Is It Okay To Be A Nationalist?

Daan Verbaan

Daan Verbaan

Student of BSc Security Studies at Leiden University. Interested in economics and politics. Leaning towards Conservative Liberalism.
Daan Verbaan

Latest posts by Daan Verbaan (see all)

Nationalism and racism

Nationalism, racism, xenophobia, and populism are words often found in the same sentence. Why would anyone be a nationalist, and is Nationalism racist in its core? As I’m writing my first post on The Global Millennial, I thought that this would be a good introduction to me, as a person, as a Dutchman, and as a nationalist.

What is Nationalism?

First, let me explain that nationalism has nothing to do, by definition, with racism. The definition given to us, by Wikipedia, sums it up pretty well:

Nationalism is further oriented towards developing and maintaining a national identity based on shared characteristics such as culture, language, race, religion, political goals or a belief in a common ancestry.”

The shared characteristics is a key point in the nationalist ideology, because shared characteristics cause national unity. When one meets someone with the same political goals, the same language or the same culture, a special kind of bond will be created which causes responsibility. In prehistorical terms, when one meets another person, who happens to think: “I think we should build some houses here,” you could either agree, and stay, or disagree and leave. This causes mutual responsibility, connectivity, and benefit. Nationalism is cooperation towards common goals.

“Nationalism is rowing the boat, in the same direction”

Nationalism and racism

As you can see in the Wikipedia description of Nationalism, some seek to unite a country based on race, which gives Nationalism a racist side. For all the anti-Nationalists out there, this is a point which concerns me as well. It gave me a reason to study this topic.

In my opinion, the key point of Nationalism is national unity. The best thing to undermine national unity, is to create racial differences, or even make one race superior to another race. Nationalism, and so national unity, requires everybody to be “in the boat”, and requires everybody “to row”. This is why I reject nationalism based on the shared characteristic: race. To make it even better, Nationalism is a good way to battle racism, as it strengthens national unity, and gives people a reason to look at other shared characteristics.

Nationalism, and so national unity, requires everybody to be “in the boat”, and requires everybody “to row”

To summarize, Nationalism is all about preservation, improvement and national unity. A nationalist country can achieve more, in less time. It’s perfectly fine to be a nationalist and so don’t use Nationalism in a bad way, or as an insult; as you can see, it doesn’t hurt us.

Every order Trump has signed since becoming President

David McDonald

David McDonald

David is a 19-year-old Canadian student currently attending the University of Guelph. He currently studies Public Management and economics with hopes of one day becoming an accomplished journalist. David enjoys reporting on global events and actively try to make a difference in the world.
David McDonald

From cutting off immigration access into America from nine Middle Eastern nations, to further supporting a proposed ‘border wall’ along the US-Mexico border; Trump’s actions as President thus far should be a sign of what’s to come: capitalist exclusivity.

During his campaign, Trump made it clear that he was going to “get things done” as President, and he is staying true to many of his prior claims made during his candidacy. Let’s see how.

Friday, January 20th

Executive Order 13765: Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal.

Before we get into any specifics, An Executive Order(EO) are legally binding orders given by the President, acting as the head of the Executive Branch, to Federal Administrative Agencies. Executive Orders are generally used to direct federal agencies and officials in their execution of congressionally established laws or policies.


Trump’s first executive order was as much a messaging document as a policy-making one, emphasizing Trump administration to seek the repeal of the health insurance law known as Obamacare. While the order was vague about what specific measures the administration will take — using the phrase “to the maximum extent permitted by law” three times — it suggests that federal agencies give states, insurance companies, and consumers the maximum amount of flexibility in complying with the law.

Obamacare has been scrutinized by many for bringing higher taxes, complicated enrollment, and issuing fines for citizens without health care insurance. Whether Trump’s proposed health care system will actually fix these faults is a topic for another day.

Monday, January 23

Presidential Memorandum: Withdrawal of the United States From the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Agreement

Trump withdraws from TPP

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, was a 12-member trade pact of countries along the Pacific Rim. Trump’s directive made it 11, formally withdrawing from the trade agreement. While the Obama-negotiated agreement was unlikely to be ratified by Congress anyway, the memorandum also set forth a Trump administration policy of negotiating future trade deals one by one, instead of regional, multi-national agreements.

However, the decision to withdraw from the TPP signifies Trump’s majority focus on growing American stability, rather than relying on trade agreements to boost economic activity. Trump wants to drastically improve US exports by bringing back manufacturing jobs, increasing import tariffs, and securing American jobs.

If he were to stay in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and if this deal were to go through, it would be much easier for member nations such as Malaysia, Japan, China, Peru, Mexico, and Chile, to “steal” US manufacturing jobs because it is cheaper to manufacture goods overseas than it is to produce on home soil.

Personally, I think this is a great move by Trump; with growing economic contenders such as the BRICS nations, it is in America’s best interest to secure domestic jobs and focus on exports, which will in turn, lessen their $445 billion budget deficit.

(Read More about the TPP Here)

Presidential Memorandum: Mexico City Policy

The Mexico City Policy, known to critics as the global gag rule, was a Reagan-Bush policy that restricted the use of foreign aid money to support family planning organizations that promote abortion. Trump’s memorandum reinstated that policy, which had been rescinded by Obama, but also vastly expanded it: The restriction now applies not just to the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development, but now all federal funding. And the ban applies to all global health aid, not just family planning.

Presidential Memorandum: Hiring Freeze

Most recent presidents have instituted some kind of hiring freeze, often just long enough for the president’s new cabinet members to be confirmed so they can make their own hiring decisions. While Trump makes an exception for the military, it also forbids contracting to circumvent the ban. The order calls for a long-term plan to reduce the federal workforce within 90 days.

Tuesday, January 24

Presidential Memorandum: Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline

Trump supports the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline

The Obama administration scuttled the proposed 1,179-mile cross-border pipeline from Alberta to Nebraska, which Republicans had supported as a job-booster. Trump invited pipeline company, Transcanada, “to promptly resubmit its application,” and ordered the secretary of State to make a decision within 60 days, fast-tracking existing procedural requirements.

Environmentalists are outraged by this decision, but should not be surprised, considering Trump made it clear that he wanted to tap into the near “$50 trillion in un-tapped oil resources within North America” during his presidency. In terms of the Keystone XL Pipeline actually bringing jobs back to America, is this really the case?

Trump, himself, said the pipeline will create “28,000 jobs. Great construction jobs,” but if you have paid attention to any of his speeches or interviews, the man likes to pull numbers out of his you know what, because it makes him look smarter and more credible than what he really is.

According to official estimates, constructing the pipeline will generate far fewer construction jobs than that.

A State Department report on the pipeline that was issued under the Obama administration found that there would be 3,900 direct construction jobs if it was built over one year, or 1,950 if the work was spread over two years.

Once the pipeline opens it would require only 35 full-time permanent jobs to run it, and 15 full-time temporary jobs, according to the state department report, a far cry from 28,000. TransCanada, the company seeking to build the pipeline, does not dispute those numbers.

The company and other supporters argue that the pipeline would create jobs indirectly for companies that sell products and services used to build the pipeline. The State Department report estimates that there would be a total of 42,000 indirect jobs created, with a total of $2 billion in wages. That comes to an average of about about $47,000 in wages per job.

TransCanada also pointed out that there would be benefits beyond the jobs and wages, including “significant property tax revenues, as well as sales and use and other tax revenues, to counties and states along the proposed project route.”

Just like any large economic move such as a cross-country pipeline, there are pros and cons. Yes, there will be jobs created for a two-year span, and yes, there will be sufficient property tax revenue for those living nearby the pipeline, but this does not discourage the fact that pipelines do leak, and they will harm the environment.

Those in opposition to this will argue that oil pipelines are the most environmental way to transport oil – they are right – but pipelines are not perfect, they will leak, they will cause environmental damage, but they will also bring in a lot of revenue to the companies involved, which will in turn, lower domestic oil prices and help out the average US citizen.

Presidential Memorandum: Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline  

Trump supports Dakota Access Pipeline

A separate order applied to the Dakota Access Pipeline, a 1,172-mile pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois. That project has been the subject of heated protests by American Indian groups and environmentalists. Because the pipeline crosses waterways, it needs approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Trump ordered the Army to “review and approve in an expedited manner” the permit.

Construction on the pipeline is about 85 percent complete and it has, indeed, put people to work. Yet it is not clear how many new jobs have been created since the jobs are spread out over 1,000 miles. Rural towns along the pipeline’s corridor have reported a boost in hotel and campground occupancy rates as the contractors move through. That, in turn, generates sales and lodging tax revenues for the local governments. The boost, however, won’t last. In a few months, when (and if) construction is complete, the workers and their spending money will depart. The finished pipeline will require just 40 permanent maintenance and operational jobs along its entire stretch.

 

Trump supports dakota access pipeline

 

Once oil is flowing, property tax revenues—an estimated total of $55 million annually—will kick in.

 

While it’s a big chunk of change, the impacts will be diffused, shared by four states. North Dakota and South Dakota are expected to receive about $13 million each, divided between several counties, a drop in the budget bucket. (Colorado generates nearly $20 million per month from taxes and fees on marijuana.) That said, it might be enough to buy the county sheriffs some more military gear from the Pentagon in order to squelch the next pipeline protest. It will not, however, cover the costs of such squelching: The current law enforcement effort has reportedly cost $15 million so far.

The fact is pipelines, like transmission lines, don’t have a major economic impact except when they’re built. They otherwise go mostly unnoticed until they spill, burst, or explode.


(Read More About the Dakota Access Pipeline Here)

Presidential Memorandum: Construction of American Pipelines


Trump asked the secretary of Commerce to review ways to mandate the use of American-made steel in pipeline projects. for all new, expanded or retrofitted pipelines in the United States. The plan is due in six months.

Executive Order 13766: Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High Priority Infrastructure Projects


The order sets up a new system to fast-track infrastructure projects. Under the executive order, any governor or cabinet secretary can ask for a project to be designated as high-priority. If the chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality approves, the project will go to the front of the line for any agency required to review and approve the project.

Presidential Memorandum: Streamlining Permitting and Reducing Regulatory Burdens for Domestic Manufacturing


Under this order, the secretary of Commerce will launch a review of manufacturing regulations with the goal of streamlining those rules. The secretary will seek input on the issue over the next 60 days, with a report to Trump containing specific proposals 60 days after that.

Wednesday, January 25

Proclamation 9571: National School Choice Week, 2017

Trump proclaimed the week of Jan, 22 as National School Choice week. Though the proclamation was entirely ceremonial, Trump is the first president ever to proclaim this week, which is sponsored by a coalition of charter, magnet, private, online and home schools.

 

Trump’s focus on education should be noted by the media but obviously isn’t, as it is shadowed by his obsession with homeland security and terrorist threats. However, when that all calms down, I think people will thank Trump for his commitments to education. Not included in this list is his plans to…

 

  • Immediately add an additional federal investment of $20 billion towards school choice. This will be done by reprioritizing existing federal dollars.
  • Give states the option to allow these funds to follow the student to the public or private school they attend. Distribution of this grant will favor states that have private school choice, magnet schools and charter laws, encouraging them to participate.
  • Establish the national goal of providing school choice to every one of the 11 million school aged children living in poverty.
  • If the states collectively contribute another $110 billion of their own education budgets toward school choice, on top of the $20 billion in federal dollars, that could provide $12,000 in school choice funds to every K-12 student who today lives in poverty.
  • Work with Congress on reforms to ensure universities are making a good faith effort to reduce the cost of college and student debt in exchange for the federal tax breaks and tax dollars.
  • Ensure that the opportunity to attend a two or four-year college, or to pursue a trade or a skill set through vocational and technical education, will be easier to access, pay for, and finish.

It should be noted that for any nation to succeed, it must have a strong education system. Trump fully understands this, and he is working on implementing policies that will aim to help America’s education system continue to prosper.

Executive Order 13767: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements

Donald Trump plans to build a border wall

This is the “build the wall” executive order, directing the Customs and Border Patrol to “secure the southern border of the United States through the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border.” The order also directs the hiring of 5,000 more border patrol officers. The order does not specify how the wall would be paid for, but does request a report on all U.S. foreign aid to Mexico over the last five years.

Executive Order 13768: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States

Complementing the border wall, this executive order applies to immigration enforcement in the interior, and specifically targets so-called “sanctuary cities” by cutting off their federal funding. The order also expands the enforcement priorities in order to give immigration officers almost unlimited discretion in instituting deportation proceedings, to include any non-citizen not yet charged a crime but who, in the judgment of an immigration officer, poses a risk to public safety or national security.

Friday, January 27

Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States




This is perhaps Trump’s most controversial executive order to date, leading to weekend protests at international airports across the country. Trump promised to keep “radical Islamic terrorists” out of the country, largely though a ban on entry from seven countries for 90 days. Those countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) are all majority Muslim, and the order allows an exception for religious minorities, which Trump said was to protect Christians there. The order was subject to immediate action in three federal courts in the 48 hours after its signing, in order to protect people who were caught in legal limbo when they arrived at U.S. airports.The decision to ban muslims from entering the country has sparked a flame among the Trump opposition. His decisions have led him to be labelled as “racist” and overly aggressive with his policies.


National Security Presidential Memorandum 1: Rebuilding the U.S. Armed Forces

The presidential national security memorandum — a first-of-its-kind presidential directive — calls for a 30-day review of military readiness. It requires the the Pentagon and Office of Management and Budget to come up with a plan to bolster the military, and calls for an examination of the nation’s nuclear arsenal and missile-defense capabilities.

Saturday, January 28

Executive Order: Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Employees

In one sense, Trump’s executive order on administration ethics goes further than any similar order in history, imposing a lifetime ban on administration officials lobbying foreign governments, and a five-year ban on other types of lobbying. But that ban covers only people who were lobbyists before they joined the administration, leaving a loophole for non-lobbyists, ethics experts said.

National Security Presidential Memorandum 2: Organization of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council

Every modern president signs an order early in his term reorganizing the National Security Council. Trump’s order most notably added his chief political strategist, Stephen Bannon, to sit on the influential Principals Committee.

National Security Presidential Memorandum 3: Plan to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

This memorandum calls for the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with other national security officials, to develop a plan within 30 days to defeat the Islamic State. The plan should include “recommended changes to any United States rules of engagement” as well as any diplomatic, financial or cyber measures that the Trump administration can take.

Monday, January 30

Executive Order:  Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

Trump’s so-called “one in, two out” executive order would require agencies to rescind two existing regulations for every one new regulation — and that the regulatory costs of those new regulations balance out. The order would also tighten the president’s grip on the regulatory process by giving each agency an annual quota of regulations through the federal budgeting process.

 

Conclusion

Trump hasn’t shocked me one bit with his actions during his first weeks as President. He is acting on many of the things he said he would accomplish during his campaign, and it perplexes me as to why people are surprised that any of this is happening. He said he would build a border wall and he is dead-set on doing it; he said he would ban illegal immigrants, and he has just imposed a 120-day immigration ban on the countries that are supposedly bringing in most of these immigrants.

Protests in the streets will not stop Trump from doing what he thinks is best for America.

Personally, I agree with some of Trump’s policies, but again, my scrutiny of his leadership comes with how he handles decisions, rather than the decisions he actually makes.

However, his ability to shake up the status-quo and force people to question their beliefs is something I admire, and frankly, something I think America desperately needs.

So, what do you think about Donald Trump’s policies?

An analysis of the Prison System in America; A place where profits reign, prejudice flourishes, and structural change is imminent

David McDonald

David McDonald

David is a 19-year-old Canadian student currently attending the University of Guelph. He currently studies Public Management and economics with hopes of one day becoming an accomplished journalist. David enjoys reporting on global events and actively try to make a difference in the world.
David McDonald

Introduction

I found the inspiration for this article when I heard that Brock Turner, the Stanford rapist, had been released from jail after what must have been a traumatizing experience for the young criminal.
Like the rest of social media-using North America, I was outraged when I initially heard that Turner would only be receiving a 3 month prison sentence for raping an unconscious girl behind a dumpster; an offence that would arguably, draw a much heftier prison sentencing if the perpetrator had been living under different circumstances (i.e. race, age, gender, religion, educational/working background.)
We are living in a time where racism still remains a large problem in North America (primarily in the usa). But what is even more concerning than the fact that we still discriminate based on one’s race, is the fact that these issues not only influence, but actually determine social rank, income in the work force, and you guessed it, prison sentences.
The prison system in America (Canada and the USA) is still flawed to this day. With the Brock Turner case being publicized nationally, US prisons are under more scrutiny than ever, and change to the structure of mass incarceration is just around the horizon – change, that will aim to destroy the barriers of racial profiling within prison sentencing, and hope to create a more balanced prisoning system for all.

The initial problem with prisons in the US is that they are primarily owned under private investors – not by the government

This may not come as a surprise to many, but prisons is the US are mostly being ran ‘for profit’.
This has not always been the case, but since the 1980’s privatizing of prisons hit a massive boom and since then, the incarceration rate has more than tripled.
It began in the mid-1980’s, fifteen years of massive and unprecedented growth within the US prison system hit a snag — it ran out of money.

When the state wants to build a new prison, it traditionally asks the voters to approve the cost through a bond issue. But this time, voters throughout the country began to say no.
So many turned to private investment, to venture capital, both to fund new prison projects and to run the prisons themselves for costs around $30 to $60 per bed, per day. This began what we know today as the for-profit, private prison industry.
As you can see above, once the 80’s hit, the number of incarcerated inmates rose drastically. This is because of a few factors:
First, the war on drugs got out of control, meaning that many nonviolent people wound up in prison.
Second, mandatory-minimum sentencing laws led to a throw-away-the-key culture, with long, cruel and pointlessly destructive prison terms.

It’s true that mass incarceration is a horrific problem. Back in the 1970s the increase in incarceration did help reduce the crime rate, maybe accounting for a third of the drop. But today’s incarceration levels do little to deter crime while they do much to rip up families, increase racial disparities and destroy lives.
But this still doesn’t explain the massive spike in incarceration growth, as only 17% of these inmates are in for a drug-related offense (less than one in five).
So why the huge increase in incarceration? You guessed it – privately owned prisons profit from incarcerated inmates, thus, they want as many inmates as possible.
This explains why ‘the war on drugs’ happened almost simultaneously with the private prison boom.
Because voters would not fund this many inmates, which would cost a great deal of money, states literally had to turn to privately owned prisons in order to meet the growing demand for non-violent offenders. Pair this with much longer sentences, and you have a growing demand for prisons, as well as a lucrative new business for wealthy investors.
According to a dilly from salon, “A new report from In the Public Interest (ITPI) revealed last week that private prison companies are striking deals with states that contain clauses guaranteeing high prison occupancy rates. The report, “Criminal: How Lockup Quotas and ‘Low-Crime Taxes’ Guarantee Profits for Private Prison Corporations,” documents the contracts exchanged between private prison companies and state and local governments that either guarantee prison occupancy rates (essentially creating inmate lockup quotas) or force taxpayers to pay for empty beds if the prison population decreases due to lower crime rates or other factors (essentially creating low-crime taxes).”
Some of these contracts require 90 to 100 percent prison occupancy.
In fact, three privately owned prisons in Arizona have contracts that require 100 percent inmate occupancy, so the state is obligated to keep its prisons filled to capacity in order to meet the requirements of the prison – this means longer prison sentences, and more prison sentences.
This process is unjust on so many levels. It does not help rehabilitate inmates, but rather, treats them as a means of profit. All while promoting unhealthy prison conditions because prisons are not regularly monitored by the government.

America has the largest prison population in the world, with most of these inmates being of colour – coincidence? I don’t think so…

As previously mentioned, racism is a large issue in America right now, and this problem leads to people of colour to be much more likely to be incarcerated than whites.
There are those of you who will argue that race does not play a part in sentencing, but I beg to differ.
Let’s go back to the Brock Turner Case.
Brock Turner, who we know, raped an unconscious girl behind a dumpster, received a sentence of 6 months, but got let out at 3. The sentencing was so light because, according to the judge, prison would have “a severe impact on him.”
This had the nation outraged, as people who get caught smoking a joint or possessing high amounts of marijuana will get much more time than Mr. Turner did.

Now let’s compare Turner’s case to that of all-star, black high school football player Brian Banks. Banks had expectations of one day joining the National Football League, was accused of rape when he was 16 years old. He was tried as an adult, received more than five years in prison and another five years on parole for being a sex offender, before his accuser admitted to fabricating the allegations and all charges were dropped.

Brock Turner Gets Months in Jail — A Black Student Got 5 Years for a Rape He Didn’t Commit

This is just one in a seemingly endless line of examples which demonstrate the deeply entrenched racism in sentencing across the country.
Is the privatized prison system to blame here? Very hard to say, but one thing is for sure – race undoubtedly plays a role in your prison sentence, whether you want to acknowledge it or not.
I can go on and on about numerous stories about white vs. black, but I’m going to leave my opinion there, open to scrutiny – because I solely believe racism affects the way of life for those targeted, and it needs to be actively addressed.

With awareness being raised about the problems of the prison system in the US, change must be imminent

With my current knowledge, I can’t prove that any current or future politicians plan to put an end to privatized prisons, but I can assure you that they must address the issue.
American tax payers money is being spent on prison beds for inmates that should not be there. Although only one fifth of inmates are nonviolent offenders, a vast majority of sentences are simply too long.
You simply do not need to lock up an individual for 30+ years and expect anything good to come out of it. If prisons were structured around rehabilitation, it would only take about a third of the time to take that same inmate, rehab them, and send them back into society with the hopes that they become a functioning person – not let them rot in jail so that private prison owners can profit off them, and so that the average person can be taxed.
Now please don’t take what I just said out of context; If a man or woman has done something horrific, they should rot in jail. But if they were a drug trafficker, a gang member, a thief, etc, they can be rehabilitated. Many individuals only commit crimes because of the situation they are in. People don’t sell drugs because they are financially stable, people don’t join gangs because they feel safe, and people don’t steal cars because they don’t need the money – the situation they are currently in dictates their crime, and prison should aim to send these people back to society with a changed perspective on life, as well as a different environment (i.e. ban them from going back to the area that they committed the crime, regardless of whether their family is there or not).
To recap what I think is wrong with the prison system in America:
  • Privatized prisons aim to incarcerate as many individuals as possible – regardless of crime.
  • Race and ethnicity dictate your prison sentence.
  • Sentences are far too long – they do not rehabilitate inmates, but rather harm them for life, they are treated like animals.
America has more inmates than any other nation on the planet, but far less people. The only cause for this is that states WANT as many inmates as possible, because they are in contract with prisons that need to occupy at least 90% of their space.
It is a structure that needs change, but change cannot happen unless people stand up and voice their opinions. This is something that 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick has recently attempted to do, yet, his protest against racial inequality in America has only been met with massive scrutiny from the American populace.
If issues are being protested, but those protests are not being welcomed, change will never occur in America. The people need to wake up and decide what is best for them, and future generations.
 

The time to stand up is now.

Was Colin Kaepernick justified in his protest against racial prejudice in the USA?

David McDonald

David McDonald

David is a 19-year-old Canadian student currently attending the University of Guelph. He currently studies Public Management and economics with hopes of one day becoming an accomplished journalist. David enjoys reporting on global events and actively try to make a difference in the world.
David McDonald

Introduction

If you’ve been a football fan for the past few years, the name Colin Kaepernick might ring a bell. He is the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, and has appeared in a super bowl against the Baltimore Ravens.
Needless to say, being a super bowl-contending NFL quarterback, Kaepernick has a far reaching influence on the American populace.
Understanding his influence, Kaepernick decided to protest oppression of minorities in the U.S. by refusing to stand during the national anthem before a preseason game last Sunday, August 28th.
The story ran rampant, with thousands of people flocking to social media to either flame the quarterback for his hearty protest, or support him for standing up for something he believes in – even if his stance is highly controversial.
But what is even more interesting about this issue is how potential future president Donald Trump is deciding to handle it.

Given that social inequality is an ongoing issue in America, the President should handle every situation like this with care, yet this doesn’t seem to be the case with Donald Trump

When asked about the case, Trump insisted that Colin Kaepernick, “should find a country that works better for him”, as well as stating that he personally thinks, “it is not a good thing”, that Kaepernick is protesting against social issues that continue to flurry in the nation.
Believe me, this isn’t the first time Mr. Trump has responded in a rash manner towards a social issue. So it’s always interesting to see how he responds in moments like these, moments that require a gentle, and well thought out response from a president. However, given his strong sense of patriotism, one can’t really expect Trump to hold back on something like this.
Personally, I find it quite concerning that Mr.Trump would jump so fast to tell Kaepernick to outright, “leave the country,” when all he did was express his views. In fact, All Colin did was exercise his first amendment, which reads,
Prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.
When the Obama administration was asked about Kaepernick’s protest, they responded just as they should have, saying, “we surely all acknowledge and even defend his right to express those views in the settings that he chooses. Even as objectionable as we find his perspective, he certainly is entitled to express them.”
Obama is known to be a sports advocate, but he chose not to take a strong stance on the issue – which being the experienced politician he is, is a very smart decision.
It just goes to show how Trump has and will continue to inadequately analyze, and respond to situations that carry economic, social, and political consequences.

Although highly controversial, Kaepernick has the full right to protest for what he believes in – he has not broken any laws, and he has not harmed anyone through his actions

You gotta hand it to him, the guy is smart. He knows that being an NFL quarterback, he has been placed in a position in America that gives him a strong influence on the American citizens.
As said by Peter King, Kaepernick uses politics, sports, cops, and race to stir the emotions of Americans, sports enthusiast or not, and by being an African American NFL quarterback, he knew that his protest would be seen by all.
Like him or not, you have to respect his ability to stand up for what he believes in to pretty much an entire nation.
Now many are scrutinizing Kaepernick for his decision to sit while the national anthem is playing, and rightfully so. The anthem represents something sacred to Americans, just like any anthem for any country. By standing for the anthem, you are showing respect for your brothers who have fallen in battle to protect your freedom.
This is what has so many outraged.
But as I said, Kaepernick is a smart man. He understands that there are brave warriors who have died to protect their freedom, which is why he has stood for the national anthem for his whole life – but times have changed, and the people who once fought in the U.S. army for domestic freedom, are now fighting for full-fledged imperialism, as well as globalization on a scale that hasn’t been seen in a long time.
However, this is only the start of what he is protesting. When asked about his protest after the game, Kaepernick let everyone know that,
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said in an interview with NFL Media afterwards. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
 
His protest is more so about domestic social issues rather than full-fledged imperialism in the Middle East. Although the controversy around “Black Lives Matter” has dwindled, Kaepernick has ignited a flame that could ripple through the hearts of many, and really make people question the way minorities are being oppressed in the nation.
Kaepernick stated that he will continue to sit during national anthems until he sees a change with racial profiling in the nation – particularly with police brutality targeted at minorities.
Given the numbers, this could be a long process. According to a statistical database offered by The Guardian, over 700 people have been killed by police in the USA alone in 2016, 82 of which have perished in August.
This number is up 116 people from when I wrote an article about gun violence in the U.S. back in July.
That means about 2.92 civilians are being murdered by police EVERY DAY in America, while 79 police officers have perished at the hands of civilians in the same time, meaning on average 2 officers die per week while on duty.
The violence definitely goes both ways, and although Kaepernick is protesting the lives lost at the hands of the police, I think his argument would have more of an impact if he protested gun violence altogether.
Police risk their lives to protect civilians, and they deserve more recognition for what they do. The thing is, the shadow cast over the police force due to trigger-happy officers, shields more of the credibly things they do for society – and it’s a damn shame.

What does this all mean for America, and what is my opinion on this story?

Colin Kaepernick has re-awoken the prejudicial beast that lingers beneath the consciousness of every American.
He has stirred up a range of emotions from onlookers, and I think it’s a good thing.
I think it’s healthy for people to explore their position on pressing issues such as racism and police brutality, and Kaepernick, being an NFL quarterback, almost forces you to do so, whether you live in the country or not.
I think his protest is equally passionate as it is powerful. He has used his influence as an iconic sports figure to demonstrate that he, a member of the oppressed minority (as some will observe) is unhappy with the way things are in the country, and for good reason.
He has forced Donald Trump to respond, and in my opinion, Trump embarrassed himself once again with his rashness, and inability of accessing the situation.
By telling Kaepernick to leave the country, he is demonstrating a clear lack of resiliency, as well as a non-existent care for the first amendment.
If I could speak to Trump one on one, I would tell him that the first amendment tops the list for a reason. America would not be deemed “the home of the free” if it’s people were not in fact, free. By telling Kaepernick to leave the country that so solemnly swore to protect him, you are not only showing your supporters that you don’t care about their opinions, but you are attempting to perpetuate fear in the hearts of your non-supporters, which if you were unaware, are substantial in numbers. I would tell Mr. Trump that he needs to rethink what kind of president he wants to be; a president that stands for what is right, or one that stands for something much less admirable, something that does not help make the world a better place, something that stems from hate, from ego, from a place that values money over people, power over unification, and greed over everything.
Say what you want about Obama, he handled this situation the way it should be handled. He did not get directly involved with the drama, yet, he expressed that Colin Kaepernick has the full right to use his first amendment – all without taking any sides.

So what does this all mean for America? The answer to that question may have to wait, but one thing here is certain; people will unite, people will become more active in this issue, because just as Mr. King said, nothing unites Americans like sports, guns, race, and politics.