Encouraging Dialogue

The whole nation is talking about the NFL players’ protests that are taking place before games, as some players have chosen to kneel during the playing of the National Anthem. Most Americans seem to prefer that the players would find another way to speak out against social injustice. While these players do have a right to express their opinion, their means of doing so has angered a great number of people.

President Trump fueled the fire with some inflammatory comments a few days ago, calling the protesting players a vulgar name. The response from players resulted in many more of them taking a knee at this past weekend’s games.

Ironically, the result of all this seems to be less talk, and precious little action, on the matter of social justice. If the players’ intention was to draw attention to this issue, they appear to have failed up to this point.

President Trump has not proven to be helpful in addressing the racial tension in the country. He has talked about uniting the country, but his remarks have brought further division.

Both sides do have something in common—a lack of respect for other people.

President Trump’s rude language directed toward the protesting players has done nothing to cause them to want to listen to his viewpoint. Instead of building a bridge, his rhetoric has constructed a barrier that keeps the two sides apart. His attempts to make a deal have been somewhat less than artful. The players feel disrespected, and therefore have little desire to participate in any dialogue that might eventually prove to be constructive.

The protesting players fail to see why so many average Americans are angered by their refusal to stand for the flag and the National Anthem. These citizens feel that they are being disrespected, along with our country and the military and police who sacrifice to keep us safe.

While the answer to this problem is complex, part of the solution will be to show some respect. It is as simple as that.

“Give to everyone what you owe them…if respect, then respect…”—Romans 13:7.

 

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