I have been thinking about freedom and what it means a lot lately.
What does it really mean? I guess it depends on the context. Mostly, freedom is a state of mind; it is a right to make a choice, to be yourself.
But before we take freedom at face value, I am painfully reminded every day that we are far from free in the United States. All you have to do is turn on the television and be reminded how far we have to go.
Freedom means different things to everyone
Freedom of speech. Freedom to protest. Freedom to own a gun. Freedom for equal rights. Freedom of the press.
Freedom is not a concept carved from stone; it is malleable and personal, always shifting shape depending on where you find yourself standing.
By listening to the word ‘freedom’ people might start making their own perceptions. Some may take it lightly and thus misuse it while the others might take a harder stance. It depends entirely on an individual as to how he wants to take his freedom ahead.
People everywhere dream of freedom. Children, teenagers and adults most likely think of freedom differently.
But does it really exist? To some freedom is still nothing but a dream. We say that we attained freedom a long time ago but have we really? All this makes me think about various people that suffer and the world that continues to neglect them.
Raising awareness and a campaign
I think it’s pretty ironic that in 2018, a single advertising campaign has brought about some ugly comments from people that are not completely informed. When Nike released their latest campaign that includes Colin Kapernick people went wild on both sides. Those that support Colin and his right to peacefully protest for social injustices and those that call him un-American and disrespectful to the flag and the United States military.
For those that state he’s disrespectful to the U.S. military, can you please tell me how? The United States Constitution’s first amendment includes the right to peacefully protest social injustices such as Americans being killed at the hands of law enforcement officers without any recourse.
The American flag represents the American people, our nation. It doesn’t solely represent our military or American athletes wouldn’t have it draped over their shoulders at the Olympics. People also have to realize that our military personnel don’t take an oath to the flag, they take an oath to protect the American people and the nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
What happened to the creed: “we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”?
But what I think is interesting is that Nike included more than just Colin in the campaign.
Just days before people were loving the campaign because Serena Williams was playing well in the U.S. Open. There’s been little to no mention of Seattle Seahawks lineback Shaquen Griffin
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham or skateboarder Lacey Baker.
So, regardless of where you stand on the issue, my thoughts continue to turn back to how much freedom do we have and how far do we have to go.
What does freedom mean to you?