Last Word: Mutual respect is a must on both sides of the political divide

Noah Roux, Staff Writer

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In the University Democrats’ First Word article, they argue that Colin Kaepernick has not done anything wrong in kneeling during the national anthem. They argue that he is doing a good thing and that we should not be upset by his actions thus far.

While I do not think that the reaction by many on the right has been warranted, I also do not think that conservatives have reacted as extremely as the article suggests.

I would like to take the opportunity to agree with the University Democrats on several issues, disagree on a few, and bring up a larger issue that our country is currently facing.

I do not have a fundamental problem with Colin Kaepernick standing up for the Black Lives Matter movement; I believe firmly that we all have a right to our free speech and that if you feel passionately about an issue you should be allowed to speak freely.

We as Americans can disagree with each other but not try to stop others from exercising their free speech.

Here is where we disagree; the clear majority of Republicans, and Conservatives, who do not like the kneeling, have not sent death threats to a youth football team.

This is clearly wrong and no one should ever do that. The majority has not mocked, insulted, or belittled NFL players to say so would be an overstatement.

No one on the right is saying that Colin has anything to do with the suicide rate among veterans. No one is directing anger at him for that.
Being patriotic is not a crime and supporting what the flag stands for and expecting others to respect it as well is a perfectly valid stance; it is an opinion and just like Colin, patriots are entitled to it.

I also see a double standard in how the First Word would like us to treat Colin Kaepernick. It says that we should not hate him as much as we do and our anger is wasted energy. While I don’t disagree that we shouldn’t be quite so mad at him, I think the same applies when we talk about Donald Trump.
The left has expressed every form of anger towards him and it is much more extreme than the rights’ anger towards Colin. It also says in the concluding paragraph, “When you want to hate him, remember that he is a human being and he wants our country to thrive just as much as the rest of us,” the same applies for Donald Trump.

He also wants America to thrive; yes, you can disagree with his policies and I think that is well and good.
However, we do not need to do it with as much vitriol as we have seen in recent months.  

The larger point is that in our very politically divided America, it is important for us to listen to each other.

On the right we need to listen to Colin Kaepernick and treat him with respect even if we disagree. On the left the extreme attacks on Trump need to be toned down.

All they do is create a more divided nation. Let’s respect each other’s opinions and seek a more civil dialogue.

I am not saying that we should stop disagreeing or having conversations. What we need to do is have more civil conversations with each other.
The College Republicans look forward to more civil dialogue with the University Democrats in our First Word and Last Word articles this year.
     
Noah Roux is a junior Political Science major and President of the BU Republicans.