I’ve heard two contrasting toasts to America. The first was, “To America. May she always be right, but to America right or wrong”. The second was, “To America. When she’s right keep her right, when she’s wrong make her right”. There is a substantial difference of values reflected in the toasts. The first toast is passive, and is tolerant of whatever ails a country. The second toast is a call to activism. It prompts us to identify what is wrong with our country and to take steps to make it right.
NFL players protesting against discrimination against people of color and the shooting of unarmed black citizens, is as American and patriotic as it gets. One may or may not agree with the method of the protest, but protesting against perceived wrongs, whether it’s kneeling or standing with locked arms, expresses the higher values of what it means to be a patriotic American.
Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.