It doesn’t matter where you go in the world there will always be people complaining about this or that endeavor being political. I recently saw a video by Jose on ComicsGate.
In that case, people were upset at the increase in diversity that was taking place in comic books. Many saw this as politicizing comics. They did not, however, see the facts the comics had always been overwhelmingly white and male as being a political statement.
Colin Kaepernick’s Crime Against the Status Quo
Another example of this is Colin Kaepernick. Now let’s be honest here. People hated him because he was protesting the status quo. The fact that he was black just made it worse. (Note how conservatives love people of color as long as they are telling other people of color they should sit down, shut up, and be happy they aren’t currently on fire.)
It was not because he was somehow disrespecting the American flag. But let’s assume that really was the issue for a moment.
If it were the case that his kneeling during the national anthem was politicizing the event then what was the national anthem itself? Clearly these people think there is nothing political about everyone standing and putting their hands on their chest and listening to the national anthem and watching the military flyovers.
Equating Status Quo With Natural
For these people, the constant jingoistic patriotism and the fetishization of the military is given. But it’s not. As Matt Soniak has explained, it wasn’t until World War I that the national anthem became part of professional baseball. And it didn’t become standard for sporting events until World War II.
It was all supposedly part of the war effort. But just nationalistic nonsense only accretes. When the wars end, these things stayed on. But that doesn’t make them natural.
In fact, I consider the whole thing disreputable. Why do professional sports wrap themselves in the flag? That’s especially true as sports become more international. What is the point of all this? It makes no sense to me. It goes against the things that I always thought America stood for like, for example, individualism.
Status Quo Destroys Freedom
Another thing conservatives love to go on about is freedom of speech and the supposed virtue signaling of SJWs. But ask yourself what would happen if you were an able-bodied person and you refuse to rise during the national anthem at a football game? You would certainly get a lot of angry comments. You might well be beaten up and even killed. Where’s the freedom of speech there? That’s fascist-level intolerance if you ask me.
But apparently as long as it is in the service of something that people think of as normal, it’s fine. But none of these things are normal. These things are the result of history. There is nothing fundamental about them. And you don’t have to be against the national anthem at sporting events to realize that.
I’d think proud patriots would rather that standing for the national anthem be voluntary. After all, what better way to signal that they are chauvinists than to stand proudly while people like me sit and chat with friends?
But it’s like with the War on Christmas: it isn’t enough to believe; everyone around them must also believe. If you ask me, this just means they don’t have a strong belief.
Everyone should admit that this is a social convention. It’s the way we do things. But it’s not the way we always did them. And it will not always be the way that we do them. So it’s open to discussion. And those who claim that it shouldn’t be open to discussion are villains.
“Civilians With Hitler Salute When Germans Marched In — Occupation of the Sudeten Area” by German Federal Archive (Deutsches Bundesarchiv). It is in the public domain.