Sunday, January 15, 2017

To Stand Or Not Stand

A few months back The American Legion declared all baseball players and coaches participating in baseball games sanctioned by TAL must stand for the national anthem at all events. If they don't they will be banned forever from baseball games sanctioned by the association. 

I wholeheartedly disagree with this. If my son, who is a 17 year old American Legion baseball player, decided not to stand for the anthem I would support him. Also, I've coached baseball from T-ball on up to the high school level. If one of my players chose not to stand I would also support them. I, on the other hand, had thought I would choose to stand as a coach. My thinking was an individual could stand for the anthem AND work towards a more democratic and civil society. In other words, I wouldn't be standing in the name of an authoritarian patriotism. But after reading this paragraph in Doug Lummis's "Radical Democracy" I wonder if the United States flag stands for an authoritarian patriotism. 

"In a democracy, it must be remembered, patriotism means the love that binds a people together, not the misplaced love of the institutions that dominate the people. Authoritarian patriotism is a resigning of one's will, right of choice, and need to understand to the authority; it's emotional base is gratitude for having been liberated from the burden of democratic responsibility. Political virtue--democratic patriotism--is the commitment to, a knowledge of, and ability to stand for the whole, and is necessary condition for democracy." -- (Pg. 37) 

Right now, the United States flag stands for an authoritarian patriotism. We would have the right to local, community self-government if it did not stand for that, but it doesn’t. The United States government protects corporations over communities and the landbase that supports and nourishes them physically, emotionally and spiritually. Standing Rock is a case in point. A local community should be able to exercise their right as self-governing people to say "no" to pipelines and other corporate harms. That’s simply not the case at this point in time. 

I don't know If I'll be standing for the anthem this upcoming baseball season. 

No comments: