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(72,263 posts)
Tue Aug 30, 2016, 08:34 AM Aug 2016

"You don't like what Kaepernick has to say? Then prove him wrong, BE the nation he can respect." [View all]

Jim Wright (Stonekettle)
August 28 at 3:43pm · Pensacola, FL ·



AS A VETERAN, what do I think about Colin Kaepernick's decision to sit during the National Anthem?
As a veteran?

Very well, as a veteran then, this is what I believe:

The very first thing I learned in the military is this: Respect is a two-way street. If you want respect, true respect, sincere respect, then you have to GIVE IT.

If you want respect, you have to do the things necessary to earn it each and every single day. There are no short cuts and no exceptions.

Respect cannot be compelled.

Respect cannot be bought.

Respect cannot be inherited.

Respect cannot be demanded at the muzzle of a gun or by beating it into somebody or by shaming them into it. Can not. You might get what you think is respect, but it's not. It's only the appearance of respect. It's fear, it's groveling, it's not respect. Far, far too many people both in and out of the military, people who should emphatically know better, do not understand this simple fact: there is an enormous difference between fear and respect.

Respect has to be earned.

Respect. Has. To. Be. Earned.

Respect has to be earned every day, by every word, by every action.

It takes a lifetime of words and deeds to earn respect.

It takes only one careless word, one thoughtless action, to lose it.

You have to be worthy of respect. You have to live up to, or at least do your best to live up to, those high ideals -- the ones America supposedly embodies, that shining city on the hill, that exceptional nation we talk about, yes, that one. To earn respect you have to be fair. You have to have courage. You must embrace reason. You have to know when to hold the line and when to compromise. You have to take responsibility and hold yourself accountable. You have to keep your word. You have to give respect, true respect, to get it back.

There are no short cuts. None.

Now, any veteran worth the label should know that. If they don't, then likely they weren't much of a soldier to begin with and you can tell them I said so.

IF Kaepernick doesn't feel his country respects him enough for him to respect it in return, well, then you can't MAKE him respect it.

You can not make him respect it.

If you try to force a man to respect you, you'll only make him respect you less.

With threats, by violence, by shame, you can maybe compel Kaepernick to stand up and put his hand over his heart and force him to be quiet. You might.

But that's not respect.

It's only the illusion of respect.

You might force this man into the illusion of respect. You might. Would you be satisfied then? Would that make you happy? Would that make you respect your nation, the one which forced a man into the illusion of respect, a nation of little clockwork patriots all pretending satisfaction and respect? Is that what you want? If THAT's what matters to you, the illusion of respect, then you're not talking about freedom or liberty. You're not talking about the United States of America. Instead you're talking about every dictatorship from the Nazis to North Korea where people are lined up and MADE to salute with the muzzle of a gun pressed to the back of their necks.

That, that illusion of respect, is not why I wore a uniform.

That's not why I held up my right hand and swore the oath and put my life on the line for my country.

That, that illusion of respect, is not why I am a veteran.

Not so a man should be forced to show respect he doesn't feel.

That's called slavery and I have no respect for that at all.

If Americans want this man to respect America, then first they must respect him.

If America wants the world's respect, it must be worthy of respect.

America must be worthy of respect. Torture, rendition, indefinite detention, unarmed black men shot down in the street every day, poverty, inequality, voter suppression, racism, bigotry in every form, obstructionism, blind patriotism, NONE of those things are worthy of respect from anybody -- least of all an American.

But doesn't it also mean that if Kaepernick wants respect, he must give it first? Give it to America? Be worthy of respect himself? Stand up, shut up, and put his hand over his heart before Old Glory?

No. It doesn't.

Respect doesn't work that way.

Power flows from positive to negative. Electricity flows from greater potential to lesser.

The United States isn't a person, it's a vast construct, a framework of law and order and civilization designed to protect the weak from the ruthless and after more than two centuries of revision and refinement it exists to provide in equal measure for all of us the opportunity for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The United States is POWER.

All the power rests with America. Just as it does in the military chain of command. And like that chain of command, like the electrical circuit described above, respect must flow from greater to lesser FIRST before it can return.

To you the National Anthem means one thing, to Kaepernick it means something else. We are all shaped and defined by our experiences and we see the world through our own eyes. That's freedom. That's liberty. The right to believe differently. The right to protest as you will. The right to demand better. The right to believe your country can BE better, that it can live up to its sacred ideals, and the right to loudly note that it has NOT. The right to use your voice, your actions, to bring attention to the things you believe in. The right to want more for others, freedom, liberty, justice, equality, and RESPECT.

A true veteran might not agree with Colin Kaepernick, but a true veteran would fight to the death to protect his right to say what he believes.

You don't like what Kaepernick has to say? Then prove him wrong, BE the nation he can respect.

It's really just that simple.


70 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Yep, love me some Jim Wright. malthaussen Aug 2016 #1
There you have it. CanSocDem Aug 2016 #2
A great nation that took an abandoned interracial child and raised him to be a multimillionaire Taitertots Aug 2016 #3
By Standing During A Song? ProfessorGAC Aug 2016 #7
it's the god bless america heaven05 Aug 2016 #10
Then We Agree ProfessorGAC Aug 2016 #19
he can do what he wants Skittles Aug 2016 #22
Nobody Said Otherwise ProfessorGAC Aug 2016 #29
Pssst.. give me the Raiders Quarter back.. yuiyoshida Aug 2016 #31
"Veterans for Kaepernick hashtag blows up as QB receives support" Stellar Aug 2016 #32
people can think what they want Skittles Aug 2016 #39
Why would 'some people' think that. I'm confused. Stellar Aug 2016 #41
Because he's a multimillionaire whining about how oppressed people like him are. NuclearDem Aug 2016 #49
Even Black multimillionaires like Colin get picked-on by the police too, that's how he knows. Stellar Aug 2016 #52
He's a black man who is tired of racial injustice. KMOD Aug 2016 #59
Your premise is ill informed. He is not whining about how oppressed people like him are. Glassunion Sep 2016 #69
I even respect heaven05 Aug 2016 #8
You think millions of people wish you were dead? Taitertots Aug 2016 #16
of course heaven05 Aug 2016 #20
Way out of line, and very rude. KMOD Aug 2016 #60
It's an reasonable/accurate response to their post Taitertots Sep 2016 #64
Doubling down, huh. KMOD Sep 2016 #65
That's an interesting and mostly factual post that is a complete non-sequitur Taitertots Sep 2016 #66
Do you have any fear when you or a loved one are pulled over KMOD Sep 2016 #67
It's both odd and ironic that when calling him an idiot, you confuse "evidence" with "proof." LanternWaste Aug 2016 #9
Thank you! LittleDuckie Aug 2016 #18
uh oh.... was that just common sense I read????!!!!! nt clarice Aug 2016 #21
doesn't football cause brain damage ? JI7 Aug 2016 #23
"A great nation that took an abandoned interracial child and raised him pangaia Aug 2016 #37
You think he is an exception. He is not. Taitertots Aug 2016 #42
Well, we will just have to dsagree. pangaia Aug 2016 #45
This argument is racist and disrespectful to adoptive families. LeftyMom Aug 2016 #46
No it isn't. N/t Taitertots Aug 2016 #47
No, it's not. NuclearDem Aug 2016 #50
Black lives are worthy of respect. KMOD Aug 2016 #58
I agree.... N/T Taitertots Sep 2016 #63
Kaepernick knows perfectly well he is the exception. backscatter712 Sep 2016 #70
Very well said! Stonepounder Aug 2016 #4
I have a feeling Kaepernick will be sitting during the National Anthem for a new team soon. jalan48 Aug 2016 #5
Thank You. Mr. Wright! ProfessorGAC Aug 2016 #6
It is right here in this thread. pangaia Aug 2016 #27
You Said It! ProfessorGAC Aug 2016 #30
I was away for about 12 days, in Norway sailing. pangaia Aug 2016 #35
Even with all it problems,,,, Cryptoad Aug 2016 #11
Kaepernick can do what he wants but it's a distraction to his team & an unnecessary lack of respect. Sunlei Aug 2016 #12
If he had made a spectical of it, then you might be approaching a point. Glassunion Aug 2016 #14
It wasn't a spectacle the first three times he did it ripcord Aug 2016 #48
Lack of respect for...what? pangaia Aug 2016 #36
The real travesty Nuclear Unicorn Aug 2016 #13
I am fundamentally opposed to very little...I loathe fundamentalism in ALL its guises, but Moostache Aug 2016 #15
Excellent. My hat is off to you. n/t CanSocDem Aug 2016 #17
I have turned a corner on CK as well. Will be an open supporter now. nt JanMichael Aug 2016 #24
Don't forget the Vet's that are coming to support him! Stellar Aug 2016 #33
Wish I could rec this 1000 times. Duval Aug 2016 #25
Michael Jordan And Tiger Woods magicnpoetry Aug 2016 #26
Honestly, I don't care Travis_0004 Aug 2016 #28
No empathy at all... Stellar Aug 2016 #40
I want him cut because there arw better options Travis_0004 Aug 2016 #43
So, this is just about football (the game) with you and not about this thread...Or is it. Stellar Aug 2016 #44
hear, hear! Stellar Aug 2016 #34
Meh... TipTok Aug 2016 #38
There's no winning with them, anyway. NuclearDem Aug 2016 #51
Wanting equal justice and treatment in the eyes of the law is not being KMOD Aug 2016 #61
If Colin want to be shown respect then he should show respect to his first (birth) mother. (eom) StevieM Aug 2016 #53
You mean the mother that gave him away at six week old even though his grandparents wanted him, Stellar Aug 2016 #54
She succumbed to the relentless efforts of the adoption industry. And she has been pained by it StevieM Aug 2016 #55
link... Stellar Aug 2016 #56
I honestly don't know what you are talking about... TipTok Aug 2016 #57
Excellent question and I am glad that you asked it. StevieM Aug 2016 #62
are you a fishmonger? TheSarcastinator Sep 2016 #68
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