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Colin Kaepernick has right to sit during National Anthem

Catalina Ortiz, Editor

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NFL quarterback for the San Francisco ‘49ers Colin Kapernick has sparked a controversial debate in the nation by not standing during the national anthem of the United States. Good for him.

Many supporters and critics of Kaepernick’s action flooded social media with their opinions on the matter. Days later, photos of other NFL players kneeling or holding the up the Black Power salute during the Star Spangled Banner appeared online in support of Kaepernick’s stance of social justice. Now the nation’s devided – it may not seem like it but it’s there; we’ve seen it through a Texas football team declaring their protest of the NFL. Yes, the NFL – the same NFL who owns a day of the week.

Now many critics of these silent protestors are blind with angry patriotism (dare I say nationalism?) but under constitutional law, Kaepernick and his following NFL players are in the right. There is no federal law stating that Americans must stand for the national anthem.

In basic terms: Constitution (AKA Supreme Law of the Land)  → Bill of Rights → First Amendment → “…freedom of speech”.  Therefore, Kaepernick can speak out against the government and not get into trouble for it.

“What about the veterans and soldiers who fight for our freedom?” you might ask. Fantastic question. Veterans have spoken their support on Kaepernick on Twitter because the freedom the U.S. military fights for includes freedom of speech. Meaning, that this – speaking out against the government and not standing for the national anthem is exactly what the military fights to protect.

I’ve heard someone say “America is not North Korea.” In literally and moral sense, this is true. If we see video clips of the nation of North Korea, we, as Americans, are repulsed at seeing North Koreans being held against their will to pledge their lives and themselves to the federal state and flag and dictator. North Koreans are “brainwashed” into loving every aspect of their country even when injustice atrocities happen every day behind the scenes. So, yes, America is not North Korea. We’re not robots who can’t notice the problems happening in our own country and we’re not prisoners that can’t do anything about those problems.  Yes, America might be freer than most countries but when a police officer unreasonably shoots and kills someone but isn’t indicted, we sit down. When American bombers kill another hundred thousand innocent civilians in Syria, we can sit down. When we’re tired or don’t feel like singing a 200 year old song unless change is made, we should sit down. Sometimes sitting down is the tallest we can stand up.

Kaepernick, nor any American, is obligated to stand for the pledge or national anthem. When the pledge and anthem mention “justice for all” and “land of the brave and home of the free” it brings up the question: “Where?”

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Colin Kaepernick has right to sit during National Anthem