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Open Letter to Colin Kaepernick


Colin Kaepernick is another rich NFL quarterback, who wears a football uniform for the San Francisco Forty-Niners.  Last week, he chose not to show the basic courtesy of standing for the national anthem, as a protest against continuing racial injustice in America.

Dear Mr. Kaepernick,

Often attributed to Voltaire in error, it is nonetheless true that “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”  You exercised your freedom of speech by showing no respect for the national anthem.  After all, sitting on your butt requires so much courage.

I defend your right to say whatever you choose — in a speech somewhere, in front of a courthouse, or on the village square.  I even defend your right to sit on your rich butt during the national anthem.  I’m not offended by the exercise of your right to free speech.  I am offended by your lack of taste or manners or tradition.

The national anthem was born when America was under attack in Baltimore.  Tears run down the cheeks of many Americans when they hear the anthem, because they remember those who wore a non-football uniform, because they remember the original “noble experiment” in democracy, because they remember the countless volunteers who work to make neighborhoods better everyday, and because they appreciate good.

Yes, you have the right to disrespect all of that.  Indeed, you have the right to disrespect everything that is good in life, but we have the right to disrespect you for such selfish stupidity.  In my case, I frankly don’t care if you rot in Hell, where I presume you will continue your protest.

Jim Flinchum

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