Mike Gallagher: You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught

Just a couple weekends ago in Belleville, Illinois, every single player on a football team of youngsters—eight years old and under—took a knee during the national anthem.

The coach, Orlando Goodin, said his kids knew all about why people were protesting in the streets of St. Louis over the acquittal of former police officer Jason Stockley. He saw a teaching opportunity—and explained Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem. The kids asked if they could do the same.

So, sure enough, when the national anthem played, these third graders immediately took a knee, their backs turned away from the flag.

There’s a line from the old musical South Pacific that says, “You’ve got to be carefully taught.”

You’ve got to be carefully taught to hate.

Coach Goodin chose to teach these kids to despise their flag.

You’ve also got to be carefully taught to love, taught to be grateful.

No: Not a one of us thinks this country is perfect.

But there’s a lot to be thankful for.

That’s the lesson we all ought to be teaching right now.