For the record: Of course, Colin Kaepernick has every right not to stand for the national anthem–I don't care if he rolls in the grass and barks like a dog.
He has the right to do that, too, and I will defend to the death his First Amendment rights to do so.
That said, President Obama's defense of Kaepernick was annoying and unintentionally revealing.
As is usual when POTUS doesn't want us to know exactly what he is saying, he spoke in jumbled sentences. But here is what I was able to transcribe:
POTUS spoke of how "maybe for the men and women in uniform" it is "a tough thing for them to get past [their own feelings] to hear what [Kaepernick's] deeper concerns are."
Kaepernick's concerns are "deeper" than those of men and women in uniform?
In the view of the president, apparently multimillionaire Kaepernick's notion that we live in a society rife with racial oppression is of greater value than what soldiers believe about the nation.
I would not deny that we all occasionally see ugly incidents of lingering racial prejudice in this country, but to call the United States an oppressive country, you'd have to be blind to reality. Jay Nordlinger comments on this:
From all appearances, Kaepernick is a profoundly ignorant man, whatever his athletic prowess. He damns the United States as oppressive and celebrates, on a T-shirt, the Castro dictatorship. “You’ve got to be carefully taught,” said Oscar Hammerstein. Kaepernick has been carefully taught — by someone. Who? Our culture? Particular teachers? Other mentors? In any case, he has been cruelly mistaught.
Yet the president blesses this derogatory view of the nation he leads (and indeed perhaps holds it himself). The United States is a great country–it has provided unprecedented opportunities for its citizens (especially including rich athletes like Mr. Kaepernick).
And yet has there ever been a nation so unloved by those who benefit so much from the mere fact of being citizens?
Sometimes it just seems like a pose by spoiled and ignorant people (hey, I'm exercising my First Amendment rights!).