To The Woman Who Took A Knee:
It was a beautiful fall evening at a family carnival in Connecticut. My wife and I had our two and four-year-old daughters with us and we were enjoying some time away from the non-stop politics on social media and in the news.
It was perfect. Until I was walking back from the bathrooms with my oldest kiddo and I saw what you did.
There was a stage set up and a teenager was singing The National Anthem before the rest of the music began. We immediately stopped. I removed my hat, and my daughter and I put our hand on our chest.
About 50 feet to the side of us, there you were with your group of fellow “social justice warrior” friends. I watched as you took a knee while your huge, tattoo covered boyfriend with a mullet looked around staring people down, almost challenging us to say something.
My heart went from being filled with pride… to rage. I stopped seeing red, white and blue and just saw red. I felt my blood pressure skyrocket.
I’ve always told myself that if I encountered someone like you, I wouldn’t keep my mouth shut.
Then it was as if I heard a voice in my head saying, “be still”.
I looked at my daughter, standing proudly with her hand over her heart still. She had no idea what was happening just 50 feet away. And I made the decision that only a parent could make.
I checked my anger… and just looked at my daughter. I felt that pride return.
Ma’am, I understand what you were trying to do. You weren’t trying to protest. You and your friends were trying to get attention.
The truth is, you’re desperate for that attention because your parents failed you when you were growing up. For some reason, they lead you to believe that acting like a petulant child is the key to success.
I’m sure you had just come from the “everyone wins a prize” game tents, because that’s the only way you’ll ever find some kind of success in your life.
The truth is that while you were taking a knee, hoping to achieve the level of attention that your parents failed to give you as a child, you weren’t “sacrificing” anything other than your own dignity.
Those of us who were looking at you were absolutely judging you and your family. We were thinking about how sad it must be to be so desperate for attention that you need to bring politics to a family carnival.
Keeping you safe were the very warriors that you hate. Police officers were there both on duty and off duty…. I know, because I was blessed to catch up with several of them while we were there.
You were also surrounded by combat veterans who have lost friends fighting for our country… and who have shed their own blood for the very American flag that you spit on. They were there with their families also looking at you with disgust.
I understand what you wanted… and so did many others. You wanted our rage. You wanted our action. You wanted a fight.
This time, I did not give you that satisfaction. Not a single person in that crowd did. Instead, we let our children honor our country and those who serve and protect it. Then we quietly pointed to you and said, “that’s what a bad person looks like”.
This time, we were the parents that your own parents failed to be. We were filled with patriotism and humility… pride and patience… leadership and love.
Congratulations, ma’am. This time, you humiliated yourself and your family… and gave us the opportunity to teach our children a powerful lesson.
We stand for the flag and we kneel for the fallen.
You can choose to kneel for the flag. But in the future, while you’re down there, you can kiss my American ass.
A Proud Parent