Kneel for a lie, or stand for truth

In case you haven't heard, Ben and Jerry's Ice cream has a new flavor dedicated to Colin Kaepernick.  I, for one, will not be buying any (I prefer Baskin Robbins anyway).

When I first learned of Mr. Kaepernick's refusal to stand for our National Anthem, I was angry at him, but now I have come to an understanding that he is not a man to be angry with.  Instead, he is a man to be pitied.  He may have intended "taking a knee" to be a slight toward our nation, our culture, police officers, or various other contrived grievances, but in truth, kneeling is a sign of submission.  To kneel is to acknowledge the object of one's submission as having power over an individual.

It is a sad truth that throughout history, people have been submissive to morally corrupt characters and ideas.  Perhaps even more pitiful is the act of being submissive to a lie.  This is exactly what Colin Kaepernick has chosen to do.  Though non-white people still face challenges, to declare that anyone in the United States of America faces more challenges than all others simply because of skin color is disingenuous at best.  For a non-white multi-millionaire to do so is ludicrous.

For anyone to achieve so much in life that earns a salary that makes him a millionaire on earnings alone is extraordinary.  To do so before age 30 is to be the recipient of a great opportunity.  Yet this individual, by kneeling in protest of the U.S., denies the existence of the opportunities that afforded him wealth beyond what a great majority of his fellow Americans (and even greater still that the rest of the world's citizens) will ever see.  In kneeling, he denies his own achievements and submits to a falsehood that he is forever helpless and hopeless to overcome the challenges of life.

This is a person to be pitied above all else.  He has bought into a lie of oppression, and indeed, he is oppressed — but only because he chooses to be

As a Christian raised on Southern gospel preaching, I believe there was only one individual who had the right to ask others to kneel, but as far as I can tell, he never did so.  Instead, he went around telling people to "get up, pick up your mat and walk."  It was an instruction to put the past behind and to claim their future.  Until recently, it never occurred to me that any of those individuals might have chosen to stay on his mat and deny the opportunity that had been afforded to him.  Now I understand through Kaepernick's actions that a lie can be so comfortable, so treasured, that one can let it control his future.

I am no longer angry at Colin Kaepernick.  I am thankful for his bringing to my attention the danger of "taking a knee" to falsehoods that would deny me the appreciation of my accomplishments or the promises of my future.

Malcom Wade is a pen name for an individual who longs for a day when he can be credited for his work without fear of reprisal from his employer or other cancel culture warriors. 

Image: Kate via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

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