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When we politicize national symbols and acts, such as the National Anthem, we are disrespecting our national values.

I wrote a letter in the Nov. 17 Spotlight with a suggested title in the email subject line, "Demanding accountability is true patriotism." The Spotlight retains editorial control of submissions and chose to use the title, "Stop stating the obvious."

Perhaps well-intended, but it came across as a negative to my mind, and of greater concern, to the reader. In a follow-up discussion with the editor, he commented that he felt my message was unclear and applied a title he believed represented my sentiments. I can accept his criticism as reasonable. That said, let me try again. 

The National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance are symbols of a country's values. When these symbols begin to represent a nationalism intolerance of inspection, a government failing in its duties to itself and its citizens, true liberty and justice for a decreasing few, and a professed love of country, but an increasing inability to love our fellow citizens, we, as a nation, are disrespecting our country's values.

If I saw a fellow citizen, whom I would otherwise respect, challenging a symbol of "what if" in an effort to make the country recognize "what is," I would listen to the message with an open mind, first. All other considerations would come second.

Too many people, in government and out, and who should clearly know better, just kill the messenger.

Do most Spotlight readers even know what Colin Kaepernick was protesting? He knowingly risked his future to address racial injustice. I can think of few acts more selfless or patriotic.

William Allen

St. Helens

Contract Publishing

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