When then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel in a peaceful protest against racial injustice, it was also a manifestation of one of the most fundamental “freedoms” in our country—the freedom to dissent. Since that time the NFL has received blowback from certain sections of its fanbase, including white supremacist in chief Donald Trump.
Haymarket Books posted this not-so-cryptic reminder of the history of fascism dressed up as patriotism.
The article Haymarket Books references can be seen here, and the text reads as follows:
FAILED TO GIVE NAZI SALUTE.
German Football Club Banned For 12 Months.
The Karlsruhe Football Club has been prohibited from playing during 1934 because the team failed to give the Nazi salute when entering the field to play against a French club from Nancy at Metz in December.
The failure of the team to give the salute is alleged to be due to the Frenchmen threatening that they would not play and the Germans would receive no compensation if the salute was given because it was feared that the spectators would riot.
All sports clubs were forbidden to take part in French engagements until the incident had been settled.
This was a big problem as the Nazi Party in Germany had very quickly made dissent illegal beginning in 1933 and absolutely by 1934. Any refusal to Sieg Heil was punishable. People like to say that there is a “fine line” between patriotism, nationalism, and fascism. But that’s not true: it’s a very clear line that’s moved again and again, in the face of obvious hypocrisy.
Those sections of our country that believe not standing at attention during the national anthem is an attack on our military service people have a very consistent criteria for how to “respect” the flag. The trick is, don’t be a person of color, and don’t talk about racial injustice in our country.
This is still a-okay.
This is just peachy.
And this is not “offensive” or “unpatriotic.”