My first response to the Kap stunt was to believe it was yet another act of virtue signaling: the liberal equivalence of sanctimonious Bible pounding. He’s a near wash out whose day in the Sun is fast setting. But his following statements–however inartful–seem to carry a certain sincerity and he’s been repeatedly steadfast in saying he is NOT anti-American. I’ll take him at his word on that.
The problem is that when you make what seems a clear insult of what both sides see as a symbol of our nation, you put yourself very publicly on the hate-America-always crowd and will get the slings and arrows from those of us who revere this nation. The left will cheer you on and stand strongly behind you as you take the heat for this. The knee jerks on both sides will laud or denigrate you ad infinitum, while any real message you wanted to send will NOT be heard. It simple won’t.
Kap–and many other blacks–thinks that police regularly target blacks for unjust acts, including killing them. Recent research by folks who decidedly believed that to be true shows that it is not (though blacks do suffer some more rough treatment than non-blacks). But perception is reality, and facts are rarely known or believed. He believes it to be true, so he’s taking what he thinks is a legitimate stance of protest. I think it’s ill-considered.
If the desired result of a protest of any kind is to convince others of the validity of your stance, then insulting people who are in the unconvinced group is not the path to success. The flag, and the anthem, are sacred symbols to many of us–the icons of what is good and noble about the American experiment in a Constitutional Republic that guarantees individual liberty above the mercurial desires of the mob. Libertarians and conservatives, among whom I count myself, see those liberties as axiomatically noble. Denigrating that symbol of what we hold true and great isn’t an argument to sway us–it’s an insult that turns us away. And believe it or not, we can be swayed when it involves real justice, like police brutality.
And finally, sophomoric whatabouts may be fun for the partisans, but they serve no good purpose.