I attended the meeting at CCGA regarding the athletes kneeling for the anthem last week, and I can say that it was a very positive experience.

I am no expert by any means, and boiling down this topic to just a few sentences is dangerous indeed, but I can say with certainty that I am still trying to grasp the full substance for the two sides of this issue. On one side is the passionate defense of “disrespect,” as many call it to our fine men and women in uniform. The other is the raising of awareness to the racial inequities in our country. Being a white guy, I think it’s absurd to think I have knowledge of what it is like to live the life of a racial minority. But I think I can listen to see how our lives might be different. I can also try to listen to those who exhibit such passion for the flag and our anthem. I never really put critical thought on what the anthem and the flag mean to me personally before all of this started, and I can say that I learned that it is a personal feeling, and it’s incredibly more complex than just a representative of our armed forces.

One of the most important ideals, though, is the freedom to disagree, which is outlawed in many other oppressive societies. My thoughts might be naive, but maybe compassionate, civil discussions like these can win the day in the end.

Jersey Koedderich