Once again, Facebook erupts with arguments between friends and strangers. WHY? It’s a perception/perspective thing. Everyone has a certain perception based on his or her upbringing, influence and experiences. Just as we saw this same bickering around the election, it’s reared its ugly face again. Blame the president if you’re so inclined. That’s one perception. Realty: The nation IS divided by perceptions and lack of empathy to see how and why another group does what they do. The president didn’t create it. It’s been here all along. Should he speak publicly about his stance? Your opinion on this topic probably has a lot to do with your perception of the president himself. Let’s set this one aside and talk about the issue at hand.
#takeaknee has turned into a national $H*T show. WHY??? There are four perspectives to this in my opinion:
- The kneelers are protesting police brutality and treatment of minorities by kneeling during the National Anthem. In their mind, the Anthem represents a free nation of equal men. Because they don’t believe all men are being treated as equals, they kneel. Some wholeheartedly agree with this perspective and support this movement as it relates to the flag and the Anthem and would not only take a knee but also demand others do the same. They feel that if you don’t agree with this perspective you’re privileged and racist.
- Some agree with the kneeling. They may stand with respect to the flag and Anthem but they also support those choosing to kneel. They may take a knee for someone they know and love because the person and their feelings means more to them than anything else. They understand the value of the flag but they also hurt for those who don’t feel the same. They don’t feel the kneeling is directed AGAINST those who fought/fight for the freedom of this nation. Rather, they see the kneeling as a peaceful protest FOR equality.
- There are those who view the flag and Anthem as sacred and untouchable because of what it represents to them. They believe that the freedom this nation won was and is still defended through sacrifice, battle, blood, loss of life and limb and should be foundational to anyone living in this great nation. Many who honor the flag and Anthem are aware that the nation is imperfect and that not all men are always treated as equals. They do what they can in their own lives and communities to help bring people together and treat others with respect. They still believe kneeling is the wrong way to protest as it shows disrespect because of what the flag means to them.
- These folks share much of the same perspective as #3 but they think all men are treated equally and they don’t see any issue with the nation and have no idea why people are kneeling for the National Anthem. They’re pissed off at anyone who chooses to do it or support it.
- Ok, I said there were 4 but I have to squeeze #5 in here. These folks are simply against all things Trump and support kneeling as a political protest above all.
Something to consider:
- If their perception of Old Glory = Equality, they can make the connection between #takeaknee and the flag.
- If their perception of Old Glory = Sacrifice and Freedom, they can’t make the connection between #takeaknee and the flag.
How do we fix this? It breaks my heart but #1 and #4 (#5 goes without saying) probably won’t change their perspective unless something drastic happens in their life that allows them to see things from another’s point of view. They’ll need a lot of empathy and positive interaction with someone with opposing views. Those in #2 and #3 can help by trying to bring people together and refusing to engage in the fighting and bickering. They can try to be a positive influence and agree to disagree when necessary.
Where are you among all of this?
Share if you can relate!