Veterans don’t get to decide what ‘respecting the flag’ means (WaPo)

Oct 27, 2017
798
#1
But while most veterans have been measured in their responses, one strand of criticism is particularly disturbing: the notion that kneeling during the anthem is a specific affront to veterans and service members. As Kurt Schlichter, a combat veteran and contributor for Fox News, put it, Kaepernick “is targeting us. He knows what this means to us. He knows how insulting it is. He knows how disrespectful it is, and Nike is empowering it.” In a Facebook group for veterans that I belong to, someone wrote: “Anyone not respecting our flag should be deported. Many veterans and servicemen and women have died and suffered grievous wounds for this flag and anthem and constitution. Have some respect.” This argument isn’t new: Last year the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion chastised the protests as disrespectful.
This reasoning is rooted in a premise that is both wrong and dangerous. If kneeling for the anthem and the flag is a direct offense toward the military, that means veterans have a stronger claim to these symbols than Americans in general do. The argument insists that American iconography represents us more than it represents anyone else.

We are not an elite class of citizen elevated above our neighbors. When we start thinking of ourselves as a warrior caste, removed from the people we defend, we exacerbate the civilian-military divide. We indulge in an entitlement mentality that isn’t healthy, demanding special treatment, such as discounts or restrictions on fireworks that might upset vets with post-traumatic stress disorder. The message is, You’re welcome for my service .
What’s more, believing that we have a special claim to the flag conflicts with the fundamental values of the armed forces, which elevate service over self. Serving is an honor the American people grant us, and it is Americans — in their totality — whom we serve. This does not give us license to appropriate national symbols as our own exclusive banners. Service is a privilege, not a way to purchase greater moral authority.
By Salil Puri
Salil Puri, a staff sergeant with the Army’s Psychological Operations Regiment, served in Afghanistan. He is a senior consultant with The Culper Group.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outl...ory.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0ba440a71de4
 
Oct 28, 2017
834
#2
I still feel like this discussion over whether or not the protests are disrespectful to the flag is 100% intended as a distraction from the actual purpose of the protests, and it bothers me whenever anyone chooses to engage with that particular distraction.

The players are protesting police brutality. Full stop.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
22,006
#3
The whole "kneeling is disrespecting veterans" thing is asinine considering Kaepernick kneeling was a suggestion from a veteran in the first place. It's a disingenuous argument invented by Fox News and conservatives to try and prevent anyone from protesting racism in this country in any way.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,081
#6
I still feel like this discussion over whether or not the protests are disrespectful to the flag is 100% intended as a distraction from the actual purpose of the protests, and it bothers me whenever anyone chooses to engage with that particular distraction.

The players are protesting police brutality. Full stop.
It's been co-opted.
 
Dec 29, 2017
490
#7
So we've determined one group whose opinion isn't fact. Let's keep this going.

I still feel like this discussion over whether or not the protests are disrespectful to the flag is 100% intended as a distraction from the actual purpose of the protests, and it bothers me whenever anyone chooses to engage with that particular distraction.

The players are protesting police brutality. Full stop.
And this is the truth.
 
Oct 25, 2017
959
Beaverton, OR
#9
I’m a former soldier (not technically a full-fledged veteran because I was never deployed). I don’t feel insulted by someone kneeling. I don’t salute the flag myself because forced patriotism is stupid.

Black lives matter, period.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,171
Boise, Idaho
#10
It's wrong because veterans weren't fighting for the vague ideas of a flag and an anthem, that wasn't part of their oath. They were fighting for and protecting the Constitution, part of which protects a person's right to "disrespect the flag".
 

Luchashaq

Banned
Member
Nov 4, 2017
4,329
#11
I still feel like this discussion over whether or not the protests are disrespectful to the flag is 100% intended as a distraction from the actual purpose of the protests, and it bothers me whenever anyone chooses to engage with that particular distraction.

The players are protesting police brutality. Full stop.
Ding ding ding, they ignore the fact that Kap listened to a vet who asked him to kneel instead of sit (anyone who has played football understands taking a knee to listen to a coach is not direspect lmao) so they can avoid talking about how broken American policing is.
 
Oct 25, 2017
896
#12
If one person is offended, then it's offensive. That being said, the person who is allegedly doing that offending has the right to do so. Saying that a person protesting "should be deported" is about the most unamerican as you can get. It's not exactly the first time that a group of people objected to a country's treatment of them and their rights. I believe they called one instance the American Revolutionary War.
 

Geist

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,631
#13
I still feel like this discussion over whether or not the protests are disrespectful to the flag is 100% intended as a distraction from the actual purpose of the protests, and it bothers me whenever anyone chooses to engage with that particular distraction.

The players are protesting police brutality. Full stop.
Absolutely. It's fucking kneeling, not burning a flag (which is also protected as free speech). It's the most respectful form of protest possible on National Television, too fucking respectful considering it's a protest against innocent black men getting shot to death.

They could hold up signs saying "Fuck the Police" during the anthem and they would still hold the moral high ground.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,295
SoCal
#15
I’m a former soldier (not technically a full-fledged veteran because I was never deployed). I don’t feel insulted by someone kneeling. I don’t salute the flag myself because forced patriotism is stupid.

Black lives matter, period.
If you took the oath and were subject to the UCMJ, you're a veteran. Full stop. Being deployed has nothing to do with it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,148
#18
I still feel like this discussion over whether or not the protests are disrespectful to the flag is 100% intended as a distraction from the actual purpose of the protests, and it bothers me whenever anyone chooses to engage with that particular distraction.

The players are protesting police brutality. Full stop.
Oh it absolutely is. They’ve changed the narrative.

Also, where exactly would they be deported to???
 
Jun 10, 2018
994
#20
I'm glad someone said it and I'm glad that someone is a veteran: our sense of patriotism is poisoned. There are PLENTY of people - especially where I live - who do in fact believe that soldiers are more entitled than civilians, and not just to discounts or free drinks. It's a real problem that's difficult to address without being accused of attacking veterans but the reverence dances dangerously close to worship and elevation above other citizens.
 
Jan 8, 2018
1,301
earth
#22
This, and most "support the troops" bullshit, is really just empty rhetoric used to keep people from criticizing things about the country that certain groups don't want criticized. It's patriotism weaponized.

Protesting cops killing black kids?
You don't support the troops!

Criticizing spending trillions of dollars on "defense" while millions of Americans don't have healthcare?
You don't support the troops!

Think the minimum wage is too low?
You, uhh....sure yeah, you don't support the troops!

Exercising the right to free speech that the troops fight to protect?
You don't support the troops!

Eat shit, assholes.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,042
#23
Salil Puri is a member of the Psychological Operations Regiment, enlisting after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a quadruple major in History, Middle Eastern Studies, Government, and Psychology, later earning an MA in Security Policy.
Amazing what education can do to make a person think about things better.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,993
#24
I’m a former soldier (not technically a full-fledged veteran because I was never deployed). I don’t feel insulted by someone kneeling. I don’t salute the flag myself because forced patriotism is stupid.

Black lives matter, period.
Never heard a single veteran or active member in the military criticize kneeling.
One branch of my extended family is a military family that has served in the Army and Navy. General consensus from them on the protests is that they don't like it and just want their football, but how offensive they find it varies. It should be noted, however, that the man who responds most negatively to the protests also spends most of his time in the Philippines, and has been strongly supportive of Duterte's current regime.

It's not a veteran thing, it's a conservative thing. It's a combination of treating the military as this irreproachable warrior caste (a result of America's insistence of hero-worshiping them) and attempts by the far-right to strip the protests of their original context (protesting police brutality against African-Americans).
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,918
#25
The whole "kneeling is disrespecting veterans" thing is asinine considering Kaepernick kneeling was a suggestion from a veteran in the first place. It's a disingenuous argument invented by Fox News and conservatives to try and prevent anyone from protesting racism in this country in any way.
And yet the suckers fall for it. Every time. Fox News has either a lot of power or people are moronic. Likely both.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,146
San Francisco
#26
I’m a former soldier (not technically a full-fledged veteran because I was never deployed). I don’t feel insulted by someone kneeling. I don’t salute the flag myself because forced patriotism is stupid.

Black lives matter, period.
You served. You're a vet.

As someone who served and deployed to a war zone and embarrassingly gets a bit emotional and overly patriotic during the anthem, I feel insulted and even angry when people co-op vet respect as a reason to try and punish protestors exorcising their patriotic right to proclaim "our country is fucking up". If it angers you that they kneel, good, it's supposed to hurt so you'll listen, but dont you dare deflect the pain of personal insight towards those who served.
 
Jan 15, 2018
1,169
#27
The problem with this article is that it's assuming that the people rambling on about "it disrespects are troops!" are arguing in good faith and honestly think it's disrespectful to soldiers.

They're not.

It's an excuse they're using to mask over their racism.
 
Apr 17, 2018
6,058
#28
You know what really makes for a good ole shit on veterans? Employing racism to keep electing a party that wants to send them off to get wounded or die, then not fund any sort of healthcare or mental service that would seek to heal them.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,718
Toronto
#29
This, and most "support the troops" bullshit, is really just empty rhetoric used to keep people from criticizing things about the country that certain groups don't want criticized. It's patriotism weaponized.

Protesting cops killing black kids?
You don't support the troops!

Criticizing spending trillions of dollars on "defense" while millions of Americans don't have healthcare?
You don't support the troops!

Think the minimum wage is too low?
You, uhh....sure yeah, you don't support the troops!

Exercising the right to free speech that the troops fight to protect?
You don't support the troops!

Eat shit, assholes.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-wing_authoritarianism
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,820
D.C.
#30
Current active duty officer here. I've deployed to Afghanistan, if it matters.

Either those who kneel during the anthem are protesting police brutality and the objectively disproportionate way in which our criminal justice system impacts black Americans, especially young black men (which is what they're doing), or they're protesting the flag (which they aren't).

Either's okay.

The Constitution does not protect "the troops." It prescribes how Congress funds the armed forces and appoints the President as their commander-in-chief.

On the other hand, the Constitution does guarantee due process under the law, which is violated each time a police officer summarily executes a black kid holding a Nerf gun.

It also prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, which is trampled upon each time states execute a mentally handicapped black man for a crime he didn't commit and which DNA evidence would prove his innocence.

And it requires the State not to engage in unreasonable searches and seizures, which happens to black and brown people on a daily basis when casual encounters with police turn into coercive situations that go far beyond pat-downs reasonably necessary to ensure officers' safety.

Members of the armed forces swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, not discounts at Arby's. I think a lot of us understand this. I completely understand those who refuse to kneel during the anthem, but when protesters astutely point out that police abuses themselves are wrapped up in constitutional abuses, they underscore the point that we're on the same side.

Allowing right-wing media to blast jingoism and obfuscate that point is the real crime.
 
Last edited:

Pet

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,597
SoCal
#32
Current active duty officer here. I've deployed to Afghanistan, if it matters.

Either those who kneel during the anthem are protesting police brutality and the objectively disproportionate way in which our criminal justice system impacts black Americans, especially young black men (which is what they're doing), or they're protesting the flag (which they aren't).

Either's okay.

The Constitution does not protect "the troops." It prescribes how Congress funds the armed forces and appoints the President is their commander-in-chief.

On the other hand, the Constitution does guarantee due process under the law, which is violated each time a police officer summarily executes a black kid holding a Nerf gun.

It also prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, which is trampled upon each time states execute a mentally handicapped black man for a crime he didn't commit and which DNA evidence would prove his innocence.

And it requires the State not to engage in unreasonable searches and seizures, which happens to black and brown people on a daily basis when casual encounters with police turn into coercive situations that go far beyond pat-downs reasonably necessary to ensure officers' safety.

Members of the armed forces swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, not discounts at Arby's. I think a lot of us understand this. I completely understand those who refuse to kneel during the anthem, but when protesters astutely point out that police abuses themselves are wrapped up in constitutional abuses, they underscore the point that we're on the same side.

Allowing right-wing media to blast jingoism and obfuscate that point is the real crime.
A great response :).
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,302
#33
I still feel like this discussion over whether or not the protests are disrespectful to the flag is 100% intended as a distraction from the actual purpose of the protests, and it bothers me whenever anyone chooses to engage with that particular distraction.

The players are protesting police brutality. Full stop.
That's because that's exactly what it is, but the article in OP covers more ground than just that... To an extent there really is a growing caste system in that regard.
 

legacyzero

Self-Requested Ban
Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,334
#35
Funny, I don’t see anyone in the Black community getting angry with Kaepernick.

Just a bunch of salty conservatives.

If it were Tim tebow taking a knee protesting Women’s rights to abortion, these fucks would be kneeling in their living rooms during the national anthem

Also, I regularly see veterans in my twitter feed going after dumbfucks trying to speak for them
 
Oct 26, 2017
4,562
#38
It's so typical and predictable that white America has completely obscured what the protest is. The article should be "White America doesn't get to decide what kneeling is about"
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,612
North Jackson High
#39
The military has always had an authoritarian bent which is by nature (and is a good thing, as you do want soldiers who will do what they're told), but the problem is that the authoritarian mindset can make them bad civilians when they get out because they get ideas like this, like that American citizenship is or should be contingent on respect for symbols.
 
Oct 27, 2017
692
#40
We all know It's cover for peoples bullshit racism.

If he was burning the flag I'd understand the outrage but kneeling.

Why some people are being so disingenuous about it is hilarious.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,386
#41
Current active duty officer here. I've deployed to Afghanistan, if it matters.

Either those who kneel during the anthem are protesting police brutality and the objectively disproportionate way in which our criminal justice system impacts black Americans, especially young black men (which is what they're doing), or they're protesting the flag (which they aren't).

Either's okay.

The Constitution does not protect "the troops." It prescribes how Congress funds the armed forces and appoints the President is their commander-in-chief.

On the other hand, the Constitution does guarantee due process under the law, which is violated each time a police officer summarily executes a black kid holding a Nerf gun.

It also prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, which is trampled upon each time states execute a mentally handicapped black man for a crime he didn't commit and which DNA evidence would prove his innocence.

And it requires the State not to engage in unreasonable searches and seizures, which happens to black and brown people on a daily basis when casual encounters with police turn into coercive situations that go far beyond pat-downs reasonably necessary to ensure officers' safety.

Members of the armed forces swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, not discounts at Arby's. I think a lot of us understand this. I completely understand those who refuse to kneel during the anthem, but when protesters astutely point out that police abuses themselves are wrapped up in constitutional abuses, they underscore the point that we're on the same side.

Allowing right-wing media to blast jingoism and obfuscate that point is the real crime.
TheRockorOrsonWellesClapping.gif
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,876
#42
Glorification of veterans is some of the strange things in the USA.

Good for you that served in the army, doesn't make you an authority for anything though.
Especially when you know friends and family who serve in the military that did it because it was a job that paid well, had good benefits, and let them travel. I'm not pretending every veteran is a crusader for morality simply for serving in the military.

I respect you for serving, but expecting me to worship and venerate your every action and opinion is insane.
 

evilways811

Banned
Member
Jan 12, 2018
148
St. Cloud, FL
#44
Patriotism and "the troops", are always the prefered scapegoat for GOP zealots. It's like their go to tool when it comes to causing divide and outrage in the public.

I was against the war in Iraq, and remember friends and family calling me a traitor, an arab supporter and "you dont support our troops" as a constant mantra, even though I always stressed my reasons and opinions for being against the war and bombing another country in a civilized manner.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,753
Houston
#45
I still feel like this discussion over whether or not the protests are disrespectful to the flag is 100% intended as a distraction from the actual purpose of the protests, and it bothers me whenever anyone chooses to engage with that particular distraction.

The players are protesting police brutality. Full stop.
it's even more ridiculous when you consider the US hasn't actually been involved in arm conflict to "protect our freedom" as they often say, since WWII.
 
Jan 15, 2018
1,169
#46
Glorification of veterans is some of the strange things in the USA.

Good for you that served in the army, doesn't make you an authority for anything though.
Disclaimer: Glorification only applies if you're white and straight and don't expect things like medical care or equal rights.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,812
#47
Disclaimer: Glorification only applies if you're white and straight and don't expect things like medical care or equal rights.
Still cracked me up reading veterans being against minimum wage because they serve literally for pennies.

Yeah, maybe fight for better payment instead of putting down other people, idiots.
 

Stinkles

343 Industries
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
9,546
#48
The whole "kneeling is disrespecting veterans" thing is asinine considering Kaepernick kneeling was a suggestion from a veteran in the first place. It's a disingenuous argument invented by Fox News and conservatives to try and prevent anyone from protesting racism in this country in any way.
I'm shocked that this isn't mentioned every single time.

What he's doing is literally OUT OF RESPECT FOR THE TROOPS AND THE FLAG.

Meanwhile an actual traitor and draft dodger gets to destroy him, endanger his life and suppress his first amendment rights from the Whitehouse.
 
Oct 25, 2017
11,715
#49
it's even more ridiculous when you consider the US hasn't actually been involved in arm conflict to "protect our freedom" as they often say, since WWII.
I mean, even then that war wasn't fought to protect people's freedom. At least my freedom. That Narrative evolve over many years