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The Courage To Kneel

The Courage To Kneel

Robert C. Koehler

Kneel, touch the earth.

“Oh say can you see . . . ”

The anthem starts. I can feel the courage . . . of Colin Kaepernick, the (then) San Francisco 49ers quarterback who refused to stand for the national war hymn, not when one of the wars was directed at Americans of color. Occupying the public spotlight that he did, Kaepernick risked — and received — widespread condemnation. Rabid fans burned replicas of his jersey. I’m sure as he knelt that first time, as his knee touched the earth, he had a sense of what he was setting off.

This is patriotism.


Yes, the lunacy of Trump’s unhinged statements are really the dark underbelly of the American Dream, inverted and angrily dystopian. Trump is saying, " I just want what I want " to 30-35% of white people who feel like they’re getting the shitty end of the stick. And, they haven’t got a clue as to why. Which is right where the PTB want their heads at.
American Confusionism always benefits the PTB.

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pa·tri·ot·ism ˈpātrēəˌtizəm/ noun

the quality of being patriotic; vigorous support for one’s country.
“a highly decorated officer of unquestionable integrity and patriotism”

This is patriotism. (?)

i have to admit i’m having trouble with the concept of patriotism. maybe it’s just a silly girly thing, but like papal authority the word smacks of the male as boss. more than that, though, the word implies nationalism as a virtue. kaepernick’s decision to kneel may be more about police brutality and inequality than national pride. personally, i prefer loyalty to all creation over loyalty to any one nation for as long as we see patriotism or nationalism as a virtue war will continue.

when i was a fifth grader, i decided to stop pledging allegiance to the flag oir even one nation. i realized that my decision was meant for myself. i wasn’t attempting to initiate an anti-patriotism movement, so i stood quietly not to interfere with my classmates’ choice. i closed my eyes and within my heart pledged allegiance to the entire universe and the oneness for which it stands. today, i would like to be part of a growing peace movement. i’m not alone in my reaction to the “father knows best” implication of patriotism.

FirstTreaty between Native Americans and the Europeans

This is how the Haudenosaunee reportedly replied to the initial Dutch treaty proposal: quote, "You say [that] you are our Father and I am your Son. We say, 'We will not be like Father and Son, but like Brothers.' This wampum belt confirms our words. ... Neither of us will make compulsory laws nor interfere in the internal affairs of the other. Neither of us will try to steer the other’s vessel.

I like that concept.

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Wow, is that all we have to worry about whether some overpaid sports figures are kneeling?

“kaepernick’s decision to kneel may be more about police brutality and inequality than national pride.”

There is no need to speculate on this as Kaepernick has clearly stated exactly that. It had nothing to do with national pride or other similar feelings. It is about getting justice for blacks. He wanted to a make a statement about how unfairly blacks are often treated unfairly, particularly when it comes to the police and the court system.


Every time I read something by Robert Koehler, I am reminded of what real, authentic journalism is all about!


It doesn’t take much work to kneel once every game. And it’s certainly having the opposite effect on the majority of Americans who see these sports figures as pampered players who are disrespecting the symbols of their citizenship (given to blacks by special Amendment–the 14th, written in 1867) and it certainly does not represent the real WORK needed to make things better for the black community. The real way to help their people is for them to stop making this EMPTY GESTURE. They need to get up off their knees and roll up their sleeves and get out there in the communities and WORK to make things better for their fellow blacks.

White America Prefers "Good" Blacks by Pail Street

White America, for the most part, makes a critical distinction between “good” and “bad” Black Americans – and a related distinction between “good” and “bad” Black behavior. It goes way back.

During the 1960s, for example, Muhammad Ali was a “good Negro” when he seemed to be just a happy-go-lucky wise-cracking Olympic Gold Medal winner named Cassius Clay. Most whites still approved of Clay when he defeated the “bad Negro” Sonny Liston to become heavyweight champion. Liston struck most whites as an urban thug.

But when Clay became Ali, a proud Black nationalist who refused induction to help the white U.S. imperialists kill brown-skinned peasants in Vietnam, he became a “bad Negro.” White America preferred non-militant Black fighters like Floyd Paterson and Joe Frazier to the magnificent Black Nationalist Muhammad Ali.