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Benjamin Watson on "Why I Stand"


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I've been a Benjamin Watson fan even before he became a Baltimore Raven. He's currently injured. He posted this on his Facebook page tonight:

 

"I will not have the option to kneel this Sunday while the National Anthem is being played. A week ago, in what would prove to be my last pre-game opportunity of this 2016 season, I stood with my right hand over my heart as the anthem played. And if I am fortunate enough to ever be dressed for another game day I imagine I would be doing the same thing I did in my last. Standing. Not because America is ALL I desire it to be because most assuredly it is not. Racism still stews, families are fractured, the unborn are trashed, schools are struggling, religious freedom is increasingly under attack, violence pollutes our cities and our suburbs, and there is a growing divide between law enforcement and the community.

 

 

I stand, however, because I grew up in NAVY town USA and traveled overseas to support members of our armed forces who follow orders regardless of their personal sentiments. I stand for those who were forced to give their lives building the country that confined them to the tobacco fields and indigo plantations. I stand because as a child, I saw my father stand. A man who lived the tumultuous transition from "separate but equal" to the times surrounding the Civil Rights Act when angry people who held signs at his new school viscously screamed "______ GO HOME!" I stand because on the contrary, no one held such a sign when I walked into my grade school.

 

 

Before competition, as I stand in shoulder pads and cleats, my helmet in my left hand, adrenaline flowing and my heart raging under my right, I never forget the ills of America but for a moment I envision its potential, remember its prosperity and give thanks to God for the land He has placed me in and the people I love who live in it.

I stand, because this mixed bag of evil and good is MY home. And because it's MY home my standing is a pledge to continue the fight against all injustice and preserve the greatest attributes of the country, including Colin Kaepernick's right to kneel.

 

 

His actions and similar actions by figures of the past and present are a vital part of our journey and a key component of the equation for social change and should be respected as such. From the country's inception, such displays against the status quo are distinctly American. My hope, though, is that these actions bring more attention to the PROBLEM than to the PROTESTOR. And that ensuing dialog discover truth and that truth give birth to justice in legitimate situations where there is none. My hope is that in this time of toil and discord we collectively use our positions in public and private life to take responsibility for our role and collectively seek solutions, not because we HAVE to but because we CARE to. Sometimes listening is of greater value than speaking. As elusive an aspiration as it may be, our goal, especially in the arena of race, should continue to be to create an America where eventually everyone can, in good conscience, stand. No matter the historical context or the present circumstance that is the unity I, perhaps naively, imagine when I see our flag and listen to our anthem.

 

 

Conflict when handled correctly strengthens. Conflict when mismanaged destroys."

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He's so well spoken. Too bad when folks read it they'll be so impressed with him and what he said but his message isn't any different than Colin's. He just said it better. How many people will look past his well written prose and read his message? He stands for the anthem and people get warm and fuzzy inside but he is still saying America sucks right now just like Colin is saying.

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He's so well spoken. Too bad when folks read it they'll be so impressed with him and what he said but his message isn't any different than Colin's. He just said it better. How many people will look past his well written prose and read his message? He stands for the anthem and people get warm and fuzzy inside but he is still saying America sucks right now just like Colin is saying.

 

He didn't say it sucks. He said it has issues. He was also pointing out it is still the best country in the world.

 

He gets that because we are the greatest nation on Earth that CK can protest the way he does. We have our issues but we can work on them and get better than we are.

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He didn't say it sucks. He said it has issues. He was also pointing out it is still the best country in the world.

 

He gets that because we are the greatest nation on Earth that CK can protest the way he does. We have our issues but we can work on them and get better than we are.

 

 

America sucks is too much but from what I read in his statement is that he agrees with why Colin K is protesting. And that is the whole point of Colin K's protest. People keep whining about the protest and how Colin K protested and then Ben Watson says the same thing Colin K is saying but he said it so well spoken to salute the flag and now no one is talking about the why of the protesting instead they are saying how Ben Watson gets it. Are people actually reading what Ben Watson said?

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America sucks is too much but from what I read in his statement is that he agrees with why Colin K is protesting. And that is the whole point of Colin K's protest. People keep whining about the protest and how Colin K protested and then Ben Watson says the same thing Colin K is saying but he said it so well spoken to salute the flag and now no one is talking about the why of the protesting instead they are saying how Ben Watson gets it. Are people actually reading what Ben Watson said?

 

I'm sure they are.

 

He still stands too. Don't miss that while reading what he says. Don't dismiss why he still stands too.

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He's so well spoken. Too bad when folks read it they'll be so impressed with him and what he said but his message isn't any different than Colin's. He just said it better. How many people will look past his well written prose and read his message? He stands for the anthem and people get warm and fuzzy inside but he is still saying America sucks right now just like Colin is saying.

 

I don't think the issue with CK is the message, most people agree there are problems. They disagree with how he went about it. He is disrespecting all the soldiers who have died for his right to get his message across. That is why Ben Watson gets it.

 

And CK's socks did not help his cause in any way.

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Starks doesn't get it.

 

I get it. I also notice that over 24 hours later no one has read what Ben Watson wrote and felt motivated to discuss the PROBLEM because Ben isn't PROTESTING. Like I said Ben said the same thing Colin K said but Ben sure hasn't stirred up discussion like Colin K did. Colin K says America has problems and I won't stand for the anthem until we fix those problems. People begin to discuss all of the problems including the disrespect that comes with not standing for the anthem. Ben says America has problems in the same vein as Colin K and he gets praised for "getting it" and being well written. I sure don't see anybody discussing those problems Ben mentioned.

 

I don't get it?

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I get it. I also notice that over 24 hours later no one has read what Ben Watson wrote and felt motivated to discuss the PROBLEM because Ben isn't PROTESTING. Like I said Ben said the same thing Colin K said but Ben sure hasn't stirred up discussion like Colin K did. Colin K says America has problems and I won't stand for the anthem until we fix those problems. People begin to discuss all of the problems including the disrespect that comes with not standing for the anthem. Ben says America has problems in the same vein as Colin K and he gets praised for "getting it" and being well written. I sure don't see anybody discussing those problems Ben mentioned.

 

I don't get it?

 

No, I don't think you do. Kap did more to anger people to the point many if not most dismissed the message. Police officers are refusing to work 49er games because of the way he handled it. That's not reaching people, that's pushing them away. People in this forum discussed it because that's what we always do in this forum, discuss controversial topics. An approach like Ben Watson's will do more to help build bridges, Kap's will do more to tear them down.

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No, I don't think you do. Kap did more to anger people to the point many if not most dismissed the message. Police officers are refusing to work 49er games because of the way he handled it. That's not reaching people, that's pushing them away. People in this forum discussed it because that's what we always do in this forum, discuss controversial topics. An approach like Ben Watson's will do more to help build bridges, Kap's will do more to tear them down.

 

We'll have to agree to disagree.

 

Kap's protest generated national discussion, not just on here. Watson's letter, while very well-written and insightful, has generated zero talk on the issue.

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We'll have to agree to disagree.

 

Kap's protest generated national discussion, not just on here. Watson's letter, while very well-written and insightful, has generated zero talk on the issue.

 

It generated much more ire than anything else, so yeah, we completely disagree.

 

Give Watson's comments a chance, Kap was doing his little protest for a while before it ever got noticed.

 

If you think wearing pig socks, calling all cops murderers and dissing the National Anthem is going to make police sit down with people and discuss relationships between the two, you haven't been paying attention.

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