I can’t stand up for the national anthem, and here’s why. I think it’s incredibly important to protest when things are wrong in our country, and I believe that the national anthem is a representation of everything that’s wrong with America. It’s a song that glorifies war and violence, and it doesn’t represent the values that I hold dear.
I also can’t stand for the national anthem because it’s a reminder of the countless times that America has failed its citizens. Whether it’s the mistreatment of Native Americans, the enslavement of African Americans, the internment of Japanese Americans, or the continued oppression of minorities today, the national anthem is a reminder of all the ways in which America has fallen short. And I simply can’t in good conscience stand and sing a song that celebrates a country that has caused so much hurt and pain.
Some people might say that I’m being unpatriotic by not standing for the national anthem. But I believe that true patriotism isn’t blindly supporting your country no matter what. It’s holding your country accountable for its wrongs and fighting for it to be a better place. And that’s what I’m doing by sitting during the national anthem.