This is Much Deeper Than The Flag

Gavel and Justice.

People are seeing football players kneeling during the National Anthem and are getting upset,  turning off their televisions, demanding refunds on their NFL Sunday Ticket packages, and burning their favorites player jerseys.  Unfortunately, because people wrongly assume this act of kneeling is about respect or the lack thereof for, the American flag, our great country, or our amazing dedicated military veterans and active duty servants (who are my real heroes), or our perceived unity as a nation.  What gets lost in all these quiet demonstrations are the deeper issues at hand.

I have a higher tolerance for disrespect.  I see the burning of the flag as disrespect.  These protest, started rightly or wrongly, with the right champion or not, as a way to bring attention to a rip in the social justice wormhole.  Athletes have power, they have an influence; they have a powerful voice.  Athletes wanted to draw the nation’s attention to the injustice, lack of fairness, and inequality facing so many in our great country. All the things America is known for, being the land of opportunity, a land of prosperity, a nation where you can come with nothing and become a success, by worldly standards.  That is not true for so many trapped in the dark corners of our urban centers.  That elusive American dream has passed them by, and many are trapped in an American nightmare.

The world sees America as a beacon of freedom and the land of opportunity, but that is not the reality for many of the people I served when I was in urban America.  Far too many, living in the shadows of some of the greatest architectural designs on earth are struggling to survive, and living lives of hopelessness.  Can you imagine that, being hopeless in America?  Their children live in fear for their survival on a daily basis.

In Chicago, we achieved a new milestone.  But it is not a milestone we are having a parade to celebrate.  As a matter of fact, we are trying to bury that story in the newspaper and the media.  Chicago just hit the 500 mark for homicides for the year, it’s September.  Five hundred families have been ripped apart by gun violence.  Has the nation stood up in outrage?  Not that I have heard.  Have we called for an investigation into the causes?  Not that I can find.  Have we started a GoFundMe page to help the victims?  I can’t find that on Facebook.

What we do have is football players taking a knee to remind us that while America is the greatest country on earth, but we are not without our flaws.  We don’t need to burn it down, but we do need to come together to reform it.   What makes America great is that we have the capacity to tackle any problem and solve it if we put our collective minds to it.  It reminds me of what God said in Genesis 11.  When the people came together to build a tower to reach the heavens, God stepped in to stop them, And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.”     God is right as always, we can solve the problems plaguing our country.  Maybe the awareness of the problem is just the beginning.  Once we put our collective minds to it there is nothing we can’t accomplish.  And this would be a God-pleasing venture.

A chart showing the violence in Chicago.  This is a story that is getting lost in the debate.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/data/ct-shooting-victims-map-charts-htmlstory.html

Other related posts:

https://revheadpin.org/2017/09/05/enough-already-its​-time-to-defeat-racism/

https://revheadpin.org/2017/08/22/are-statues-really-our-biggest-problem-in-america/

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14 thoughts on “This is Much Deeper Than The Flag

  1. Enough. We need to take a stand as a Christian. I don’t know why the football team knelt, but usually that means they are submitting to praying over their game. I believe submission to Christ is important, and a daily thing one does if they are professing Christ as their Savior. I do, and I have, and I continue to meet with the Lord daily.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Basta!”, “enough!” is correct. I support free speech, the right to protest and the need for civil disobedience, but there are times that the cause gets lost with all the noise. Are the NFL players protesting police brutality, racism, oppression, poverty or a combination of all of these ills? The players are living examples of the American dream. Their form of protest is divisive not unifying. It is offensive and diverts attention away from the problem. Poverty is crippling and it is not limited to a single race or geographic location. The cause needs to be clearly defined and the discussion needs to start. With God’s help we can solve and work through these issues. Right now there appears to be a lot of complaining and no solutions, and that ends up sounding like whining.

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    1. Don’t let the messengers cloud the message this country is hurting. That is the point of this post. Focus on the people not the athletes. Focus on be by a blessing not the protesters. We can do better. We can make a difference.

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  3. The carnage in Chicago is horrible. On one side you have folks looking to create stricter gun laws, on the other, you have folks who are looking to keep things as they are. I agree with you. It’s high time to start relooking at how we curb this violence. I think Chicago is over 4,000 gun deaths now (over time). What is the mayor doing? What are the citizens doing?

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  4. I don’t believe that it is at all established that “What we do have is football players taking a knee to remind us that while America is the greatest country on earth, but we are not without our flaws.” Many have related a very different motivation. That is part of the outrage against the players. If those players really wanted to help victims of gun violence, they could do an awful lot with all the money they are given to help those they claim are oppressed. But are they contributing to a GoFundMe page with it? No, they seem to take the knee in condemnation and in judgment of others’ actions (or inaction) and the Country that allowed them to rise above any misfortune they had been born into. Instead of condemning, they could be raising others up out of their quagmires rather than judging others guilty as having caused them. That would bring healing instead of the dissension their actions have spawned instead. I agree that there is much to be done. I cannot quite agree as to what is motivating rich football players to dishonor others and their Country.

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    1. Instead of me just being upset. I took the time to listen to some football players who were discussing this issue and what I shared was the sentiment they expressed. And to assume that all rich football players don’t give back to the community is painting with a broad brush that is very unfair to so many who I know have set up foundations. Who give up their free time, and who are making a difference.

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  5. Assuming that I did no more than “just being upset” too when listening to what others than those you may have heard actually said is a little unfair, don’t your think? As you say, you only listened to “some.” And unfortunately, what any of them say is being drowned out by their public actions that speak even louder than any of their words. For the players to assume that those they fault as causing what they perceive to be the injustices they condemn also “is painting with a broad brush that is very unfair to so many” who have also done a lot of good rather than what they condemn, including those who sacrifice, ready to fight and die (and sometimes doing so) for the Country the players dishonor by their public actions, regardless of their words. If they have already set up Foundations for those whose lives have been ripped apart by the loss of a loved one sufficiently with all of their wealth, then why is there a call for additional GoFundMe pages? I’m afraid their actions fall way short of the changes in others they call for in their words and actions of protest instead of them just doing the job they are paid to do like most people have to do in order to avoid being fired. Regular people don’t get to protest on their job very much and that’s why regular people who are the paying customers patronizing football are upset and withdrawing their participation. Who are these players to claim a right to preach to those that “butter their bread?” Those are the kind of presumptuous acts on their part that have caused the tensions to rise to such a high level. It would seem incumbent on them to take corrective action at the insult their patronage perceives. Starting with an apology in causing the offense might make a good start. But a lack of humility will likely prevent any such thing. And so, they make their choice at the risk of the loss of their patronage. And with the loss of patronage, so goes the loss of their jobs (a la Kaepernick. He doesn’t seem satisfied with the result of that risk).

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    1. My point is pretty simple. All of this is ignoring the real issues. And it is unfortunate that people who need help are getting lost in the fog of the protest. That is my point and having worked with some many in need this breaks my heart for them.

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