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Todd Treharne
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Todd Treharne   My Press Releases

Taking A Knee

Published on 9/28/2017
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Taking A Knee



Regardless if you are a fan of American football and the NFL or not, you no doubt have seen or heard of players not standing for the National Anthem. I am going to share some thoughts with you, thoughts in the hope that it brings us together , strengthens our connection and not divide us even further.

This article may be a little long for some, though it is the length it needs to be!

I will start by sharing my perspective. I stand for the National Anthem. At every event( I don't even really like or watch football) Why do I stand? There may be some social conditioning, some traces back to my up bringing. Yet it is mostly what, as an adult free thinker, are my beliefs. I believe that that I am afforded opportunities in America, as I believe all Americans are, I have not seen any where else on the planet, and I am grateful for being blessed to live here. I also am fully aware that this country is imperfect. So with that said, I honor others that for their reasons, may choose not to stand. I do not have to agree with those reasons, i am not them, and I do not judge.

"Understanding starts with a dialogue, and the most important part of dialogue is to listen." - Howie Long


It is both sides not listening that has stirred up this hot mess.

So I am listening! This is what I am hearing: 

People who love America want America to be the very best it can be! Healthy. Strong. Viable. Free. With liberty and justice FOR ALL. That includes equality for ALL.

Rather than attacking them for "how" they are sharing their message of distress, pain, and hope...take a deep breath and actually LISTEN to what is being said.

As I've seen written -- taking a knee for an injured player is done in respect, in hope for recovery and that he'll be okay. So I see nothing BUT respect when I see people standing up for others by kneeling in hopes that our country will heal, recover, and truly LIVE BY the standards we claim to be built upon.

I have listened to why they are taking a knee, and honestly have a hard time with the reasoning. I alsoam challenged with the reasoning of joining the armed forces and going around the world in the name of 'freedom'. Yet both these people are American. I listen and look for ways to heal.

So what makes people react the way they do?

People do not join the military because they want to go and kill people. In fact, most I have met and know, are there to 'protect' American values and way of life. So if they feel that there actions are disrespected, when they feel they are giving everything, can raise some spirited reeaction and bring the blood temprature to a boil.

Those taking a knee and not 'honoring' what it represents to the above, have a different view.

This has never been about respecting the flag, spitting on the graves of fallen soldiers, hating America, or any other shiny object trotted out as a pretend offense at the spectacle of a quiet protest during the national anthem. This is about one thing only:

discrediting the expression of pain by an oppressed people.

You see, by trotting out emotionally-charged images of flag-draped coffins, the anti-protester cuts off debate of the issue - that minorities, especially black Americans, are in crisis in our country, You don't really care if they respect the flag or not  No, what you're doing is much worse. You are calling them liars; telling them their pain isn't real, that their experience of oppression is exaggerated, that they need to get over it and join in this fabulous colorblind society of America.

What would it take for you to protest the flag?

The fact is, if in your mind, the state of the country got bad enough; got SO crappy that you felt like a second or third class citizen, that the most basic promises of security and freedom were an obvious, embarrassing, cynical lie, you may just be pushed to burn that flag in desperate protest that the government sworn to protect you was instead murdering you.


No, the reason you think flag-kneelers are being disrespectful is because their pain isn't real to you; at least not real enough to merit protest. Even if you're not a tiki-carrying, mouth-breathing Nazi, if you believe that they should protest on their own time, or in a way that isn't so offensive (translation - in a way that won't force you to look outside your privileged bubble), then it is you who is actively un-American. Blind allegiance is not patriotism. These rich "spoiled" athletes love their country, just not the injustice others suffer under the a flag at the hands of those who are despicable failures at upholding the Constitution.

Until "With liberty and justice for all," is a reality, and our black brothers and sisters don't have to train their sons and daughters how to survive a traffic stop, the flag can't possibly represent all of us.
These are millionaire athletes.... no racism there. We've had a black president... no racism there.
Cops and there an issue there? Now, what does taking a knee DO? It starts us all talking.

But what else could these athletes DO?

So everyone I ask you this.... Why can't we be in support of our troops, our flag AND stand up, speak out against racism, police brutality, and the like? IN FACT - I'd think the MORE patriotic you are, the MORE you'd care about things like oppression, racism, police brutality, abuse of the system, etc. Don't you WANT our country to be better? Isn't that true patriotism??? 

Yes, this got us all talking -- yes there is more to be done from this point. You know it had to start somewhere! Are there seriously people who don't care WHAT is being talked about? I mean, I guess there are. Yet overall, I believe most of us want the very best for our country! So how do we heal as a nation?

Awareness is the has to happen. So if you don't want them protesting by kneeling during the anthem, instead of telling them HOW to protest, being pissed about it, and stopping there....why not step forward with "We hear your cries and while I don't agree with how you went about it, what can we do to help change the complexion of this country?" What are you willing to do to help them in their plight? Do you care that people still feel oppressed in our society? Do you want to do something about it? Because dismissing what is being brought to light and angry shouts about them being morons and unpatriotic....well, that's getting us nowhere. Whether you like HOW they protested or not - are you able to see underneath all that to come together and transform? That's what real evolution is about.

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Taking A Knee

"The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can't be any large-scale revolution until there's a personal revolution, on an individual level. It's got to happen inside first."
"Break on through to the other side!"
-- Jim Morrison

Share with me what your thoughts on this are. What are you willing to do, TODAY< to step up and stand in your greatness?
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