I am currently a student attending Royal Oak High School. I do not hate the United States of America. I don’t hate my country. That doesn’t mean that I think it’s perfect and that there doesn’t need to be changes. I along with hundreds of thousands of other kids across the country who think that we have a gun control problem, marched for change in our country. We protested against the NRA and the influence they have and the gun control laws that we need to change for the better. We acknowledge that we have a problem in our country and that we want it to be fixed for the better of the country as a whole. People say that just because you want or demand change, you are unpatriotic and hate your country. I argue, it’s the most patriotic thing you can do. You want the best for your country.
In history, I think this has held true. During the 1960’s, Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X and all of the other people who fought to end discrimination were met by opposition. People claimed they were “unpatriotic” and treasonous against the USA. In reality they were making our country a better place and working to improve on the faults of our country while the opposition refused to acknowledge the problems with the country at the time. The real patriotic act was to fight for change and end to discrimination. We can see this now, 50 years later, that our country is now a better place for everyone than it was then during that time. A very similar situation has now shown up in our country in the current time with the same reaction occuring. Some NFL players have started to kneel or sit during the national anthem before games in protest of the police brutality and discrimination that black people have faced in recent years. People who oppose it say it is “unpatriotic” to kneel because you are disrespecting the flag. A lot of these people who oppose it don’t understand what the players are trying to do and the issues they stand for. They think that everything should just stay the same and that our country is perfect like is because they don’t understand or feel the problems that we have. The reason for these protests are to spread the awareness of the issues and so someone who might not be affected in their day to day life by these problems, for example me, a white male who isn’t poor. I do not personally feel the discrimination or effects of police brutality. These protests bring it to the attention of a person like me, with big actions that go against the norm. When everyone is aware, we can work together to solve these problems. While people still may call these actions unpatriotic, in 50 years when we look back again, who will be seen as doing the most good for our country?
This isn’t just about civil rights issues either. There are so many problems that we can fix to make America a better country Every single person can use this philosophy in their life when it comes to our country. It is part of the American spirit that there are problems with our country, and it’s okay to want to fix them. There will always be opposition to the solution as people won’t want to change, but eventually you will be seen on the right side of history when looking back at what was best for our country.