Thursday, September 1, 2016

Colin Kaepernick and the National Anthem

Colin Kaepernick and the National Anthem
As a US history and government teacher, my students pledge allegiance every morning, but at the start of the year, I implore them to think about what they are saying and why they are saying it. Throughout the year, we revisit the meaning of the pledge and I ask my students to revisit their understanding of the pledge and how it has changed as they have learned more about the United States. Now that Colin Kaepernick has sat down during the National Anthem, we have a new opportunity to examine what we are doing and why we are doing it on top of the issues of the relations between African-Americans and the police.

Warm Up Discussion Questions
  1. What does the national anthem and the pledge of allegiance mean to you?
  2. Why do we sing the national anthem and stand for the pledge of allegiance?
  3. What does it mean to you to be patriotic?
  4. What does it mean to you to protest?
  5. How does the first amendment protect protest?  How/why?
  6. Is protest patriotic?

  1. Who is Colin Kaepernick and why are we talking about him?
  2. Who are Tommie Smith and how is he connected to Colin Kaepernick?
  3. Who is Toni Smith-Thompson and how is she connected to Colin Kaepernick?
  1. Why have many people gotten angry over Kaepernick’s protest?
  2. How did the speaker in the video feel about Kaepernick’s protest?
  3. Who is Alejandro Villanueva and why are we reading about his opinion?
  4. How does he feel about Kaepernick’s issue and his forum?
  5. Why would he “hold hands” with Kaepernick but caution him at the same time?

  1. Who was Jackie Robinson and why is he important?
  2. How did he feel about the flag and the national anthem?  Why?
  1. Who is Harry Edwards and why are we reading his opinion?
  2. How does he feel about Kaepernick?
  3. Why does Kaepernick have a right to do what he did?
  4. How does he feel about other NFL players and their opinions?
  5. What would he like to see and why?
  6. How does he feel veterans have been treated in the US?
  7. According to Edwards, why is the Star Spangled Banner played before baseball and football games?
  8. Why does he say, “what is right is not always appropriate; that what is appropriate is not always best?”
  9. How does he feel Kaepernick’s protest fits in the presidential campaign?
  10. How does he feel about “the conversation” black families and families of police officers are having?
  11. Why does he have “no problem” with Kaepernick’s protest?
  12. How do you feel about this whole issue?  Why?
  13. What issues in the US do you feel we should not stay silent on?  Why?

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