Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Eminem Takes A Knee Because Americans Can

I often think that people are too concerned about the wrong things in America. As everyone knows, Eminem took a knee during his Superbowl performance this year, mirroring common protests that have been taking place since Colin Kaepernick, and republicans like Rudy Giuliani wasted no time in telling Eminem to leave the country. My initial thought was that we have too many people worrying about someone kneeling at a ballgame instead of things like poverty, wages, healthcare, education and jobs. Should we not be focusing on the issues? Or perhaps there are pundits and politicians who want to direct our attention away from America's problems because those people either created them, or have no solution.

Freedom of speech and the right of all Americans to protest or petition the government for a redress of grievances, is of the most American of ideals. The Right Wing always says that the Founders did not trust or like government (which is true), and that they put the power and check of the government in the hands of the people for that reason, yet when someone protests the government or the things going on in the country under the government's watch, they act as though government is now suddenly the patriotic thing to obey without question. I also think that the Founders had people like Giuliani in mind when they wrote that the government cannot abridge freedom of speech. They knew that those with power would use it to silence and destroy their opponents.

I love America. I always have loved my country, and I will always serve her. But are there things I don't like about America? Absolutely. I don't like the fact that Jeff Bezos continues to make millions and billions that he doesn't need while millions of Americans live in poverty. I am also disheartened by the fact that hate is still a problem. But it is not unamerican to change things for the better. Humans are not perfect, and thus neither are their nations, and so America is an idea, a working progress, that we always need to be building and repairing. Simple protest does not mean that someone hates America. I think of America like a well functioning car. When the engine light comes on or it starts acting funny, you repair it. Ignoring the problems and pretending they don't exist will eventually put you on the side of the road in a broken down state.

I wonder if Rudy would have told Lincoln or Martin Luther King to leave the country? They didn't like the injustices around them either. I think that these men, like Thomas Jefferson, realized that America is the world's best hope, and if that hope is to remain alive, America has to be the enemy of injustice, tyranny and evil, and never a place where those things can find aid and comfort. In conclusion, to Rudy I would say, Eminem is exercising his Constitutional rights. If you don't respect the Constitution, maybe you are the one who should leave.

In the Goodness of the Gods,

Chris Aldridge.

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