This is still ‘the land of the free’, even in Cobb County

According to multiple eyewitnesses, Cobb County School Superintendent Chris Ragsdale told a leadership meeting last month that if student athletes in his district dared to kneel rather than stand during the playing of the national anthem, “their asses would be benched.”

I find that very interesting, for a number of reasons.

First, standing for the national anthem is supposed to be an act of patriotism. We do it because as Americans, we want to do it. It is a voluntary rather than mandatory act. However, if that act of patriotism is forced upon you by government, as Ragsdale apparently demands, then standing is stripped of its patriotic message. It then becomes an act of submission to a government edict, and that’s something else entirely.

Second — and correct me if I’m wrong here — the lyrics of the “Star Spangled Banner” as written by Frances Scott Key more than two centuries ago celebrate our country as “the land of the free.” It’s the closing stanza of every verse of that song. So I’m curious about what part of “free” is not understood here. Do those lyrics not apply in Cobb County?

Third, Ragsdale’s choice of words reflects an authoritarian fixation on control and compliance, on a suppression of speech that he personally finds offensive. That is not a role consistent with the position that he holds.

Finally, when government forces a person to stand when his or her conscience says to kneel, it’s the same as a government that forces you to kneel in submission when your heart and conscience tell you to stand. There is no difference. And that contradicts every damn thing that this country and that song are supposed to be about.

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1309 comments
cbmfam
cbmfam

It is about respect for your country and the sacrifices of the people who have made for our country.  I agree with Superintendent Ragsdale about benching plays who kneel instead of stand for the national anthem.  Isn't he entitled to rights too?  You might want to re-examine your thoughts on control and compliance.  Respect appears to be a thing of the past in your view.  

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

According to a Congressional Research Service report to Congress in 2008, “The Flag Code is a codification of customs and rules established for the use of certain civilians and civilian groups. No penalty or punishment is specified in the Flag Code for display of the flag of the United States in a manner other than as suggested. Cases ... have concluded that the Flag Code does not proscribe conduct, but is merely declaratory and advisory."

I love my country and show those sentiments at every opportunity. However, one of the things I love about it is that if I become disappointed about something going wrong in my country, I can express my feelings in a number of lawful ways, including deciding not to participate in customs suggested for showing my love for country. Doesn't mean I don't still love my country and by way of disclosure, I have never not stood for anthem or pledge, but I am proud that those who have gone before me have protected my freedom of expression.

Robert1959
Robert1959

I will not stand for the national anthem until the GOP apologizes for their unethical conduct (hatred, fear and bigotry) and shows respect for President Obama, the 1st Black American President of the USA (2008-2016) and soon to be Madame President Mrs. Hillary Clinton the 1st American Woman nominated by a major political party (D).  No Apology - No GOP.

Robert1959
Robert1959

@SupremeGrandPoobah I bet you will vote for Trump. Don't be shocked when Trump gets trounced. Only an idiot would vote for Donald Trump the grand wizard of the homegrown terrorist group(s) known as the GOP/tea party (kkk, skinheads, militia's, brownshirts, white nationalist, birther's, etc.). The same idiots who voted for GW Bush twice. The American People saw the damage caused by electing unqualified people. The good news is the GOP can not "gerrymander" the White House. The question should be why is the media (newspapers, TV, social media, etc.) trying to justify Trump as a legitimate GOP/tea party candidate for the POTUS? The American People are not that stupid and are sick and tired of the GOP racist strategy of hatred, fear and bigotry. Thank you President Obama (2008-2016) for defeating the GOP racist strategy and soon to be Madame President Mrs. Hillary Clinton (2016-2024) will defeat the GOP racist strategy too. God Bless America

SupremeGrandPoobah
SupremeGrandPoobah

@Robert1959 @SupremeGrandPoobah  No, I won't vote for Trump, Clinton or any of the other candidates.  Not one of them is worthy of votes. The "GOP" does not instruct police officers to shoot black people and neither do Democrats.  It's not some sort of conspiracy.  There are a few bad or incompetent police officers, but I would suspect that most of them are not, or the shootings would be much more common.

Robert1959
Robert1959

@SupremeGrandPoobah Everybody knows the tea party weapons of choice are hatred, fear and bigotry against the American People. The whole world saw their hatred, fear and bigotry on display during the 2010 & 2012 midterm elections. 
 
In the summer of 2009, tea party supporters stormed congressional town hall meetings, carrying loaded automatic rifles, shouting down lawmakers who had voted for the bank bailout and the stimulus package. The movement's voice grew louder after Democrats passed the health care overhaul, and voters took their outrage to the polls in 2010.  In 2016 the GOP elected the worst racist/bigot ever to run for POTUS (Trump).  How crazy is that?

SupremeGrandPoobah
SupremeGrandPoobah

@Robert1959  That is your prerogative, but the National Anthem does not represent just Republicans or just Democrats.  Don't be shocked if you get booed. 

Justin Rousseau
Justin Rousseau

You do know who created the KKK right? Democrats. The first elected black politicians were Republicans in the 1800s. Bill Clinton called the hopes of Obama being the first black president a " fairytale ". Trump has been given various awards over the years from Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson for his help and support of the black people. Trump is solely credited with desegregating Palm Beach Fl. He built the best club and broke all the rules by letting ALL people in of any race. Something that was unheard of in Palm Beach at the time. The Clinton's and democrats are the racist and have done zero to help the ultra poor black and white comminities. Trump pulled off quite the trick if he is indeed a bigot or xenophobe as you say. Have you heard his wife speak? She is a immigrant! Please tell me how a xenophobe, going by definition, would or even could marry and have children with a immigrant? Your arguments are just liberal name calling. No substance. HRC is a war monger who has voted FOR every military conflict possible to send U.S. troops in. She just asked if we could just drone Julian Assange.

1stTruthOMeter
1stTruthOMeter

@Justin Rousseau  OK, so Democrats created the KKK. Please direct us to the evidence of the Republicans working to silence the KKK. That is, in the last 8 years.

Non sibi, sed aliis
Non sibi, sed aliis

First, standing for the national anthem is supposed to be an act of patriotism. " Wrong Jay. We stand up out of respect. Just like if the President of these United States or the Queen of England walked into a room you were in, you stand up. You might not like them or their policies, be you still stand up. That's respect. Any Southern boy or Gentleman knows that.

Robert1959
Robert1959

Jay, have you ever heard of the other verses to the "star spangled banner"? Black slaves (marines) were fighting for the British with the promise of freedom and defeated Francis Scot Key and his militia army.

The Anthem's 3rd stanza is revealing. It is taking gruesome satisfaction in killing the band of slaves who fought for the British and their freedom when they defeated Francis Scott Key and his militia army.  You can still hear the anger in these words:
 
"And where is that band who so vauntingly swore, That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion  
A home and a Country should leave us no more? Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave  From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,   And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave   O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave."

Non sibi, sed aliis
Non sibi, sed aliis

@Robert1959 Actually the 3rd stanza is about the hiring of mercenaries and American sailors being forced from US ships and put of British ships, not "black" Marines.  

Robert1959
Robert1959

@SupremeGrandPoobah The star spangled banner was written in the 18th century not the 19th century.  Slavey was abolished by the British in 1833.

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

HilLIARy is embarrasment - she should just quit... 

Robert1959
Robert1959

If my Son played HS football and was benched for not standing during the national anthem I would transfer him to another school ASAP.  The bottom line is "winning" which improves his chances of getting a full scholarship which is our only goal.  Cobb County Schools Superintendent needs to understand why these kids play HS football - To get a scholarship to college.

Robert1959
Robert1959

@Surelyyoujest Yes a scholarship to college to play football (Division I,II,III).  Why else would a parent allow their Son to play HS football?  To make $$$ money for the HS?

Robert1959
Robert1959

@Non sibi, sed aliis Today, kids would rather play with their gadgets (cell phone, tablet, playstation, Xbox, etc.) than go outside and play any sport.  HS football coaches have to rely on football camps and other events to find players.  Unless your parents are rich or your child is super smart (4.0) today HS kids play sports to get a scholarship to college both girls and boys.

DS
DS

if student athletes in his district dared to kneel rather than stand during the playing of the national anthem, “their a$$es would be benched.”

No they won't.

Ragsdale can safely be ignored.

SupremeGrandPoobah
SupremeGrandPoobah

@DS  Probably not, but they shouldn't be shocked when the crowd boos them, thereby expressing their First Amendment rights.

JayBook
JayBook moderator

sheets ...

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Were I Ragsdale, I wouldn't have bothered. It only serves to stoke a fire that would have burned itself out soon enough. Last I checked, Cobb County's BoE hasn't implemented a dress code.

They should exercise their freedom of speech with these puppies, all day, everyday:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/football-insider/wp/2016/10/02/desean-jackson-wears-cleats-to-stand-against-violence-by-and-against-police/

This part?

It then becomes an act of submission to a government edict...

That's nothing new. It's been happening under this administration and prior to...

http://www.libertylawsite.org/2015/11/05/unconstitutional-at-any-speed-assessing-the-legacy-of-obama/ 

rimsky
rimsky

A lot of whiney dudes and dudeses screaming at Mr. Jay.  They all got up on the wrong side of the bed.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

I am generally against government being the parent, however, there are a multitude of challenges in our country that have arisen since the draft ended.

There are very positive results from military service that greatly outweigh negatives.

You see the occasional exception but for the most part you don't see veterans disrespecting the nation and they become contributing citizens.

The whinny group here will reply the draft skipped rich kids and in large part they are probably correct.

It may be time for a period of national service for everyone, no exceptions.

Military or national service.

skydog12
skydog12

@JohnnyReb


Why not just pay the military a living wage or higher wages instead of having a draft?

Taxes would need to be increased to pay for this, so if you want to fight, you have to pay.


Or subcontract the fighting part out.


Anybody can spray bullets from behind a rock wall.

ByteMe
ByteMe

 You liberals are godless.

#FakeChristian

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

Hmm... looks like Jay's piece got picked up by a conservative outlet.  Buncha strangers here messin' up the place...

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@ByteMe @Nick_Danger 

It appears that the attribute they value most in their children is that they think the way their parents want them to. 

Independent thought is strongly discouraged, it seems.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@Nick_Danger And, not surprising, they're all saying the same thing about "discipline".  I swear their lack of imagination....

Fly-On-The-Wall
Fly-On-The-Wall

@ByteMe @Nick_Danger Why does it seem that the republican approach to most everything is: 1) how much money can I make on this and 2) using some type of violent act to solve a problem?

Fly-On-The-Wall
Fly-On-The-Wall

@Nick_Danger @ByteMe Very true.  My wife and I have seen this first hand at our workplaces.  My wife is even asked if she votes different from her husband!  As if she can't because she's my property or something silly like that.

rimsky
rimsky

@Nick_Danger @ByteMe Me  and my boy have arguments sometimes they are heated.  At the end we hug each other even when we sometimes disagree at the end.

someonesdad
someonesdad

@ByteMe @Nick_Danger Maybe you should listen.  NO liberal approach has worked yet.  In schools where discipline isn't an issue, students are successful.  It's common sense.  Liberals hate that.

k483
k483

Jay, normally I dismiss your comments as the nonsensical rants from an immature whiney-butt, but I have to agree with you this time.  The disciplining should come from the home, not the school. 



someonesdad
someonesdad

@k483 And if there's no discipline at home?  If the kid simply has irresponsible parents?  The school and other students should suffer, right?

k483
k483

@honested @someonesdad  That would depend on the home.  So far as the school is concerned, they can dismiss the student from the team if their behavior is disruptive or not in line with the school's "brand" If the student wants to protest on their own time, in their own clothing, fine, but not while they are representing the school and the county.  But to "bench their butts".....