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Marc A. Thiessen is not a stupid man and yet he pretends to misunderstand the protests of Colin Kaepernick and others who took a stand by taking a knee.

It’s useful to ask why.

It’s also useful to talk about what protest is and how it works since it seems that many people might find nourishment in Thiessen’s words and not realize that he is feeding them a red herring.

When the founding fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence they were protesting. Imagine what would have happened to this country if the founding fathers had decided to wear embroidered arm bands instead of declaring their independence. The Declaration of Independence wasn’t convenient for the King of England. Yet the founding fathers weren’t quietly staying in their lane appreciative of the opportunity to wear the colors of England.

Protest isn’t convenient. It’s the nature of protest to call attention to itself. Colin Kaepernick took a knee in the moment when he knew he would have the greatest possible audience. He did so at tremendous personal risk. He didn’t do it because he hates America. He did it because he wants America to be better.

There is a canyon- sized gulf between hating America and wanting it to be better. Wanting to stay part of something and make it better is what love does.

Is this country so fragile that we can’t pull it into the light and examine it to look for cracks that need to be filled? I don’t think so. Marc A. Thiessen thinks it is. Although he understands what Colin Kaepernick was actually protesting, he has chosen to tell people that Kaepernick was disrespecting the country by wanting it to be better. If your institutions are strong then they can stand up to scrutiny. Looking for cracks that need to be filled is a loving act of faith.

Jamie Platt

South Point, Ohio

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