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As the NFL preseason kicks off, I get that some folks believe our flag is being disrespected when professional athletes take a knee during our national anthem. This is, after all, the land of the free.

But is it? I say it is not until the last person of color can drive through a wealthy neighborhood in a luxury automobile without being pulled over for suspicion of having stolen the vehicle, or being “out of place”; can go shopping without being shadowed by a security guard; and no longer hears that their college degree is merely the result of preferential treatment. This is not the land of the free when persons of color are locked up for smoking weed while white offenders frequently don’t get busted.

We have a lot of work to do before we can truly say that we are the land of the free, and mean it. This isn’t about millionaire football players who are supposed to be grateful for making it to the top of their profession. It’s about that quirky little phrase in the Declaration of Independence that says “all men are created equal.”

Lindsay Allen, Renton