Friday, October 27, 2017

A Retired Teacher Speaks Out Against Kneeling During National Anthem

Nadene Goldfoot
Every day when I taught grades 1 to 4, we started with the Pledge of Allegiance, and then had other little things we did as a morning exercise that was fun before we got into our subject matter.  The children memorized our National Anthem in their music classes and certain holiday festivities.
To learn that football players were perturbed about the high rate of Black arrests that included shootings and thought they would bring the attention of all those watching them by kneeling during the flag salute and anthem  was absolutely startling.  We all stand to honor the flag.

Anyone who becomes a new citizen of this country is obliged to take an oath or sign an agreement about their behavior.

"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law;
and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."
Immigrants to the United States take the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony at the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, September 2016.

  It seems new citizens came here to enjoy a better life, and are the ones who appreciate this country the most.  Are the rest of us taking it for granted?  This country is only 241 years old and it has taken us that long to develop the fairness here we now enjoy compared to past eras.  It may not be perfect as we're all only human, but certainly is an improvement over past days.
1900s saw Europeans arrive as immigrants escaping hard times

The thought came to me that these football players,  who make so much money that it astounds me, and now disavow giving honor to this country, are bringing their people's plight to us in the completely wrong way by kneeling instead of standing.  It's an oppositional move.  It's a hateful move that says they don't stand with this country.  
Riots, burning of city businesses

How is that going to influence me in their people's plight with the law?  They already get plenty of attention in the news when someone is arrested and the reporters think it's possibly unfair. Such acts are talked about on national news, TV and radio.   

We hear about it all the time.  We hear about the statistics of Blacks in jail versus whites, or arrests, or shooting of Blacks.  What these football players want is for this to stop, right?  More attention, negative attention, is not the answer, and especially for their athletic role models  to suddenly stop supporting the country that provides for them.  It's rather like they've just joined the lawbreakers of the country.  They've taken sides against America.   

No, if they want a change in this situation, they need to do something legal to bring about change.  With their money, they could spend some of it in school assemblies about how to follow the law.  They could speak about not stealing, killing, fighting, joining gangs, drinking alcohol beverages, smoking, using drugs, all these things that cause one to bring the attention of the law to them.  They could work on creating programs for children so that they wouldn't be involved with the law.  

Then people would admire them more than just making touchdowns.  They would be admired for doing their utmost for their country and their people.  They would do something that parents and churches and schools usually do for their families that have failed in this present culture.  Role models are needed to present acceptable behaviors, not negative ones.  
Local Catholic high football team kneeling during pledge and anthem.  They know the practice is to stand.  

What they have done is just the opposite.  They are already being copied by children, not in playing better football, but in being defiantly oppositional towards this great country by kneeling during times to stand for our country.  They've just tossed out the window all the lessons teachers try to teach of respecting this country by learning its history.  Children copy behaviors, and at least half the country see this as a disgraceful act.  

Two wrongs do not make a right.  
What are the two wrongs?
1. Getting in trouble with the law.
2. Getting mad at the police for doing their job with lawbreakers.  

Perhaps another thing the football players could do to HELP the situation is to ride with the police as volunteers to see why they have lost tempers that they shouldn't.  What brings on antagonism between police and community?  Prejudice towards Blacks?  Violence against police?  Disobeying directions given by police?  Important athletes such as well known football players are in a position of power already.  There is so much goodness that you could do.  

How can we expect a certain action from new immigrants but not expect it from our citizens.  I've drawn a line here between feeling pride in our country and our actions that I expect to mirror this pride.  We cannot take this action and say we still honor our citizens who fight for this country but not the police by kneeling.  We cannot pick and choose.  We either accept our country with its warts and all or we leave.  Sometimes I'm on the verge, myself, but so far I'm still here, for there is much to admire and it outweighs the warts.  



  1. it seems as though people either forget, or never bothered to know, that freedom is very costly and deserves respect. we have the right to disagree. but what gives people the right to disrespect? i don't think that will ever be right. that, plus, we are living in the days when good is called evil and evil is called good, so what else?
    this is where things are at in mainstream america anymore.

  2. This is how I see it, too, Andre. We've come to a sad state of affairs. I remember the big programs we used to have in the grade school I was teaching in, and all the patriotic songs I taught my class. In those days we didn't have a special music teacher; we each taught music then, I guess. I taught the army, navy, marine patriotic songs, etc. The children learned respect. Whatever has happened? We saluted the flag salute at the beginning of each day, too. None of us could start without this regimen, including me. A different child would lead us each week with a Ready--Begin.