Honor Makes a Way for Solutions to Disagreements

Last night, the Dallas Cowboys stood together. More accurately, they knelt together. They knelt together in a sign of protest against racism in the United States, and they did it before the National Anthem. As a reminder, that is what all the kneeling was about in the first place, although it has been largely forgotten in the politics and opinions.

In case you didn’t see it or hear about it they came out as a team, joined arms and knelt. Then they stood up. They knelt before the National Anthem ever began and they stood up during the national anthem.

All along, the objection to the protest has been that protestors should stand and respect the flag. Last night, they did. Yet, in an overnight poll in the Dallas Morning News, the initial opinions offered were that 54% of respondents felt “Cowboys should not have knelt at all.” This was a Dallas newspaper, mind you, so this is a biased sampling presumably in favor of what the Cowboys do. I don’t know what the sampling size was, but that result is disheartening.

This poll showed that for some, it was never about the flag in the first place. It was about being right. For some, they aren’t patriotic as much as they are just prejudiced. When you don’t want somebody that is different from you to say anything about their perception or experience based in those differences, you are protecting the status quo, not the traditions surrounding the flag.

We tend to like what we like and want what we want and will often find justifications to protect our preferences. Our preferences are rooted in our perspective and our perspective is limited to our experiences. Those experiences, in this nation, are vastly different. Experiences surrounding race and racism cannot be the same where the there are differences in race. It’s just not possible.

The opportunity going forward is honor. I’ve been a Dallas Cowboys fan for the past four decades, but my admiration of their collective voice last night isn’t about winning or losing. It’s about honor. They were able to show honor towards the flag while also projecting the voice of the perspective that was calling out. They were able to agree about disagreements that they had not all experienced. That’s what the flag stands for, in part; the freedom to be heard in an honorable way.

When 54% say there should be no disagreement at all, there is going to be disagreement. If and when the majority can agree that the experience of the minority is different from their own, then there can be solutions. Honor makes a way for solutions to disagreements.

6 thoughts on “Honor Makes a Way for Solutions to Disagreements

    • Thanks, Jim . . . I couldn’t agree more. I don’t believe, however, that invalidates the honor due unique perspectives. In fact, as we seek to understand the truth (none of us have perfected our understanding) our depth of understanding is arguably contingent on our willingness to consider things from perspectives not previously entertained.

  1. No, most Americans are not prejudice & are of course against racism. Period. So when we see people locked in arms & taking a knee, mimicking Kap’s original pig/cop socks wearing protest – people are not happy!
    Americans are NOT racist &
    Policemen are NOT racists! And we don’t like people trying to tell us we are or blaming our policemen. Hence the 54% disapproval!

  2. I don’t know if most people are racist or not. But if that was the case then I as a Vet wouldn’t have faced discrimination when I came home from Vietnam because all those people standing for the anthem wouldn’t have tolerated such.

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