I will continue to stand, for them

Published 9:33 pm Monday, September 19, 2016

To the editor:

I didn’t know who Colin Kaepernick was until he took a knee while our national anthem was played.

As I understand it, he is concerned about oppression and discrimination. Isn’t he too young to have a clue about discrimination? Maybe I’m just naive.

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And now I read that there will be no consequences to students of our local schools if they “take a knee.” I have heard parents say they would jerk their kid off the bench and they would not play, nor they would go on the field, if they acted in such a manner. They said they would bring the child to his feet, and together they would stand in respect to the flag and anthem.

A recent Facebook post asked, “No disrespect to 9-11 but when will we (black people) get our ‘Never forget’ day?”

The response was, “February is Black History MONTH, and when will we stop separating ourselves? This country needs less division. One of the great things about remembering 9-11 is remembering how that day, 15 years ago, we weren’t black, white, yellow red or brown. We were Americans. United.”

The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts has an exhibit honoring Col. Fred Cherry. How many students know who he was? Do they know about the friendship of Fred Cherry and Porter Halyburton?

Years ago, there was local controversy involving passing or not passing a student who did not complete the work. Cries of discrimination were heard. At the time, I believe, Lula Holland was a member of our school board. She said, and I paraphrase from memory, “That’s not discrimination. Discrimination is when you pass the student, and he can’t get a job when he graduates.”

There is an inscription, on a memorial, by John Edmonds that says, “When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow we gave our today.”

Maybe our coaches should take their students to the VA Medical Center in Hampton and let them talk to some of the veterans who gave up their tomorrows so our students could have their today.

They didn’t get to choose. It was called ‘the draft.’

John Maxwell Edmonds wrote another poem:

Went the day well?

We died and never knew.

But, well or ill,

Freedom, we died for you.

And that is why I stand for our national anthem and recite our Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America.

Archie Brock

Suffolk