Rachel Charlene Lewis
August 30, 2016 10:59 am
Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Gucci

People have been *freaking out* about those who prefer not to participate fully in traditions like the National Anthem, and have even been saying that those (like Colin Kaepernick and Gabby Douglas) who don’t are un-American. But that simply isn’t the case, and John Legend just knocked the entire debate out of the park in a single tweet.

Because it just isn’t that simple.

“For those defending the current anthem,” he tweeted, “do you really truly love that song?”

“I don’t and I’m very good at singing it. Like, one of the best”

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It’s all too easy to say that people are un-American if they question American traditions. After all, probably the most American thing of all is being critical, thoughtful, and making progress over time. It’s definitely worth examining why you’re so upset that someone doesn’t like a song that you may or may not even know the words to.

Though Kaepernick’s protest wasn’t just about the song itself, but about raising awareness, the song’s lyrics are still worth re-examining.

Things grow and change over time. We didn’t always have the Constitution we currently have, and we leave room for amendments. We cross old laws off our lists and build new ones, we push for inclusivity in all things (despite the constant backlash), and we even changed the National Anthem because, welp, we don’t exactly love slavery anymore.

So before we shut down and attempt to silence critiques of American traditions by calling those who question them “un-American,” maybe we should recognize the beauty, and necessity, of something called change.

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