Sitting or Standing To See A Change
The controversy continues as more athletes follow Colin Kaepernick and sit during the National Anthem because he is “not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
First, let me say I have a long history with the military. My father served in the U.S. Navy for 23 years, my husband served in the Navy for 20 years, and my son was in the Guard for six years.
So, yes, I am proud to stand with my hand over my heart when the Pledge of Allegiance is said, or the National Anthem plays.
That doesn’t mean I do not realize America has a long way to go in giving equal rights, freedoms and respect for people of color. In a previous blog, I admitted to my own naivety, in thinking we as a country were further along than we really are on this topic. But when I stand with hundreds of others at games and other events, and I look around to see almost everyone standing as well, I find myself hopeful we may be in some small way working together and taking a step closer for the unity we all desire.
To Make A Stand
Watching and reading the frenzy this ‘sit-in’ has generated over the last couple of weeks leaves me with a big question. For those choosing to sit during the National Anthem is your message working or is it causing more anger, chaos, and division?
According to Webster, sitting is a continuous period of being seated. By sitting aren’t we refusing to become active in making a difference? How does sitting help the injustices being done in our communities?
Standing is a position, status, or reputation. When we stand up for injustice, we are positioning ourselves and acknowledging there is an issue we need to address, and we should actively look for a way to make a difference and promote change.
Consider the words of Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks. “For me, I love the flag. I love the National Anthem because it’s an emotional time for me because I am so grateful I get to play on the football field. And every time I get to put my hand on my heart, you know, it’s truly to honor the military, for me.”… “I understand what he’s (Colin Kaepernick) doing. But at the same time for me, I can also think about where we need to go and where our thoughts need to be,”…..”It needs to be about love, about caring about one another. And that’s for every community, every situation, every socio-economic status. And if we focus on that, maybe something can be changed — and I think that’s important.”
On Sunday the Seahawks showed standing makes more of a positive influence than sitting. With the team linking arms and showing unity they, in my humble opinion, proved there is a better way to get the message out than sitting on the sidelines. And the Seahawks are taking it a step further, by arranging meetings with the Mayor of Seattle and law enforcement to better understand and find solutions to racial oppression and police brutality.
Standing For A Cause
Standing for a cause brings forth movement and requires steps in making a difference. Sitting is easy. You don’t have to move, you can donate to charities who support your cause, but little is required of you. Sitting is good for a moment. It brings attention to an issue, but if you continue to sit there, how are you actually promoting change?
In the end, we can see those who sit or stand are passionate about their cause. But if our message is causing further anger and dissension maybe it is time to re-evaluate how to better educate and bring awareness. Don’t just sit there and talk about change. Take a stand and move towards being the change.