Its happened again. It’s inevitable at this point. No matter what someone does, no matter their intent, no matter the significance or symbolism of a gesture, someone somewhere will ultimately find a reason to be offended. Or, at the very least, pretend to be offended simply because they know they can be, that it will get them attention they desperately need, in some moment of faux outrage at the most benign things. Suddenly we’re living in a world where it’s OK for someone to throw darts at history books and pick at random things in our past that they want to erase, things that until the tip of that dart struck, they hadn’t ever given so much as a thought, much less any care, towards.
Now, continuing to line up behind the false martyr that knelt in a pretend rage at a social justice issue that didn’t impact him until he got the idea it might benefit his wallet and momentarily make people forget how poorly his play on the field had become, people are once again angry with the American flag. Though it’s not towards the current incarnation of Old Glory, the one Colin Kaepernick originally knelt in front of to protest his spot on the depth chart (or police brutality for those too inept to see his true motives). Rather for the sequel, he decided to cast the Betsy Ross version of the flag as the villain. Perhaps seeing how much Hollywood loves nostalgia recently, he wanted to profit off of it as well, sort of his own racially charged version of Stranger KaeperThings.
The issue he’s pretending to be angry about to appease his social media followers and keep his name relevant is that the Ross version of the flag invokes slavery, because it was flown at a time when slavery was legal. The “outrage” associated with seeing this flag has come about because Nike, who ironically is known to exploit any issue it can in the name of bleeding heart capitalism, was releasing a sneaker just in time for us patriots who love to drape the flags all over ourselves in the name of ‘Merica to wear while we get hammered on the Fourth of July celebrating the birth of our country.
Rather than have the current flag on the sneakers, Nike put the Ross version on the back.
We’ve heard all about the Betsy Ross flag growing up in history class. The truth behind the flag is actually kind of lost, but we’ve been told to believe she was asked by George Washington to design a flag and it was done in time for our nation to fly it while celebrating our newly acquired independence from Britain. That’s the main story and symbolism of the flag, the 13 stars represented the original 13 colonies and it is one of the first and most important symbols of patriotism. Freedom, independence, patriotism. That’s what the Betsy Ross flag invokes.
Except not anymore. Somehow, some idiot at a white power rally had the Betsy Ross flag waving proudly in the name of his stupidity. Seriously, there isn’t much to the whole theory that the flag is a symbol of racial divide. But now, all the history behind the flag and it’s true meaning no longer matters. Because slavery existed when we won our independence and the flag was supposedly created, it’s now a symbol of hate and social injustice. People only fly it to show their support for slavery, apparently. Not because it’s a historical symbol of pride in our country. So, not getting enough Twitter mentions, Kapernick notified Nike that he was offended by the flag. And Nike took Kaepernicks bait and decided to recall the sneakers and apologize for their “mistake.” Think about that, someone notified Nike to tell them they were offended, and that’s all it took to now soil everyone’s memory of the Betsy Ross flag.
This sets a terrible precedent and will only open the door to an influx of false outrage at random things throughout our history. A flag that represented the independence and freedom of our country is now going to be associated only with slavery, something of which it actually had nothing to do with. It wasn’t designed with a white noose set in front of a blue background, it wasn’t flown by the Confederate army while fighting the North. It was the flag of our country, and that was what it stood for. Simply because it was created during a time when something as heinous as slavery existed doesn’t mean it represented that. George Washington owned slaves, he was President while slavery existed. Will someone needing twitter followers soon cry that the mere mention of his name triggers them to be offended? Will we remove all history associated with him from the books and pretend he never existed? Do we need to rename our nations capital as well as an entire state? Who gets to pick and choose what’s socially acceptable to be offended at? Clearly you don’t need any actual logic to be offended, and since we live in a world where the ones who cry the loudest get their way, even if the rest of us think they’re idiots, what will be the line we eventually cross and basically just decide to start everything over and wipe out any trace of the beginnings of this country from existence?
Meanwhile, Kaepernick will continue to make everyone forget his skills have diminished and he could no longer start in the league, creating his own history that says he was blackballed and didn’t refuse a contract on his own accord. All the while opening to a random page in a history book and deciding whatever is in that chapter offends him today, because how else will people remember he exists?
Unless of course he decides to get Subway at 2am and have his two buddies pretend to attack him in the name of White America.