Opinion | Freedom of expression extends to non-patriots

ALEC HORTON
Editor-in-Chief

Any person who chooses to remain seated for the national anthem is simply exercising freedom of expression just as white supremacists can express their views peacefully.

Here’s the catch: Which action do you think will evoke shame and secondhand embarrassment to each party’s descendants?

I suggest you take a look in the mirror and think about how you and your ideologies will be portrayed in history books and viewed by people 50 years from now.

This is what I hear most from patriots upset about national-anthem protesters: “If you can’t support our national anthem or flag, then get the hell out!”

Really? Did this country’s founders give up and leave because they felt voiceless and because they resented Great Britain’s monarchy?

No. They stayed. They fought “the man.” They won.

Now, I’m not saying we should be proud of the way this country was built (see: oppression of non-white people). However, ‘persistence’ and ‘America’ have always gone hand in hand.

People who are not proud of this country, as it is now, stay because they are emotionally invested in its wellbeing. Leaving certainly seems like the logical thing to do at first but emotions cloud the thought process.

Emotions often defy logic. This is not necessarily a bad thing.

I think the lovable sitcom character Leslie Knope put it best: “These people are members of the community that care about where they live, so what I hear when I’m being yelled at is people caring loudly at me.”

Why don’t we all adopt that mindset? It would lead to a much less heated and hate-filled public dialogue.

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