Taking a knee, disrespecting our flag, our national anthem – it is your right to do this. But, before you decide to protest in this manner, make sure you understand completely what you are doing. The American flag is a symbol that represents the United States of America. The key word here being “united.” After 9/11, the thing that brought America together was our national anthem and the American flag. These symbols represent the very idea of America. The singing of our national anthem brings a tear to the eye of most Americans. The American flag, our national anthem have been sacred since the early 1800s and will continue to be long after you are gone.

What you may or may not know is that you are protesting something much bigger than you or your perceived struggle. You want to talk about struggle? The very creation of the USA was a massive bloody struggle. The red in the American flag represents the blood that was shed to create this country and to preserve it. Those of you refusing to recognize that fact disrespect a whole lot of heroes who died so that you can make your pathetic protest.

As for the struggle you are protesting, I have this to say: There is no struggle in America. People of all colors and blended of many colors, do not have a struggle in America. All your brothers and sisters have food, free education, healthcare, housing, phones, automobiles. The poorest of the poor in America live like rich people when compared to the rest of the world. But, better than all those material necessities, the people you claim are struggling have freedom to rise to any level of success. Some of you are shining examples of this. You grew up in a poverty lifestyle, but you honed a talent and rose above it. America is a beacon of freedom. You do not know what the word struggle means to a soldier who fought on the battlefield for your free speech and other rights. Many soldiers died or were permanently maimed giving you a right to protest in such a way. For this, you should be grateful.

If you hate law enforcement and believe the struggle to be about that, take a look at statistics before you take a knee. **It’s not true that black men are constantly stopped by the police for no reason. Indeed, black men are less likely than white men to have contact with the police in any given year, though this includes situations where the respondent called the cops himself: 17.5 percent versus 20.7 percent. Similarly, a black man has on average only 0.32 contacts with the police in any given year, compared with 0.35 contacts for a white man. It’s true that black men are overrepresented among people who have many contacts with the police, but not by much. Only 1.5 percent of black men have more than three contacts with the police in any given year, whereas 1.2 percent of white men do.

Free speech will not be throttled back by our government, but it could possibly determine whether or not you keep your job, sponsors, your future. Overwhelmingly, Americans love this country, but there’s a special love that runs deep for those who have served. These men and women understand teamwork in a way that goes far beyond a football field. The teamwork I am speaking about goes beyond any sport. Teamwork in our military is between brothers, black, white and from every background and ethnicity, coming together to survive the next mission. This is what America needs to do now:  come together as a team, united, loving our country, loving our flag, loving our anthem, and loving one another.

If you want to help the struggle of the underclass in America, teaching them to have respect for law enforcement is going to be imperative. Teaching them to have respect for the country in which they live is step number one. But, most importantly, teaching them to have a respect for themselves and one another is key. I’m not seeing that right now and it hurts my heart.

For Further Insight:
**Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/451466/police-violence-against-black-men-rare-heres-what-data-actually-say

Independent author, Ava Armstrong, writes thrillers and romance – yes, she dares to combine the two; such a renegade! After more than a decade in corporate America with a four-billion dollar company, Armstrong decided to focus on her true love: writing literature that could be read by the average human being. Ava describes herself as a Constitutional Conservative, and sleeps with a loaded Smith and Wesson revolver. She has one child, whom she loves, and her collection of firearms, which she loves slightly less, and a special affinity for Glocks and tactical shotguns. Her favorite things are the smell of molten metal at the shooting range, motor oil that drips from vintage 1940's Indian motorcycles, and the scent of sandalwood soap. You'd have to read her novels to understand that more deeply. Who are the heroes in Ava's novels? Everyday men and women who do extraordinary things. Veterans, policemen, farmers, hard-working middle-class folks, all striving and struggling to make the world a better place. From homeless vets to women living quiet lives of desperation, Armstrong transports readers to a small town, writing complex characters and stories that often stir strong emotion.

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