Every time anyone ever dares to insinuate that perhaps the United States of America isn’t the most wonderful country in the world, conservatives immediately play the “veterans” card. “What about all the veterans who fought and died for your freedoms?” is the usual line of argument. The recent controversy of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the national anthem in protest of the treatment of African-Americans and police violence has brought the racists cowering behind false patriotism out of the woodwork.
However, as usual, nobody on the right ever stops to ask our veterans what they think about all of this – and they overwhelmingly stand with Kaepernick’s right to sit during the anthem. ESPN’s nationally syndicated sports radio talk show Mike & Mike announced that “Of the tweets that we’re getting from military and former military people, definitely the majority are saying he has every right to do what he’s doing, and that’s exactly what we fought for. You may not like it, but he has every right to do that.”
“I’ve got sheets and sheets and sheets of tweets from people who say they are military members currently serving or formerly serving who support Kaepernick’s right to do what he did…you may feel that way, but don’t say it’s a fact that he’s disrespecting [the military], because I’ve got tons and tons of people who would disagree with you who have served [in the military], and that, I think, is an important distinction” added host Mike Greenberg.
On social media, veterans have been coming out in droves to support Kaepernick’s right to sit during the anthem. as you can see below. It’s absolutely disgusting to see the right-wing wield our veterans as a political cudgel and then watch their Republican representatives try to privatize veterans’ care and cut their benefits. Right-wing politicians use the conservative fetishistic patriotism as a shameful political weapon but are enormous hypocrites when it comes to their dedication to creating more veterans and prolonging the useless overseas wars our nation can’t seem to extricate itself from.
Kaepernick, for his part, says that his protest has nothing to do with the military. “I have great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country,” he said. “I have family, I have friends that have gone and fought for this country. And they fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. That’s not happening.”
“People are dying in vain because this country isn’t holding their end of the bargain up, as far as giving freedom and justice, liberty to everybody. That’s something that’s not happening. I’ve seen circumstances where men and women that have been in the military have come back and been treated unjustly by the country they fought have for, and have been murdered by the country they fought for, on our land. That’s not right.”
— Rory Fanning (@RTFanning) August 30, 2016
nope . he good . https://t.co/nPGeDdmNne
— miracle ✨ (@MiraCOLE_World) August 27, 2016
This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.