national anthem is not uncomfortableness over what is being said. The issue for many of us is when it is being said. 

It is a matter of honor for many of us.

America has certain freedoms that people in other countries do not enjoy, including the freedom of speech and the freedom to dissent against governing authorities. Ask the people of Turkey if they are free. Ask the people of North Korea if they can dissent against their leader. Ask the people of Saudi Arabia if they are free to worship as they please. 

America may not be perfect, but we the people are experiencing freedoms that others don't. We Americans don't have to discuss building borders and fences to keep people in our country as North Korea's government must do. We Americans have to talk about building barriers to potentially keep people out of our country because people wish to come to America to experience the freedoms we enjoy

Think about that for a moment.

Why are we Americans free to worship as we please, free to speak what we please, and free to express dissenting opinions as we please, freedoms that most citizens in other countries do not enjoy? It is because our grandfathers defeated Hitler, our great-grandfathers defeated the Ottoman Empire, our great-great-grandfathers died on the battlefields over American union, and our 6(x) grandfathers died fighting the British empire during the Revolutionary War. The price of our freedoms has been paid by the blood our forefathers.

I believe many Americans are offended by the timing of the public expressions against racial inequality, social oppression, and police brutality. We wish to help the oppressed, right the wrongs within law enforcement, and level the playing field for all Americans; these issues are real for us too.

But it just does not seem honorable to dissent during the national anthem? You might respond, "But police brutality, racial inequality, and social injustice are never honorable!" We agree! But you will lose us with your visible displays of dishonor. 

To sit or kneel during the national anthem feels to us like you are trampling on the graves of those Americans who died on the beaches of Normandy, or in the trenches of Europe, or on the fields of Gettysburg, or around the hills of Yorktown to fight against tyranny, slavery and our inability to speak or dissent freely against governing authorities. We wish to honor the price paid for our freedoms.

Verbally spar with the President of the United States; just don't do it during the time we honor those who fought that you might actually speak and dissent freely. Speak your mind against oppression in America; just take the time to ask the question whether it's wise to speak your mind during the time we customarily honor those who died that Americans might be free.

In other words, if you are an individual American or belong to a group of Americans that believes your freedoms are non-existent, then say it, write it, and share it by whatever means necessary, except during the national anthem. To say it during the time set aside to honor the price paid for whatever freedoms you do possess - including your right to publicly dissent - is an offense to many Americans.

Do Americans have the right to express a dissenting opinion during the national anthem and offend other Americans while doing it? Of course they do! 

However, other Americans who despise oppression of any kind (like I), who are actually unafraid to fight for the oppressed (like I), and who understand the libertarian principle of individual expression of dissent (like I) will often struggle when we see you disrespecting our national anthem or the American flag. 

It's an issue of honor for us.

To dishonor the anthem or disrespect the flag which represents the men and women who fought that America might be free means that your disrespect will produce the opposite effect to that which you intend.

Many Americans will find it difficult to support any persons or any movements where there is a visible display of dishonor toward those who have died to ensure our unique American freedoms, including the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, and the freedom to dissent.

It's the timing of your protest that is a turn-off to many of us

You may not understand where I'm coming from; I get that. You might say that you are actually not free. I would immediately respond that you haven't traveled much. You might argue that it is not your intention to disrespect those who've died that America might be free. I get that too. However, now that you know how the majority of Americans view your protest, you may find that if you continue, those of us who would normally sympathize with your cause might remain silent. 

I'm convinced that you will only obtain the support of the majority of American people for your cause when you respect the time-honored, traditional American practice of paying homage to those who've died to ensure that we Americans might be free from tyranny and oppression.

So I encourage you to stand and sing the national anthem. 

Honor the American flag and what it represents. 

Then let's talk. 


CB Scott said...

"It's the timing of your protest that is a turn-off to many of us"

I'll say yes to that.

David Cecil said...

It recently dawned on me that, as a young athlete, we were taught to take a knee when another player was hurt. Everybody would take a knee, even those on the sideline, and stay quiet as we waited to see if the player was okay. This was a sign of respect to the injured, to his friends and family, to those who cared about him.

The kneeling during the National Anthem has not been conveyed in this way (it was called a protest from the start), but I could understand it a little better if it were. To sit or stay in the locker room is outright disrespectful, and to kneel because you have no pride in a flag or its country conveys disrespect, too; but, if a person is kneeling as a way to say, "My nation is hurt," well, I could accept that. Sadly, that's not why the players started to kneel. So, yeah, the timing and mode are turning me off, mostly due to the disrespect that underlies the choice of timing.

Wade Burleson said...

David Cecil,

Valuable point indeed!

Truthfully, were they all to kneel prior to the anthem in unison and stand during the anthem, they'd get my full, undivided attention.

Doug Martin said...

WELL said!!

Pege' said...

Wade, I wish I could push the AMEN button 100 times! If the got a problem with El Presidente' take it to the talk shows, media, magazines, and newspapers. Write a blog. I wrote a letter to the Rooney's, owners of the Steelers with the same sentiment. Like I said in one of your previous posts, maybe if they wore a uniform from the Airy, AirForce, Marines or Navy before they put on a football Jersey they would have a clue. I hear them say " We in no way meant to dishonor the military...TOUCH BEANS what your intentions are...YOU DID and the rest of us who do not worship but respect the flag and anthem for what they represent.

Pege' said...


Victorious said...

Truthfully, were they all to kneel prior to the anthem in unison and stand during the anthem, they'd get my full, undivided attention.

That's precisely what the Dallas Cowboys did. They knelt in unison (players, coaches, and owners) until the flag was rolled out across the field and the anthem started to play and then in unity they all stood up.

Might be a "template" for the rest of the NFL in the future....

Mary Ann

Victorious said...

Forgot to add a link to the article....

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks, Pege.

Mary Ann - I completely agree. Wonderful template.

Christiane said...

I think that the 'kneeling' is more symbolic than just being 'disrespectful' to the flag or the anthem . . . . .

I really appreciated reading David Cecil's comment, this:
"It recently dawned on me that, as a young athlete, we were taught to take a knee when another player was hurt. Everybody would take a knee, even those on the sideline, and stay quiet as we waited to see if the player was okay. This was a sign of respect to the injured, to his friends and family, to those who cared about him."

For me, the symbol of the flag would have no meaning if those boys could not protest peacefully in a way that had more significance than sitting on the ground or raising a fist in the air . . . but then again, for me kneeling has another connotation of respect and yes, I also 'bend the knee' frequently because our nation IS HURTING.

I remember a 'protest' that I admired long ago: An injured service man was captured and held prisoner along with many others. When the enemy found out this man's father was famous, they offered to let him go free, but he declined, saying he would not go home alone and leave his men as prisoners. The enemy punished him and beat him and tortured him, but he would not leave his comrades-in-arms behind.

Recently this hero was booed in a gathering of people for a speech given by the President of the United States.

I would say THAT booing WAS disrespectful to all of our serving military, far more than some foot-ball players 'taking the knee' silently, yes. There is NO COMPARISON.

What is going on in our nation that people boo John McCain and are egged on by the President of the United States???

It is not wrong to be in solidarity with suffering people and express that solidarity using peaceful protest, not if a badly-injured prisoner like John McCain could choose to be in solidarity with other prisoners and turn down an 'offer' to be released and leave them behind to suffer.
Those kneeling boys are choosing to be in solidarity with those they believe have been wronged even though some of them thought they would be 'fired' for their protests.
I can respect that 'stand'.

The booing in Alabama? Of an American war hero? It disgusts me to the core.

everette said...

Big-league sports owners in the United States have been misusing the flag and the national anthem for years. The practice of playing the anthem at sporting events started as a way for the Chicago Cubs to sell tickets during a period of falling attendance associated with an unpopular war. When other owners found out about the Cubs' successes, they started playing the anthem too.

Similarly, the US Flag code states that the flag is not to be displayed horizontally; is not to be part of apparel except for small patches on the uniforms of military, police, and fire fighters, and it is not to be used for advertising or commercial purposes.

Not only have US sports owners violated these laws, but the US military has openly enabled these violations, by providing flyovers, advertising dollars, and other such displays of surface patriotism.

I find it odd that people who have never found issue to criticize these flagrant abuses of the flag and of taxpayer dollars now find time to criticize Mr. Kaepernick's protest.

I'm American, but have lived in and traveled to a lot of different democratic countries. The US is the only one I've seen where it is common for people to display the national flag on private property, or to play the national anthem before sports events, or to essentially require people pledge allegiance to the flag (whatever that means).

Yet those folks generally love their countries no less, and sometimes more, than many Americans I've met.

True patriotism, like true love, involves self-sacrificing love for one's country--which sometimes involves speaking "the wounds from a friend [that] are better than kisses from an enemy". Mr. Kaepernick, like many African-American athletes and public figures before him, has incurred great financial harm and public disdain because he wants his country to finally start to live up to the principles of equality laid out in the Declaration of Independence (written by a man who, as a slaveholder, did not himself believe the ideals he espoused).

And given that Mr. Kaepernick's method of protest was suggested by a devout Christian who is also a highly decorated combat veteran and Green Beret (as well as short-term missionary), I (who have never had an opportunity to do anything more patriotic than pay my taxes) don't feel comfortable criticizing it myself.

[Sorry for multiple postings; I made some slight edits and could only delete, rather than edit, my post]

Ron said...

Wade, you have stated my feelings about the flag issue far better than I could. If these players wish to protest the loss of lives of black young people in police shootings, it would have meant more if they had taken a knee while on the field during the football game instead of during the national anthem. Of course this might have been showing disrespect for the game of football and possible loss of salary. Kneeling during the national anthem took the spotlight off what they wished to protest and put it on their actions offending many who respect the flag and what it stands for.
I also agree with Christiane. I am also offended by a person saying our Vietnam veterans who were POWs were not heroes and he prefers those who did not get captured. I think he especially prefers those like himself who avoided service all together. It would be hypocritical to speak against Kapernick and not show equal disgust with Trump's disrespect for our military on this and other occasions.
Ron West

Wade Burleson said...

Ron and Christiane,

Superb points.

I have huge issues with DT and many of his bombastic tweets and statements (e.g. "he's not a hero" referring to POW vet John McCain).

As you both know, I try to write about principles, not personalities - and I typically would be far more sympathetic with any cause where there is not a seeming disrespect of our men and women who fought for our freedoms.

Anonymous said...

I think it woukd show great leadership and support for our troops if McCain sought his treatment through the VA instead of Mayo. I think it is wrong and Oligharical for elected public servants to be exempt from what others are mandated by them since there are no free market options except for very rich.

Christiane said...

Hello WADE,

I am so encouraged by your comment about John McCain. Please pray for him, he is 'terminal' and still he works in accordance with his conscience to serve his country.
He has been tried by fire and found faithful to his comrades in arms, and this is something DT cannot understand. I suppose we should pray for DT to find some understanding in this matter and apologize to John and to all serving men for the abuse he has dished out and encouraged in 'his base'.

For what ever purposes, this conversation has come to our nation at this time and thank you for hosting one venue where people can speak their hearts, even if they disagree. It is important for the pain to come out and then, it can be healed.

Thanks again, Wade. You encouraged me. God Bless!

Christiane said...

On another note, today Rep. Scalise was able to return to service in the House. He received cheers and EVERYONE STOOD and clapped with thanksgiving and joy for his healing. I hope people know that more than just Rep. Scalise has been healed by this tragic incident: the House was brought together as a 'family' in support of Rep. Scalise and of the Capitol police who did their duty in spite of being shot.

Healing comes in ways we cannot predict. God is merciful even in times of trouble.

Rex Ray said...

I’ve had a chip on my shoulder against Jerry Jones over the way he treated Tom Landry, but I admired the way he held arms with all coaches and players kneeling first for America hurting and then standing for the National Anthem.

I’ll bet there was more than one player that didn’t want to participate but they knew if they didn’t they’d be fired.

Ron, you said: “If these players wish to protest the loss of lives of black young people in police shootings…”

I believe “America hurting” is caused by people beliving “Black Lives Matter” and if you watched “Hannity” you saw the many ‘cut downs’ of police made by Obama. Maybe they should protest the ratio of Blacks killing Blacks.

Rex Ray said...

I believe the former Colorado Governor Richard Lamm is correct in his “All great nations commit suicide with 7 steps”.

Step 5: "Establish the cult of ‘Victim’ by minorities thinking their lack of success or PERSECUTION is the fault of the majority and start a grievance industry.”

That “grievance industry” is “Black Lives Matter” and football players kneeling against our Flag prove it.

I like the song by Merle Haggard:

“Runnin' down the way of life,
Our fightin' men have fought and died to keep.
If you don't love it, leave it:
Let this song I'm singin' be a warnin'.
If you're runnin' down my country, man,
You're walkin' on the fightin' side of me.

everette said...

It's dangerous to get one's news from cable TV--be it MSNBC, Fox, CNN, or what have you. All of these networks have a financial incentive to be as sensationalist as possible--because the video medium of TV is capable of emotional appeals in a way that print journalism is not.

It is much better to get your news from print news sources--such as your local newspaper, or magazines like the Atlantic or National Review. They have a financial interest in providing thoughtful, detailed coverage, and in general, they do just that.

As for black on black crime--when an African-American hurts or kills another African-American, or worse, a white person, he or she generally gets a harsh prison term, or worse. In many cases, even innocent African-Americans are browbeaten into pleading guilty through the abomination that is our plea-bargaining system, in part because they frequently have access not to well-paid lawyers in comfy offices like the DA does, but rather to overworked and underpaid public defenders.

But the problem--and the reason for Mr. Kaepernick's protest--is that police officers who kill or injure civilians are rarely held to account, particularly when the victim is African American--just look at cases like Philando Castile (who was killed for having a broken tail light) or Tamir Rice (who was killed for being a tall 12-year old).

That is the problem that requires our attention.

Unfortunately, it is very difficult for someone who has never been the victim of police profiling or of police brutality to understand how humiliating and disempowering the experience is, particularly if it happens on a regular basis.

Before condemning Mr Kaepernick, I would encourage you, Ray, to read a book like _The New Jim Crow_. You are welcome to read conservative rebuttals of it, but I would encourage you to at least try to understand where a fellow Christian is coming from before dismissing it out of hand.

Rex Ray said...

I can’t believe it; I just saw the Dallas Cowboys Monday night football in SPAHISH.

Lamm’s first step of suicide for a nation is:

“Have America use more languages than English.”

Rex Ray said...

I like today’s newspaper cartoon. TV announcer asks: “Your opinion on the Kerfuffle of the N.F.L. and National Anthem?”

“Don’t follow sports. But I am thankful it knocked Hillary Clinton’s pity party book tour out of the headlines.” :)

Christiane said...

BRAVO, General Silveria!

Strong voices FOR our military are being raised these days. Honorable voices.
And I say 'thank God for such courage so needed now in this country'

What an example of American leadership. Well done, Gen. Silveria, well done.

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray,

IF that was you posting on the "Anonymous" profile recently, I'm glad you're back with your more legitimate ID.

Thanks for bringing to our attention the Gov Lamm speech. I went to that video and was really impressed, not having been aware of it before. He does indeed give a credible portrayal of the desperate condition of our nation, and I don't mean relative to the "Black Lives Matter" campaign we see going on in the NFL.

I understand that Gov. Lamm had been known as a more "liberal" politician. What do you think made him take such a position which would normally not be taken by the leftists?

Rex Ray said...


I’m not turning my computer off in fear I won’t be able to get back on the internet. It needs help.

You’ve done more research on Gov. Lamm than I knew about. Good Job!

I believe he is correct in the 7 steps to suicide, and America has accomplished more than half.


The commander really blew his top over the two Blacks having “Go home” written on their lockers.

I completely agree with him IF these two were picked on because they were only Black. I would want to know their position on Lamm’s list: If they felt and acted like they were “Victims” of the majority.

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray,

Gov. Lamm's perspective on things is more reflective of what "has" happened than it being "prophetic". Perhaps it is time for us to accept that much of the values, devotion to tradition, the amazement of the miracle of such a nation existing, the basic identity of the nation, has "gone with the wind", so to speak. This reality is what is so disturbing to so many of us with graying hair, cataracts, and sore knees.

We are in the midst of a nation evolving from its founding principles to an entirely new nation based on different ideologies, values, priorities, and purposes that have already been adopted by most of the population. The very spirit and identity of The United States have changed, perhaps its basic essence.

This explains why there is so much anger and conflict regarding President Trump. His election was an anomaly, but somehow, it happened. We old codgers are taken aback at the hostility, hatred, and rebellion being directed toward him. Of course, he is unpolished, often uncouth and too transparent in revealing his thoughts, which is totally contrary to what a typical "politician" would do. But the reasons go much deeper.

Who would imagine that such a large, perhaps majority, of the population would be so outraged by a President who adamantly pursues "legal" immigration, protecting the integrity of our borders, resistance to the entry into our country of refugees from nations notorious for producing terrorists until they are totally vetted; religious liberty; a President who constantly is preaching "America first"; devotion to the ideals of a country and its Constitution; one who is effectively leading US corporations to return their business to the US bringing thousands of jobs and reducing unemployment; one whose very presence and promise of a return to sanity resulted in an immediate surge in the financial markets; one whose mere presence has resulted in a 50% decrease in illegals crossing the southern border since his taking Office; who has already made a huge impact on the reduction of abortions being performed?

In the past, such a performance would have been heralded and celebrated. But not in today's America. The conflict we have and virtual hatred for The President is due to a large segment that is enchanted with politicians who promote "sanctuary cities" for illegals and continue to support policies that promote pregnant illegals risking their lives to cross the borders to give birth to what they believe is their ticket for permanent residence. They demonize those opposed to the enslavement and exploitation of illegal immigrants for their own greedy purposes.

This large segment of US society remarkably is totally undisturbed by politicians who openly promote socialism as a viable system for our nation and even identify themselves as being socialists. This is not a "minority" segment, it has become the prevailing influence and the future direction of The United (?) States of America.

This has already "happened". The United States is now a nation of cultures more segmented by the lack of assimilation than in past eras. We should probably take "e Pluribus Unum" ("out of many, one") off the currency.

Our former President is more of a reflection of this new generation and new America. He is a very fine man, a man with deep principles, a marvelous family man, and well-intended in decisions he made. However, the formative years of his life were lived abroad being educated in foreign schools. He did not have the sort of embedded American tradition and sense of devotion to past American history, allegiances, and traditions that older Americans have whose family generations were rooted in this country. Of course, he and his followers would not be so disturbed by an exchange of ideologies, structures, and way of life.

It's a new day, a new nation, and it will never do a turnabout.

everette said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brandon said...

I realize that this will likely be unpopular here but I think it’s important to at the very least understand the deeper context of what’s going on because this post completely misses it. When Kaepernick and Davis first started their protest they chose to sit, which went mostly unnoticed except for a veteran in the NFL. This former green beret (Nate Boyer) wrote them an open letter and Kaepernick invited him to San Francisco for an in depth conversation. After said conversation they decided they needed to protest in a way that would honor rather than disrespect: by taking a knee. Boyer had encouraged this as kneeling is a sign of deep respect as it’s what’s done when a flag is handed off for a fallen soldier. I see post after post on facebook and in the news confirming this from veterans but their voices are ignored while we try to silence the protest of the black men. People don’t care about all of this though because it disrupts their lives and their agenda.

Personally, I see it as a deep sign of dishonor of all that America is supposed to stand for to not take the time to understand and listen to such a respectful and peaceful protest. Then again I’m a white American male that will gladly declare, “Black Lives Matter” any day of the week.

RB Kuter said...

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

Brandon, few sane people would argue against anyone expressing their dismay at the injustices going on in our nation such as the injustice motivated by racism. But if they are sincere about addressing the atrocities going on and especially those perpetrated by our government, why not protest the much greater injustice of murdering millions of innocent children each year! This is an injustice perpetrated by our very government and its politicians under the guise of protecting the "convenience"-choice by pregnant women who neglected taking advantage of the myriad of options for controlling pregnancy in the first place. As a result, millions of babies are victimized by the irresponsible behavior of MEN and WOMEN causing unwanted pregnancies! That is due to the undeniable proactive policies of our government and its judicial system.

With such a tremendous imbalance of priorities being chosen to protest, it makes the NFL fiasco seem frivolous and disdainful, more like an obscene joke. PLUS, Colin's exhibit is a child throwing a tantrum due to not getting his way. He had a miserable season just prior to his little tantrum and his career took a hit for the first time in his life as a result. He was giving some of the worst performances in NFL history and certainly in his personal athletic career. He was benched and in a dark side of what had otherwise been a stellar experience as a "golden boy" performer when he had always been lifted up and celebrated as a tremendous athlete.

The first bump in the road occurs and he "goes south" emotionally and mentally, basically shutting down and entering what appears to be a state of clinical depression. It is only then that he recognizes all of the injustice in the world and exhibits hate and anger toward any institution he can find to create a distraction from his personal failure and provide a forum for his demonstration of frustration and anger.

Why did Colin not "man-up" and work harder to have a comeback in his professional career instead of shutting down and taking the childish "feed me" avenue? Apparently, because he did not have the character and maturity nor professionalism to take the road demanding more from him. Sorry, but I take all of this hoopla with a grain of salt.

No, give me a break on all of the allegiance to these self-serving fame seeking demagogues. It's not our nation that they seek to improve. The proper way to deal with "tantrum-throwing" children is to ignore them and act as though you do not notice their display. Unfortunately, our society chooses instead to feed the tantrum and support the destructive and demeaning behavior.

Christiane said...

Our flag and our national anthem REPRESENT the FREEDOM TO PEACEFULLY PROTEST.

If our Constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms are taken away, dissed by the sitting President of the United States, or belittled by our citizens,
will someone please tell me WHO is REALLY disrespecting the symbols of the freedoms they are trashing????

Freedom. It's an abstract idea for many who don't have it, and have no hope of ever having it because they live in fear of dictators and the followers of dictators. But we have no excuse in this country for dissing anyone who is participating in peaceful protests and STILL say that we respect the 'flag' when we no longer respect the rights of those protestors.

RB Kuter said...


You're right. It is indeed a very complex issue.

Wade Burleson said...


I think you may (and I emphasize "may") misunderstand the intent of this post and others who find this post resonates with their way of thinking on this issue.

We ALL believe the national anthem represents the freedom to peacefully protest, and nobody here is saying that anyone ought to be forced to honor the flag or the anthem or our nation.

Rather, we are saying those who are typically concerned with the issues which lead those who do protest during the anthem or the flag to peacefully protest, will not be as sympathetic to their cause and/or causes.

That's all.

And, of course, that's not everyone - as is obvious, but many think like I. The old saying "Give some respect, receive some respect" - is true when it comes to citizenship.

everette said...


One generalization that I've found helpful in understanding people is that conservatives tend to value order more than justice, while progressives have the opposite priorities.

This is why, for example, the Pharisees were more outraged about Jesus overturning the tables in the temple than about the corrupt practices in which the moneylenders had been engaged. (It's also why hardline conservatives are drawn to fascism's false promises of orderliness, while liberals buy into communism's lies about justice).

With respect to the thread topic, I find it instructive that rich, mostly white, billionnaire businessmen have for years been violating the US Flag code by displaying the flag horizontally and/or for commercial purposes without any national brouhaha.

Yet they do so in an orderly, predictable manner. Because of this, conservatives tend to see these offenses as peccadillos rather than outrages against the flag.

Yet when a (still wealthy, but much poorer) man violates the National Anthem code in a "disorderly" manner (by kneeling, without warning or permission, at a time when everyone else is standing), conservatives are outraged--even though Mr. Kaepernick has always been a devout Christian, generous philanthropist, and a model citizen.

I also find it instructive than in your initial post, you made no mention of Mr. Kaepernick's issue of racially-motivated police brutality--likely because you have no personal experience with being racially profiled, and thus don't understand why it's so compelling an issue to so many people.

I am white, so I've not been racially profiled in the US, but I have lived in Africa for many years, and I know what it's like to be singled out--even subconsciously--by everyone with whom you interact, no matter how genuinely kind they may otherwise be.

I have also been profiled by police for my poverty while in the US. Like most American Christian workers who live in Africa, I don't make much money, and thus I tend drive ancient jalopies when I'm in the States. I've been pulled over multiple times for trivial traffic violations, while far-more flagrant violators race past me in their brand-new Lexuses. (Twice I've gotten pulled over for driving 3mph over the limit on an uncrowded freeway; once they had drug dogs search my car because I didn't use my turn signal when I suddenly moved left to avoid a cop on the shoulder (it was dark and he had no lights on, so I didn't see him till I didn't have time to signal). (FWIW, I don't even drink or smoke, much less use drugs).

I can only imagine how much worse it would be for me were I not pale-skinned, and such experiences make it easy for me to understand why Philando Castile and Sandra Bland effectively got the death penalty for committing minor traffic violations.

And I can also imagine how different my (already-mixed) feelings about the US flag would be were I being continually profiled by law-enforcement officers wearing that very flag while mistreating me or others who looked like me.

You've talked about how Mr. Kaepernick should have chosen a different venue for his protest. Can you tell me which other venue would have brought a similar amount of attention to his issue?

After all, African-Americans have been writing petitions, filing lawsuits, and engaging in marches for years with little notice in the media and with little societal effect.

Now, at the very least, people are talking about it. I'd say Mr. Kaepernick's movement has been quite effective.

Thanks for being willing to discuss this issue in an open forum.



everette said...


According to ESPN's QB Ratings last year, Colin Kaepernick was ranked 23rd among eligible NFL quarterbacks--ahead, for example, of Eli Manning and Cam Newton, despite playing for an otherwise horrible offense.

He has also kept himself in great shape and is ready to play if anyone calls him.

He's not Tom Brady, but is a quality quarterback, and in normal circumstances, at least half a dozen teams would have given him a chance to compete for their starting job in the offseason. But only one team even gave him a workout, and that was a team that didn't need a starter.

The only reason Kaepernick is not playing football this year is because he has been blackballed by NFL ownership.

Had he done something trivial, like drag his girlfriend around a bar by her hair, or commit felony animal abuse, or kill a teammate in a DUI, he would still be playing. (See Roethlisburger, Ben, Vick, Michael, and Brent, Josh. ). But the fact that he dared to speak up about racial injustice somehow makes him unemployable.

Wade Burleson said...


Great comment! Thank you for taking the time to write.

You ask, "You've talked about how Mr. Kaepernick should have chosen a different venue for his protest. Can you tell me which othervenue would have brought a similar amount of attention to his issue?"

Point conceded. However, my point is not that point! :)

People watch gawk at a car wreck, gather to view a blazing building, and rubber neck disasters. I'm arguing that we should be DOING something about the issues, and those conservatives who cherish certain values (as you eloquently point out) may not be as moved to DO something - sure, it's being talked about, but my concern is DOING, not talking.

Light, not heat. Encouraging warmth, not destructive fire.

RB Kuter said...

Kaepernick was having a dismal 2016 season following his 2015 shoulder injury and delay in having recuperative surgery until just before the 2016 season. He delayed his surgery to strategically align it to keep him in injured status until April 2016 to assure his $11 million payment for 2016. He missed the first pre-season games as a result and then began his protest campaign in pre-season. Still, the 49ers did not bench him and even contributed $1 million to his charity. He had the worst game of any quarterback in history, throwing 5 yards in 3 full quarters against the Bears on December 5, 2016.

everette said...

His season was hardly "dismal;" he was an average quarterback, finishing with the 17th-best passer rating in the league. Overall, he had a better year statistically than did Eli Manning or Cam Newton, despite having a far worse supporting cast. He did have one bad game, yes; but he still finished with the 17th best passer rating in the NFL.

In any rate, last season's stats pretty much prove my point. Gabbert was far worse than Kaepernick was last year, but he has a job with the Cardinals. Yet Kaepernick didn't even get a training camp invite.

There are issues on which I disagree with Kaepernick, but those don't detract from the fact that he is being blackballed while plenty of quarterbacks with far worse stats have gotten not just roster spots but starting jobs (e.g. Brian Hoyer, Tom Savage, Mike Glennon, etc).

RB Kuter said...

Everette said: "One generalization that I've found helpful in understanding people is that conservatives tend to value order more than justice, while progressives have the opposite priorities."

Totally a subjective opinion and assessment. "Justice" is the proper, fair and unprejudiced application of "Law", not the neglect, violation or disrespect for the Law. I could assess and generalize that "conservatives" value justice more than "liberals" because conservatives tend to insist upon the equal application, respect and acknowledgment of the Law ("civil order") whereas liberals ("progressives"?) ignore, disrespect, violate the Law while insisting their right not to be prosecuted (i.e., anarchy).No comparison with Pharisees in the Temple.

But I won't say that because that statement would be totally a generalization and not an accurate assessment of the entirety of either of those groups following these perspective ideologies. I do believe that such generalizations are what keeps us so divided and prohibits civil dialogue.

RB Kuter said...

Everette asked, "You've talked about how Mr. Kaepernick should have chosen a different venue for his protest. Can you tell me which other venue would have brought a similar amount of attention to his issue?"

Uh, the voting polls? Running for political office so as to contribute to making real change?/Aggressive editorials in the newspaper and media/internet/blogs/Twitter/Facebook?/ Writing books portraying their ideas, opinions?/ Petitions gathered and sent to their political representatives?/Using their celebrity to contribute to peaceful protests in a public venue in an orderly manner having applied and received a permit?

All of these venues are effective, within accepted structures and legal parameters, and are socially appropriate. However, such civilly responsible methods do not provide the personal celebrity, attention, or meaningless self-gratification of throwing public tantrums in a sports arena that make no meaningful contribution or change while being an "in your face" type of forced assertiveness in a public athletic event. Symbolism over Substance, so to speak.

Again, personal-gratification of anarchy vs. corporate civil response.

Christiane said...

Thank you WADE for those words as I often misunderstand others and speak without thinking of their feelings on an issue, and I regret those times.

I am deeply troubled this weekend by the suffering in Puerto Rico and I ask for prayers for those poor people from anyone who feels they can pray for them in their trouble. This is what it looks like there and the face of the old woman being held tells more than words can express:

Please pray, good people.
I'm sorry for any and all misunderstanding and insensitivity on my part. I know we all do care deeply for our country. I would not willingly be one to cause division. Enough of that, yes.

RB Kuter said...

Everette said: "I am white, so I've not been racially profiled in the US, but I have lived in Africa for many years, and I know what it's like to be singled out--even subconsciously--by everyone with whom you interact, no matter how genuinely kind they may otherwise be."

During my years of living in Africa, I found that my "whiteness" definitely resulted in my being singled out, being under the microscope, and treated disproportionately different. But most often it resulted in my being embarrassingly elevated to privileged treatment by the Africans rather than experiencing injustice and negative prejudice.

When standing in a crowd of hundreds to buy flour at the gate of the mill, the surrounding Africans took me by the arm and led me to the front of the line. When I intentionally sought to function in the social order of the Africans surrounding me by getting in the long lines at the bank or post, they would lead me or my wife to the front. Not always, but frequently enough to humble us and imprint their graciousness upon us. This was in socialist Zambia years after white, Northern Rhodesian rule and with no apartheid rule or order.

Objectively speaking, my being a minority in African and Asian cultures did sometimes result in my experiencing unfair prejudice, but not so as to give me any possible basis for comparison to being an African-American, Muslim, Mexican, Asian Indian in the USA.

Guess it's all a matter of our personal experiences and locations, huh?

everette said...

As I said, I do not pretend to be able to relate to the African-American experience. My whiteness in Africa gives me a privileged place, as you describe, and except for occaisionally being ripped off, white skin is normally quite an asset.

But I still know what it is like to be constantly singled out, and to know that people's experience with me will determine what they think of "white people" as a whole, and that it will be informed by their previous experience with white people. That is the stress to which I was referring. The big difference, of course, is that my being in Africa is optional. I can return to the US any time I wish. But African-Americans face this same cultural stress (with the huge added burdens of discrimination and profiling) even in their home country. And they can't leave--there is no other country where they will "belong."

As for your definition of "justice," I stand my my statement about "order." Your definition of justice, as the condition that exists when the laws are follows, has several major flaws: 1) it does not allow for the existence of unjust laws; 2) it does not allow for unjust application of laws (for example, when a rich person gets away with a crime because he can afford fancy lawyers, while a poor person is browbeaten by a DA into pleading guilty to a crime he did not commit); and 3) it is far from the Biblical definitions of Shalom Dikaiosune; which are wholistic and not legalistic visions of justice.

On the other hand, "order" is what exist when existing laws and social norms are, well, conserved. That is why your definition of justice seems to me to be a definition of "order" instead.

RB Kuter said...

Thanks for expounding on your thoughts, Everette. Given my proposing a variety of contrasts to your comments I may have seemed argumentative, but that was not my intent. I am sure that we probably would find we have more in common in our positions than not but I believe it helps to share diverse opinions and perspectives.

Christiane said...

I've begun to think that 'the timing of the protest' might BE a message that is an appeal to the whole country for light to be put on something that should no longer be kept 'unspoken'.

I'm thinking that 'the timing of the protest' is a cry that goes very deeply into the sadness of those who LIVE with something many white people do not know and cannot understand . . . . being treated 'differently' and never knowing full acceptance in this land which now has, itself, become so divided, partly by forces that are alien to our freedoms . . . . now may be the only time left to attempt to focus the conversation on something that is so troubling that many of these black players would risk their careers rather than allow the 'status quo' to continue and everyone sing 'together' and yet treat a segment of our citizens as 'lesser' deserving of the same respect given automatically to a white person?

I'm thinking that kneeling silently is something that does bring anger to those who realize that it is NOT the same as rowdy protests smashing windows, that it is NOT the same as 'fists raised in the air', that it is NOT at all the same as those forms of protest that are so easily dismissed with contempt by people that do not feel the same sense of need to protest unfairness and discrimination, because THEY are not the victims of it.

I'm thinking that 'taking the knee' has a far more honorable meaning to it than its critics have understood. Or maybe they did. And that is an even greater problem.
If this IS the case, then maybe a part of the anger felt is a twinge of conscience?
I don't know.

But I remember: long ago, in Norfolk VA, some black students sitting at an 'all-white' lunch counter in silent peaceful protest, and seeing someone spit on one of them and curse that person and I KNEW then that our country would some day be better for that honorable silent protest, even though it brought out something within those who were troubled by it that formed itself in that spit and those curses and had no place to hide anymore.

I don't understand. But I remembered that 'other' scene. And those students, and what they endured in the way of abuse and anger and I remember their dignity in their silence through what was meant to 'shame' them.

I remember. I can't see the 'taking of the knee' as something 'wrong'. Because? It is a way of expressing concern over the pain of those who are abused and a way of expressing concern for the people who are doing the abusing AND finally, a way of expressing concern for them which have no understanding of what they themselves do not suffer.

Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better, and what is infected and painful must be exposed to the light for healing. Some people, even if it seems 'offensive' are trying to help make things better for all of us, and honestly, the image of a man kneeling silently with dignity is less offensive that a man standing with a 'fist' raised above his head. At least to me. I get it. It's the response I am trying to fathom, and I admit I'm having trouble . . . something about a memory comes to haunt me, and I see this in a different light, yes.

RB Kuter said...

Cam Newton's explanation following his fist-raised "black power" salute in Sunday's game:
"I did it to show black pride because I am an African American,” he said. “But more or less, I want all people just to see when I play, I want them to see the joy that I go out there and play with. Win, lose or draw, it was a great win for us today and I just hope that I — not I, we as a team, put a lot of smiles on the beautiful people of the Carolinas.”

What? Well, at least he's honest in not claiming to be a lofty racial crusader. What if a white player gave a Nazi, white supremacist salute after making a touchdown saying it was to show his joy in playing and the crowds began bellowing out boos? Same uproar by leftists shouting in defense of the player's freedom of speech for expressing the perceived pain of prejudice toward their race? Yeah, I'm sure that would be the case.

Rex Ray said...


You said: “Our former President is more of a reflection of this new generation and new America. He is a very fine man, a man with deep principles, a marvelous family man, and well-intended in decisions he made. However, the formative years of his life were lived abroad being educated in foreign schools. He did not have the sort of embedded American tradition and sense of devotion to past American history, allegiances, and traditions that older Americans have whose family generations were rooted in this country.”

Obama grew up in a Muslim Country with his Muslim grandparents. These are some of his statements:

1. The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.

2. America is not and will never be at war with Islam.

3. The sweetest sound is the Muslim call to prayer.

4. Islam is not part of the problem in combating violet extremism. (He can’t say “Islamic Terrorism”.)

5. We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic Faith.

6. I have known Islam on three continents.

7. I know civilization’s debt to Islam.

8. Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance. (Thief has hand cut off.)

9. Islam has always been part of America.

10. My responsibility as President is to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam.

11. The Holy Quran tells us…”

RRR, have you ever heard a Christian refer to the Quran as Holy?

Friction has gotten a lot worse starting when he became President, but I guess we are lucky it wasn’t worse with a Muslim President.

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray, Thanks for responding.
I, of course, recognize that President Obama portrayed great sympathy and support for the Islamic cause of globalizing the world. I was trying to say that he did not represent the traditional sentiments, values, unwavering allegiance to the foundational pillars of the United States because he was not schooled and raised in this culture nor did he come from a family that was. So he had a different mix than most Americans and certainly different than any President who was elected. I mean, "Barak Hussein Obama"? Who would have imagined such a thing happening? When something so bizarre as that takes place, it makes me think that the spiritual realm is at play in a big-time way to facilitate agendas not apparent to us.

I do think he was "well-intentioned" as to his motives. You and I would not agree with his decisions and certainly, the move toward socialism, undermining the strength and integrity of our nation surged beyond anything we have ever witnessed. The loss of freedoms, increase in corruption in government, discrimination against white conservatives, oppression of black Americans, undermining of our economic infrastructure, all took hits, but surely he did not "intend" to bring about such destructive fruit. He certainly had some misguided, unwise, perverse methods and ideologies, but he probably thought he was doing the right thing.

I know, I am not making much sense. Perhaps I am trying to salvage something good what would otherwise seem a very dismal Presidency. At least he was never challenged on his moral character regarding his role as husband and father, right? That's refreshing.

Rex Ray said...


Yes, Obama lived a life of moral character; most Muslims do. But he supported homosexuals serving in the Military. He was a good speaker, but I believe the strongest reason he was elected President was he was Black.

About every country he visited, he apologized for actions by America. As our President, he bowed before a Muslim King.

I believe his ultimate goal was to be on the United Nations.

In my book, he will go down in history as the worst President in America.

A newspaper cartoon showed a picture of him stating:

“Let me be clear!...My Administration inherited the First Amendment thing…and I Apologize to any Muslims who are offended by it.”

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray, I agree with all you are saying except that Obama was elected because he was "black". Of course, the leftists loved that, but they hate black conservatives. If Herman Cain, Ben Carson or even Colin Powell, or Condoleezza Rice, were serious candidates running on the Republican ticket, they would be burned at the stake. Heard a radio talk show host saying that "being gay" was not a sexual thing as much as it is a "political"-ideology thing. Same goes with how African Americans are assessed, I think.

Along those lines, I found it interesting how the leftists are always screaming for women rights and equality. When Sarah Palin was chosen as McCain's running mate, I thought that surely that would bring some of those borderline leftists over to the Republican campaign and that Sarah Palin would be really celebrated as being a Vice Presidential candidate as a woman. Contrary to my logic, she was savagedly demonized even though she had been both a very impressive mother of a number of children while serving as a popular and successful governor!

The hypocricies of politicians and the fake media never cease to astound me.

Rex Ray said...


While we’re on the subject of Obama, what do you think about him giving millions in cash to Iran?

He ‘swapped’ five Muslim terrorists for one American traitor and tried to make him look like a hero.

Obama reduced Guantanamo Bay from 245 to 41. Many returned to fight us again.

We’ve heard “a man without a country”, but Obama was a man without a birth certificate.

His birth certificate in Hawaii was not written at the time of his birth because the font style on the birth certificate was not from a hospital typewriter but from a computer.

This Muslim killed 12 and wounded 31. Senator Ted Cruz wrote “Obama Administration’s abuse of power” because Obama rejected the gunman being a terrorist and called it “workplace violence” which denied the government from aiding the victims and their families.

RRR, you said, “When something so bizarre as that takes place…”

I’m going to use your word to summarize his Presidency. It was BIZARRE.

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray, the events that occurred were so bizarre as to seem surreal. It is more like a nightmare one has while sleeping than it having actually taken place. Who in the world would imagine that our Government could have been so boldly corrupt as to have sneaked 1/2 billion dollars "in cash" to a rogue country that it was desperate to make a political deal with in order to facilitate the Administration having a claim for achieving and agreement on nuclear arms? Again, the Obama Administration was desperate to build bridges between Iran and the US at any cost to the US.

All of the other situations are equally bizarre, and that doesn't even account for so many others, like Hillary lying under oath and it being ignored. How about Bill Clinton sneaking onto the airplane with the Attorney General to make a deal on prosecuting his wife during the campaign? It really shakes one's core trust in our governmental infrastructure.

But an even more bizarre reality, Rex, is that at least half of the nation does not acknowledge these things as being unimaginably corrupt even though there is so much evidence that is extremely credible to prove that it is. THAT is really scary and no doubt why these hucksters are becoming more and more bold in outright disobedience and corruption.

When Bernie Sanders can openly acknowledge that he is a socialist and not immediately be "blacklisted" as an active politicians, and then be so bold as to grill a Christian for his beliefs that Jesus Christ is the exclusive path to a saving relationship with God saying, "We don't need people like this in government", we know we are in trouble.

I know there has always been a lot of corruption in government but much of it was so hidden by the powers to be that you and I could never appreciate the extent; i.e., The Kennedy Assassination. So it is really difficult, perhaps impossible, for me to assess how much worse it is now than in the past. But the matter of concern is that in the past the public sentiment would have been so outraged had the corruption been made public that it forced it underground so we didn't know about it. Now our society has become so morally decadent as to allow the acts of corruption to be displayed publically without any sense of shame or fear of reprisal.

Glad I have Jesus and am depending upon His having control.

Rex Ray said...


Bizarre is right. The Fort Hood shooter shouted 'Allah Akbar' ("God is greatest") when he started shooting. While his victims got nothing he has been paid $278,000.

RB Kuter said...

So why isn't Bergdahl being charged with treason, desertion and willingly going over to the enemy during war which is a capital offense?

Rex Ray said...


“Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is expected to plead guilty later this month to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy rather than face trial for leaving his Afghanistan post in 2009, The Associated Press reported.”

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray,

Talking about "bizarre", what in the world could Barak Hussein Obama possibly be thinking when he released 5 of the most notorious, influential leaders of the Islamic terrorists in return for a man who he knew was a traitor from the ranks of American troops in wartime Afghanistan? I mean, that was one of the most outrageous maneuvers ever made and appeared as though our President was working for the enemy, yet he was never challenged by our Government.

Rex Ray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rex Ray said...


"The fact of the matter is, when those soldiers [6] were killed, they would not have been where they were at if Bergdahl had not have left," said former Sgt. Evan Buetow, Bergdahl's former team leader. "Bergdahl leaving changed the mission."

“Donald Trump said Thursday that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl should have been executed for leaving his post in Afghanistan.... Bergdahl, who's a traitor, a no-good traitor, who should have been executed,"

RRR, instead of a hero by Obama and the words of Trump would sum up the difference between a Muslim President and an American President.

RB Kuter said...

Very strange indeed, Rex, and REALLY scary thing is, if he could have run for a third term, he would have won. What does that tell you about the condition and sanity of our populace?

Rex Ray said...


Obama said he would have won if allowed, but I believe one reason Hillary lost was Obama had his arms around her and people finely got fed up with him.

It’s true I could not believe people elected Obama the first time and the second time was terrible. He fooled the majority…mostly young voters.

RB Kuter said...

It's all speculation and conjecture, of course, but I do think Obama would have won and do not believe his supporters had fallen by the wayside. I don't think Hillary lost the electorate due to the lack of support from the Obama-supporters, but rather due to the dislike of some of Obama's supporters for Hillary and due to her many egregious crimes, lies, and her insincere appearance. Plus, the Bernie supporters disrupted things and it's doubtful that Bernie or Hillary would have been running against a third-term Obama, which would have united their front and surely would have put him way ahead of any Republican challenger.

But like I said, it's all conjecture. Thank goodness, no Thank GOD, that the socialists did not win!