Disrespecting America is not a path to justice

September 23, 2016 5 players and staff take a knee during Anthem
September 23, 2016 5 players and staff take a knee during Anthem

Colin Kaepernick started a minor movement of dissent that has even shown up at a local high school, Kent Polytech. It is time to address this virus of anti-Americanism. I do not rise against the people who are exercising their rights as Americans to redress the government for their grievances. After all, it is well known that Black Americans are 30% more likely to be pulled over, 3 times more likely to be searched and 2 times more likely to be shot, according to President Obama. Recent incidents in Minnesota, Oklahoma and Louisiana illustrate the problem of an inexplicable escalation to deadly force by a minority of law enforcement. It is a legitimate concern.

A Constitutional government is one restrained and respecting its people, not one that rules by fear of deadly force because you do not move quickly enough or obey its dictates fast enough. Deadly force should only be engaged in if there is a bonafide threat to life or safety of someone whether a victim or law enforcement officer. As Conservatives, this is a fundamental principle for us. My problem with the protestors is that by protesting our National Anthem, they are saying that police brutality is something that is fundamentally American. That is absurd on its face. The American Constitution and values are the standard that condemns government oppression and gives us the tools to reign in excess. Protesting it is counterproductive.

While overreach happens way too often, it is not who we are. Many of the protestors are at least guilty of overreach themselves. Every use of force by police is condemned before looking at fact. Frankly, most of the time, use of force is reasonable, justified and even necessary to save lives. The police are not always right, but the police are not always wrong. When we assume otherwise, we handicap law enforcement and empower the lawless that prey upon us. It is not police shooting us tens of thousands of times a year. 86,000 shootings of 3rd parties occurred in a recent year 97% had nothing to do with law enforcement. This is not even the tip of the iceberg. The cultural acceptance of violence is something that taking a knee during the anthem will not address. I would contend that it is counterproductive.

As a veteran, I understand that the way we solve our problems by standing together not pulling away from our common values. I do not think it is cool or trendy let alone noble to say that some Americans should opt out of standing with each other to honor the ideas of liberty, justice, GOD, and unity. The way we address inequality is not to create more of it, but like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we call out injustice and demand that America live up to its principles. Fundamentally America is a good nation and Americans are a good people. Travel the world and you will find that we are unique in our striving of liberty for all, individual sovereignty and equality under the law. The very fact that these good people can protest under the first amendment was something that originated here.

Tennessee v. Gardner is enshrined in our case law. “Where a suspect poses no immediate threat to the officer and no threat to others, the harm resulting from failing to apprehend him does not justify the use of deadly force to do so,” Justice Byron R. White wrote for the court. If you believe there is a problem, the solution is in the Constitution not in opposing it.

I believe this movement is symptomatic of a larger problem. Americanism is no longer taught. We do not teach the Constitution when we do teach it, we teach case law. We are embarrassed about the Declaration of Independence which has been the basis of human rights declarations and laws around the world because some of the elite are embarrassed that it declares our rights come from GOD not the government. We teach a victimology. We do not teach what made us great, instead, we focus on every perceived failure or injustice then wonder why our kids are not excited about America. America did not become great because it was filled with injustice. It is a great nation because it is a beacon of justice that allows us to be better human beings by eliminating it step by step.

The only way Black lives matter is if all lives matter. We show that by standing together and demanding the best of Americanism for all of us not by sitting apart.