As I read the Declaration of Independence in the July 4 Journal Star, I saw certain parallels between what the colonists faced and our current social condition.

Its first paragraph caught my attention as the justification for their struggle for freedom, despite 500,000-some slaves in the colonies; its last sums up these citizens' frustration in their attempt at remedy.

This occurred some two-and-a-half centuries ago, you might say. We no longer have slavery. True, but fast-forward to the 1960s.

In 1960, I had the shameful, embarrassing experience of being escorted out of a hotel and denied entrance to a restaurant in the Deep South. This enraging event did not occur because of my race; I had the honor of being a member of an athletic team with two world-class black athletes.

We eventually found shelter at an army base outside the city. It allowed black soldiers -- in segregated quarters, of course.

Yes, this was a half-century ago. But, in 2019, let's hearken back to the founders.

A conscientious observer might recognize the similarities between the condition of the colonists of 1776 and the forgotten Americans -- those strangled and shot by police, accosted for drinking coffee or told to go back where you came from -- in 2019.

Consider Colin Kaepernick. Is he the villain, or could he someday be counted among the heroes of the ongoing civil rights movement? Is he disrespecting our flag or honoring its heritage and purpose?

He is bravely protesting at the peril of his livelihood and even his personal safety, as were the signers of the declaration. King George would not listen to these subjects, so they protested and pledged their “lives, fortunes and sacred honor” to a new democratic system.

My point: Perhaps it would be useful to listen to what Kaepernick and others have to say rather than burning our Nikes.

Kenneth Govaerts, Lincoln

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