Thursday, October 13, 2016

Our Principles Must Trump Our Symbols - IMRAN™

There are a lot of news items about people expressing their protests in different ways, from kneeling at the time of the national anthem to flag burning Americans.
I have no sympathy for racial groups that have a sense of entitlement because some white man enslaved some black man 400 years ago. Many of us immigrants come from former colonies or enslaved countries. Some still live in places like that in Kashmir and Palestine.
The groups that celebrate gangster culture in their music and commit crimes but get off easy for playing the race card. I cannot stand them. But I am deeply & literally physically sickened when I see, again and again, unarmed black men being killed by out of control cops, none of whom go to jail.
So, I can understand the silent, peaceful, protest of some professional players to call attention to the matter.
If anything, I am dismayed that a supreme court justice, whom I respect, first foolishly expressed political opinions against Donald Trump. Though I cannot stand him, I would expect a Supreme Court justice to keep their personal opinions to themselves in case the election leads to a Supreme Court case. I would expect even a despicable person like him to get a fair hearing.
(Sidebar: I despise both candidates. Donald Trump being the worst Presidential candidate in recent history is the only reason the second worst candidate Hillary Clinton is likely to become President. Even worse, as I have been warning my Republican friends for months, he could cost them Senate and even Congress if things keep going as they are. Then they will be wishing they had accepted President Obama's moderate nominee).
The lady Justice then called the silent peaceful protesting players stupid for kneeling in protest at the anthem. Maybe she is ready to retire and wants to go out making some statements like that to be in the news, but she is wrong on that.
The fact of the matter is, saying Black Lives Matter when an unarmed man is murdered by cops just because he was Black, does not mean one is saying it is OK to kill cops or that other lives do not matter. I do not see a stream of videos of cops shooting white people for even more egregious actions.
Therefore, silent peaceful protest it to be respected not demonized. Would we rather have the violent gangs burning up cities as happened in Ferguson?
No group is perfect. Speak up for injustices against blacks or any group. But throw criminals in jail hard regardless of their color. Stand by the police. But call out and prosecute the killers among them.
That brings us to another controversy people are fed to take their attention off real issues, Burning of the American Flag.
I dislike people who disrespect the flag of their own country. BUT, remember, the Flag is symbolic, the Constitution is what makes us the greatest country in the world.
Symbols represent us. Principles make us who we are. We could change the American flag to all pink and purple or any color and still be the same great nation if we live by our constitution.
So do not get caught up in the furor of someone burning the flag. Sure, discourage them, ignore them, but do not threaten or attack them. They are doing what our constitution gives them the right to do as also decided in a Supreme Court decision.
Only a freedom guaranteeing constitution like ours gives people the right to burn the flag or do other stupid things under free speech.
Our principles must always trump even our own symbols. Symbols can change but not change who we are. But if we abandon our principles, it won't matter what color or how fancy or pretty or fireproof our flags are.
What do you think?
Imran Anwar


IMRAN™ said...

My FaceBook friend Paula shared a link about not wanting people to protest in ways involving the anthem or flag and expressed her feelings on her post. I am sharing below the comment I wrote, as it illustrates why we need to protect and value our Principles more than our Symbols.

IMRAN™ said...

"I understand what you are saying. As I said, they should be respected. But I am explaining that flags, anthems, buildings, landmarks are all SYMBOLS. The Our national PRINCIPLES and laws do not come from any of these but from our Constitution. The anthem was adopted around 1931. The Constitution (and the flag) go back to the 1776-77 timeframe. IN the flag, the thirteen stripes on the flag represent the thirteen original colonies. The fifty stars represent the fifty current states.
We could all move to Mars or become a country with 70 states and 70 stars on the flag. But our principles that make US the USA and our freedoms and laws are derived from the Constitution
Now, if people feel that strongly about it, then they can ask Congress to change the laws (though they may run into the situation of trying to create laws that go contrary to Constitutional freedoms of expression. So, if enough people want, maybe they want the Constitution amended to cover that. But quite honestly, I am less worried about changing the Constitution to cover the flag than I am about Bush/Cheney ripping our individual Constitutional freedoms and Obama/Biden continuing that with the NSA etc.
Yahoo and other apparently allowed the government to openly spy on ALL Americans without warrants but no one seems worried about that. I worry more about the Constitution being shredded by both parties than by some guy silently using his actual Constitutional freedom not to stand for a symbol, the anthem, enacted in 1931.
The Chinese and the Russians and the Saudis and the North Koreans and the Iranians do not burn their own flags because they would disappear, for that, or for questioning the government, or for criticizing a head of state, or almost anything... Would you want us to be like them or have the freedoms our Constitution ensures, including, even though you and I may not like it, not standing for the anthem? That is the point I am making that we need to protect AND value our principles more than our symbols."