Stop disrespecting our nation's flag


(re: “Look for hate groups on left, too,” Sept. 7)

My last Point of View on Sept. 7 made clear that I was an absolutist on the issue of free speech. No matter how offensive or hateful it was.

To me, the neo-Nazis on the far right have the same First Amendment right to call for “death to the Jews” as the Black Lives Matter groups on the far left have the right to call for the death of police officers with their murderous chants of “pigs in a blanket.”

Incidentally, although I don’t know of any Jews being murdered because of neo-Nazi rhetoric, I do know of quite a few police officers throughout the country having recently been murdered because of Black Lives Matter rhetoric. It’s been all over the news.

Which brings me to the controversy over athletes disrespecting the American flag with their protests.

In my Sept. 7 opinion piece, I made the following comment: “There is personally nothing more hateful to me than seeing my beloved country’s flag spit upon, urinated upon, trampled upon or burned. But I have to accept it because it’s the law.”

What I didn’t say then, but which I’ll state emphatically now, is that although people have the right to disrespect and dishonor the American flag (the symbol of this marvelous country) I, in turn, have the right to have contempt for them and consider them scum.

New York City has many ethnic parades including the Puerto Rican and Dominican Day parades in which the flags of these various groups are proudly displayed, because these flags represent their heritage and their pride in who they are. Just as these groups would take serious offense at their flags being disrespected because some special interests want to make a point.

I (and most Americans) take offense at what Colin Kaepernick and his supporters have done with their dishonoring the American flag at athletic functions. Do they have the right to protest? Yes. But should they do so by disrespecting and dishonoring our flag? No!

Mr. Kaepernick’s issues concern so-called “social justice” and “police brutality” against black people. But other groups have issues, also. Is there anything more brutal than partial-birth abortion, during which babies about to be born — and numbering millions throughout the years — have their skulls caved in and legally murdered? I doubt it.

Suppose athletes believing in unborn children’s “right to life” (and I’m sure there are many) tried to advance their cause by disrupting athletic events? Suppose other groups wanted to protest? Where does it all end?

If Mr. Kaepernick wants to protest, I suggest he and his supporters do so in Chicago in front of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office.

If black lives really matter, then Chicago is the perfect place to protest. That is where hundreds of black people are being murdered each year — not by police, but by other black people.

Alvin Gordon