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National Anthem Protests Essay

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    I believe that the criticism of president Trump against the NFL players refusing to stand for the national anthem is not congruent with the core American values.

    Values can be defined as the conduct according to which a group or society judges the importance of people, rules, and other socio-cultural perspective. Values are positive characteristics of great importance that help us to be better individually and socially. Values are beliefs of high rank, shared by a culture. We live in a country form by groups of people who share values and norms, people from different ethnic, racial background, political and religious beliefs.

    Society wants us to believe that we live in a country with freedom (one of the ten core values that sociologist Robin Williams identified) but, it becomes more and more clear that many Americans do not grasp what American values truly are. As James Henslin mentioned, “ Not all values come wrapped in neat, pretty packages, and you can see how group superiority contradicts freedom, democracy, and equality.” It is not enough just to familiarize ourselves with these values, we must also identify what basic meaning has it based on our experience and cultural identity.

    Norms are rules that are setted to regulate behaviors, maintain order, activities of individuals who are part of a society, with the purpose of getting order and social stability.

    Authority demonstrates its power based on skin color the society forms stereotypes, (structured images) that creates divisions between black and white people, rich and poor. The discrimination towards black community and minority groups becomes more noticeable. For example, if a white citizen decides to shoot at a school and kill 20 students, the killer will be diagnosticated as mentally ill, but if the same killer has Islam features, the society will judge them by the physical aspect and considered them as a terrorist.

    The president Trump seemed disrespectful that player Colin Kaepernick had sat on the bench while the national anthem played. But what I really see disrespectful is when I read articles like the one published on January 15,2018 by David Leonhardt and Ian Prasad from NY Times how the president began his 2016 presidential campaign with a speech accusing the Mexican community as criminals and rapists or how in June 2017 Trump said that 15,000 recent immigrant from Haiti “all have AISD”. Those are the acts that a president should not perform to a nation.

    If Colin refused to stand during the national anthem, it was the way to express how he was feeling about the injustices that the country was going through at that moment as Peter Dreier from The American Prospect published on July 11, 2016 that there was a wave of police violence especially against African-Americans and there were many deaths due to faults of the authorities, supposed suspicions, and poorly achieved procedures. Also, that year was the election of president Trump which created many protests nationwide. Colin protest act has destroyed his career since none of the 32 teams of the NFL has hired him again. This is not freedom, this is discrimination, a refusal to raise his voice, to stand up and fight for his beliefs.

    Not only none of the NFL team has hired Colin again, but they also created a rule prohibiting kneeling during the national anthem to protest; otherwise, they will be fined, and if there is a player who is in protest, he has to stay in the dressing rooms. Personally, I think that this rule was created by the NFL (an institution formed by white people) after the president declared that the act of the player was a dishonor of the constitution. In my opinion, this rule is linked to the good relations that the NFL commissioner has with the president.

    According to the annual racial and gender report card published on October 12, 2017 by Richard Lapchick and Saahil Marfatia from TIDES, the NFL has 69.7 percent players of color; therefore, if the protest had had been with a white person, it would not have caused much controversy, much less it would not have created a rule to penalize the behavior.

    It is becoming a habit for white people to call police on black American for illogical acts.

    Cleve Wootson from Washington Post reported on May 11,2018 that a black student from Yale University fell asleep in a common room while writing a paper. Another example occurred in Oakland, Gianluca Mezzofiore from CNN published on May 22,2018 that a white woman called the police to a black family who was doing a barbecue in an area that allowed barbecuing. Amy Held from NPR released on July 25, 2018 a similar event at a Starbucks in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania when two black men were arrested because they sat inside the establishment without ordering anything.

    We are living a sad reality where white people feel protected by the authorities, using power to solve any minor incidents or to create norms that discriminate against the minority and favors the majority. Unfortunately, American values and norms shift and shape according to the white preference.

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