I mean, on one hand, I do understand.
But then on the other hand I don’t get it.
I get that people are upset about the flag. They feel that a respectful knee rather than standing is actually a show of disrespect.
I can understand that, in some ways. I have the utmost respect for the military and the sacrifice so many have made to keep our country, the country this flag represents, safe. I have the utmost respect for the people who, every day, are working to keep our country safe.
And I realize that we are by no means a perfect country. Actually we’ve done a lot of things to a lot of people that has tarnished that reputation. That hurts and the more I see and understand how that worked and works, the more it pains me.
But it is a protest, people. Protests are supposed to be a bit disrespectful. Jesus was protesting the money changers in the temple – how did He do it? By turning over their tables and trashing their place. The American Revolutionaries protested British tax policies by dumping tea in the Boston Harbor. Rosa Parks protested Jim Crow by refusing to sit in the back of the bus. Jackie Robinson protested the Major League Baseball “whites only” policy by going out and standing up to the racist players, managers and owners.
Disrespectful? All of them are, to some degree or another.
That is, to some extent, what makes them a protest against an injustice.
But why? Help me understand.
I was recently in a local public high school and it appeared to be homecoming week. There were a lot of events happening and the day I was there must have been dress in red white and blue day or something of the sort.
I saw teenage boys wearing athletic shorts that came down to the knees with the flag on the shorts. Parts of the flag were in very potentially awkward positions on said teenage boys posteriors.
I saw teenage girls wearing yoga pants that were made out of the flag. Well, let’s just say that what might have appropriate attire for the yoga class or a workout at the gym was way too tight for at school. That flag stretched and pulled and bent in rather interesting ways in interesting places.
Now, help me understand. This was an almost all white school, but how can wearing those type of clothes – shorts and yoga pants – with the flag on them be respectful of the flag and respectful of the country and yet kneeling quietly during the national anthem isn’t?
Or were the teenagers at the local high school protesting something too?
If they were, I missed it.