Charles Brian Orner
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The Sostenuto Blog

Take a Knee


We are entering the Memorial Day Weekend. It is a time for reflecting on what it means to be an American citizen. In that spirit, I have decided that from this day forward until the end of the Trump Presidency*, and for as long thereafter is it takes to rid this country of the fascism, cruelty, and incompetence that he and his administration promulgate, I will, without fail, and no matter the context, take a knee each and every time I hear the national anthem. 

I will make this small gesture in order to make solidarity with those who fight racial injustice, and sexual inequality, and gender bias. I will do so to call attention to the fact that the national anthem has no place at the commercial events at which it is usually played. Most importantly, I will do so specifically to disrespect this President*. In this way, I wish to honor the flag, and the military, and the government which he and his party debase on a daily basis. 

I wish to honor the good nature, kindness, and compassion of the country that we once were, and that we might become again — a country in which equality under the law is the goal of every civic effort, in which the rich give back to society, and in which corporations are not people. I wish to reinforce a multicultural society in which women and minorities are respected, and religion does not mix with politics, and the fourth estate is healthy and responsible; a country, finally, that is defined by something other than naked greed. Above all, I wish to honor the rule of law, which no man is above, regardless of the tint of his hair, or the size of his wallet, or the absence of his integrity, or the sociopathy of his mind.


Brian Orner