For a country whose first amendment to its constitution guarantees free speech, America is really bad at it.

San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick recently sat during the National Anthem before a preseason NFL game. The best thing about that was that he actually made something about the game interesting.

But in doing so, he outraged the lapel flag pin crowd.

Tomi Lahren of Glenn Beckís ďThe BlazeĒ is certainly outspoken. She also has all of the racial politics perspective of a 24-year old white woman from South Dakota.

The Donald Trump fan who once compared Black Lives Matter to the Ku Klux Klan ó showing her penchant for false bravado and complete ignorance concerning both groups ó has now taken on Kaepernick in a fit of faux patriotism, after all, she has loved ones serving in the military to protect his right to protest.

Isnít that the point?

They serve to make sure these rights are guaranteed to all Americans. The response to a protest should be a rational consideration of what the protesters are saying and then deciding whether or not you agree.

In her big hit statement, Lahren told Kaepernick if he didnít like this country, he could leave.

Gee, I wonder where she and her writers heard that line.

Pointing out a problem with this country doesnít mean you want to leave or think Canada, Slovenia or Austria are better.

Kaepernick is protesting because he has a platform ó which was made obvious when he set off the over the top outrage alarms ó and he wants the country to do better.

Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again. Did Lahren tell her favorite presidential candidate that if he doesnít think America is great he could leave? Arenít her loved ones already serving to make America great?

But if a quarterback sits during a national anthem to draw attention to himself and open the conversation about oppression of black people in our society, itís a big deal. He can either stand up during the song or leave.

Thatís silly.

Lahren also said in her rant that blaming white people for all of the problems in black society makes Kaepernick the real racist. She also knew of no evidence of anyone getting away with murdering black citizens.

Granted, the network she works for doesnít spend a lot of time covering those issues, but there have been a lot of instances where black men died unnecessarily.
There has been a lot of great work done by local police departments to do a better job within economically depressed majority black neighborhoods to try to show residents there that the cops care as much about keeping them safe as they do the mostly white people in gated communities.

The biggest problem I had with Lahrenís response to Kaepernickís protest was her claim that his parentage means he canít be concerned about racial issues. Kaepernickís father was black and his mother was white. Two white people adopted him. With a tin ear and a twisted tongue, Larhen told the quarterback that this proved that he was not very racially oppressed.

ďArenít you half white?Ē She yelled. ďDidnít two white parents adopt you after yours werenít willing to raise you?Ē

That is simply amazing. Saying his parents ďwerenít willing to raise himĒ is almost as offensive as saying since one of his parents is white and two white people adopted him that he canít be a victim of racism from other white people.

My wife and I adopted Dawit, but that doesnít mean that he wonít be affected by racial prejudice espoused by other white people. In fact, he already has as a 9-year old child.

The fact that Colin Kaepernick is a millionaire who makes about $30,000 per complete pass doesnít mean that he canít be concerned about the other millions of black people who wonít make $30,000 this year.

I used to be Lahren.

I wasnít an attractive young woman who had all of my rants nationally broadcasted. But I was a 24-year-old opinion writer that had a tendency to go too far. Things to regret, Iíve said a few. Some of these gray hairs grew directly from the messes my big mouth got me into.

Hopefully, Lahren will leave her ultraconservative circle one day and discover the beautiful shades of gray that her black and white worldview doesnít allow her to see yet.

Kaepernick has made his point. I get it. But now it is time for him to stand up for the anthem because of the good that it represents.

His sitting got him the attention he wanted and some that he probably didnít. Now he can find better ways to continue to bring attention to the issues that concern him and maybe help us all find a solution.

ó Kent Bush is publisher of Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star and can be reached at kent.bush@news-star.com.