Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have probably heard about the “Take a Knee” movement. If you haven’t heard, I recommend you research it as it is a “hot topic” now a days. I will however, skip over the background info. and dive right into the meaty stuff I wish to express:
In most issues, I feel able to take one side or the other, and argue why I choose my position, even if I agree with certain aspects of the other side. However, this “Take a Knee” movement has got me torn as I have criticisms for both sides! This may come as a shock to many of my fellow conservative readers, as most conservatives fall on the “standing” side of the debate over the “kneeling side”. No, I have not jumped over to the liberal side of politics, hear me out! Many conservatives are offended by the idea of kneeling during the National Anthem and before the American flag, as they construe it as a sign of great disrespect to the military, and the country. Many liberals choose to kneel over the BLM movement, and feel that it is a protest against racism in America. Some also make the point of the right to peaceful protest, and a debate around civil disobedience. My issues with the whole controversy lie in two major camps: I do not agree with the BLM movement, or that kneeling actually accomplishes an articulate form of protest for their specific issues. For me, kneeling would be in solidarity with views I don’t subscribe to. However, standing comes with its own baggage for me. Standing is full of rhetoric of nationalistic fervor and in my opinion, an unhealthy obsession with the military. Standing to me, I fear may come across as “I believe in blind patriotism, this country right or wrong etc…” and is associated with those who deny their fellow Americans the right to disagree and dissent peacefully even if unpopular. In a perfect world, perhaps I would squat as a compromise, but alas, that’s just bizarre! So, I chose one side over the other.
Reading the above, many would be in shock that I made the choice to stand. On one hand, to elaborate further my own personal opinion on kneeling, I see it as a matter of choice at the heart of the issue. I do not condone the violent acts, such as rioting and hooliganism by the BLM movement. I will not kneel in solidarity with those ideas of violence as a way to get your way. However, kneeling in itself is an act of peaceful protest. If all the BLM movement ever did was kneel, I probably wouldn’t mind kneeling too, but again, they are doing far more than “taking a knee”! In our country, we treasure our right, unlike in many other countries to criticize our country and its government. In America, we are given the freedom to express our dissent peacefully, and it is protected by our Constitution, even if it is highly inflammatory and unpopular. Those who attempt to silence it and outlaw it are denying their fellow citizens to express their right to dissent. As you may stand, they may kneel. In a country founded on principles of freedom, and peaceful expression, it is hypocritical to deny our fellow citizens the very right you feel you are being grateful for by telling them they cannot “disrespect” the country. As for the argument about the military, I have elaborated more in detail on that in a different post. To paraphrase the main points, I feel that standing for our anthem, or flag does nothing in reality to help actual soldiers in need. Our homeless veterans, those with PTSD, unemployed veterans, military families etc. benefit far better by things such as job opportunities, housing, support, medical care etc. than how fervently we idolize them or the flag in the abstract. To me, this whole matter is a choice. Choose to kneel or to stand. We all have the freedom in this country to be a fervent patriot, or fervent critic. I do not stand with those who seek to impose their expression of patriotism and solidarity to our country as the only way, or stand for idol worship of symbols and unconditional loyalty regardless of wrongs or rights. I choose to be a good person any day over being a good citizen if it were ever to come to that.
However, and this is my main point, I choose to stand personally. Why? Because the BLM adherents aren’t the only ones who feel marginalized and dismissed. As a conservative, I am bombarded 24/7 with radial liberal sentiments saying that I can’t have a voice. Radical liberals who wish to use ad-hominem attacks instead of reasoned debate have forced me into hiding on this blog. I cannot reveal my true identity because of my own set of bigots going after me, who would destroy my job opportunities, social opportunities, and demonize me.
I cannot kneel in solidarity with people who seek to impose their views on me, who attack me personally, who attack my family members and demonize them too before they even know them. I cannot kneel with people who have rioted and destroyed their own communities, who have physically attacked dissenters, who have chanted hateful slogans speaking of murdering police officers and calling them the cruelest of names. I cannot kneel with people who call me and my loved ones “racists”, “fascists”, “transphobic”, “xenophobic,” and my father and uncle “misogynists” when we all know we are none of the above. I cannot kneel with people who decide to make our argument black and white and conveniently erase all our subtle nuances. I cannot kneel with people who judge me because I choose to embrace my femininity and not desire to be like a man to be worth something. I cannot kneel with people who choose to wear “pussy hats” and call themselves “nasty women”. I cannot kneel with people who cast the finger at white people and dismiss all their hard work and achievements on “white privilege”, or straight white cisgendered men and say they must be silenced for the world to be a just place. I cannot kneel in solidity with ideas such as “every family is a real family”, hook up culture, reverse discrimination, the welfare state, political correctness, “you can be any gender you want” etc… I cannot kneel with a society that teaches liberalism is the only right way, the enlightened way, the moral way in our school system, and dismisses and marginalizes conservative students and their loved ones, and a media that overwhelmingly takes one side to very complex issues.
I will not kneel before the idol of radical liberalism any more than I will stand before the idol of unconditional loyalty at all costs. Perhaps if they were more moderate and reasoned, I’d be more inclined to kneel too, as I am a critic of fervent patriotism, but I concluded the greater of the two evils was kneeling before my oppressors in a state of complete submission! So yes, liberals, you alienated me from your cause with your violence, riots, bigotry of your own, insane political correctness, insulting my loved ones, demonizing people based on their vote, dismantling beneficial social values such as commitment in relationships, and the nuclear family among others, usurpation of the media, driving me into hiding and anonymity, and censoring and silencing my voice and voices like mine. Look, I seek to avoid this issue in my own personal life, but if I have to take sides, here’s mine. I may not stand with those who impose their idol worship and fervent nationalism on me, but I certainly will not kneel in solidarity with you!
I stand for reason.
I stand for tolerance for other views.
I stand for peaceful protest and dissent.
I stand for common sense.
I stand for myself and my loved ones, whose voices are shunned.
I stand for the strength of my convictions.
I stand for empirical evidence.
I stand for freedom of ideas.
I stand for everyone who wants what we want: A world where everyone is heard.
What do you stand for?…