(The Progressive) -- If I had any guts, I’d have a t-shirt made up that says, “I Wouldn’t Stand for the National Anthem Even if I Could.”
I would put that shirt on and march directly into the snakepit—a Chicago Blackhawks hockey game. They go nuts at Blackhawks games when the Star Spangled Banner is played. The fans whoop and roar and clap throughout the whole damn song. It’s tradition—celebrate the culture that stole land from the guy whose face is on our jerseys.
But I never stand whenever the national anthem breaks out anywhere because I can’t. That’s one of the advantages that comes with being in a wheelchair (besides scoring the occasional prime parking space). Those of us in wheelchairs are probably the only ones who can get away with not standing at full attention for the anthem. I can even get away with not taking off my hat because I can’t raise my arms.
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But I actually often feel guilty about not participating, not because I can’t do it but because I silently hide behind my privilege, like a coward. I feel like I should shout out,