Friday, September 16, 2016

Patriotism on Bended Knee

In the wake of 9/11, there was a fervor to project unity and strength, a love for this country and for each other. We wrapped ourselves in the flag and sang our national anthem arm in arm. Rudy Giuliani made a career out of this patriotism, with his noun, a verb and 9/11. 

But we were not then a country at peace with itself, our political parties at war and our citizens armed with words and actions against one another. And 15 years later, we remain a house deeply divided.
We are a nation in crisis, and no singing of a national anthem can hide our flaws. We do not need to rise in unison to show we are as one. Instead we need to do the hard work that remains undone, recognize our shortcomings and strive to overcome them, meet our prejudices, our biases and hatreds head on.

Like the rallying cry of "Hamilton" , "we're gonna rise up", but we rise to fight the injustice not to mask it. And until we act in concert according to the aspirations of our anthem, Mr. Kaepernick and others aggrieved, whether high schooler or pro, football player or bricklayer, have good cause to kneel in silent protest. 

It is not in the words of an anthem but the actions of its citizens that this country can reveal its greatness.

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