A solution to communication failures
I am giving you my solution to the failure to communicate initiated by Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem ever since September 1, 2016. The problem is that his action means different things to different people.
My solution is to add one minute of silence immediately before the playing of the national anthem. The PA announcer would say, “Before the playing of the national anthem, please observe one minute of silence, in the posture of your choice, to show solidarity with those who have suffered harm from the authorities.” One minute later the PA announcer would say, “Please rise to sing the national anthem to honor the flag of the United States of America and to honor those who have suffered harm defending this country.” Then the national anthem would be played and sung.
My solution has no misinterpretation. The meaning of each segment is always stated for all to hear prior to each segment. Let the communication begin or resume throughout this land. Let us prove to each other that we can do better than our predecessors.
The ‘Bonus Army’ marches
Obama and Biden offered support to peaceful protesters and condemned those who resorted to violence. Trump mobilized the 82nd Airborne with fixed bayonets. The stark contrast reminds me of another historical event.
During the Great Depression, the “Bonus Army” marched on the White House. These WWI veterans were due a bonus for their military service, but the funds were to be paid in the future as a pension. Out of work and unable to feed their families, the veterans demanded immediate payment of the bonus. President Herbert Hoover responded by sending infantry, cavalry, tanks and machine guns to disperse the Bonus Army. Imagine this now: Our military “dominating the battle space” and terrorizing veterans.
When Franklin Roosevelt won the presidency, the Bonus Army again assembled in front of the White House. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt went out among the crowd, met with people and listened to their stories. Famously she shared a meal, eating beans with her fingers from a tin cup. One veteran’s comment was printed in newspapers around the country: “Hoover sent the militia. Roosevelt send his wife.”
Donald Trump wants to style himself a “law and order” president, but his words and actions continue to divide our nation and threaten our democracy.
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