Saturday, October 14, 2017

In the News: The Anthem Controversy

It is hard not to think about the anthem controversy these days it is everywhere in the news and so it is hard to escape.  My ignorance on how I feel about the whole controversy is quite great, but I had a realization this week that helped me to understand why the gap between the two sides might be so great.

Here is the primary question, what does the anthem stand for?  In other words when it is played at a sporting event before a game what should you be thinking about?

I should probably research what was said in congress and by the petitioners to make the "Star Spangled Banner" the official United States anthem back in 1931 if I want to get an idea of what they were thinking was the importance, but I can tell you from what I've been reading and hearing from people I talk to there are basically two different thoughts.

The first thought is that when the anthem is played at something like a sporting event it is a time for us to reflect on all those that have sacrificed so much for this country.  We stand at attention not for the country or for the flag, but out of respect and in remembrance of those who died and gave so much for our country.

The second thought is that when the anthem is played at something like a sporting event it is a time for us to think about our country.  Our history, who we are as a people, as a country.  What we've been and what we want to be.

OK this is where my revelation came this week.  I have always been in camp two on this way of thinking and so to me the idea of kneeling or holding a fist up is in some ways just as respectful as standing at attention, because it means that you are giving deep thought to the anthem and its meaning and in fact you are showing reverence to what it stands for and represents.

But let's be honest, if you are in camp one you will never ever see it this way.  If you are in camp one using the anthem as a platform for protest is simply a slap in the face to what you should be doing which is showing respect to those who died.  

I must admit my ignorance in not quite understanding the big difference in how people are coming at this sooner.

As I've said before I'm not trying to be political.  I'm not even trying to say what is right or what is wrong, I'm simply trying to understand why something like this can be so incredibly divisive.  There is so much already dividing us in this country.  If you have something like this where the way we look at it is so completely different from one person to the next it almost seems impossible for this not to be a big conflict.

In the end I'm not sure what the solution is, but I do think the group in camp two will have to come around to understanding the group in camp one and it will mean an end to the protests during the anthem.  I'm just not sure how we get there.  

1 comment:

  1. I also am a Camp Two guy, and my reaction to the protests has been the same as yours. But this is a helpful distinction that you have identified.

    Solutionswise, I would suggest that we Camp Two people should look for opportunities to share meals with Camp One people and protesters and model listening without judgment. Also, I think we should ask our local officeholders to review the local police forces against and pursue needed reforms.