On Wednesday’s episode of “The Andrew Klavan Show,” Klavan talks about how protesters in Hong Kong are using the American flag as a symbol to rally against an oppressive government. Video and partial transcript below:
Now there’s been violence and the rioters don’t like this. They’re holding up signs [saying] we’re sorry about the violence. They took over the airport and, of course, the airport is a major transportation hub — because [Hong Kong is] this little island of freedom in the middle of Asia, so there’s a great airport and everybody loves it. They take over the airport. Their complaint is that pro-China infiltrators have come into their group and are causing trouble and are spying on them for the police. So two of them got beaten up by the protesters.
Now listen, I have no information about this. But it would not surprise me at all if China is trying to make these protests violent. And President Trump said yesterday that the [Chinese] army is lining up right outside Hong Kong ready to go in there. We don’t know — that hasn’t been confirmed, but he says that’s what intelligence services say. It would not surprise me at all if China wants trouble there so they can go in and stomp on people and take the place over. That’s not going to look very good. But ultimately China has all the power and we don’t.
So the thing that really is poignant to me, and the thing that I want to get to, is the fact that the Hong Kongers — desperate to preserve their freedom, under the gun with people being kidnapped and disappearing and laws creeping in there that are meant to erode their freedoms — are waving the American flag. And they’re singing our “Star-Spangled Banner.” They are waving the American flag. And this is — I mean this should move all of us.
This should touch every single one of us, and remind us that when people look for freedom, when they are afraid of oppression, when they strive to become the one thing that all great people have to be — which is free — and all individuals want to be, which is free. And the only thing that gives nobility to charity the only thing that gives nobility to faith in God, the only thing that gives nobility to a person is if he chooses those things freely. Right, if you choose to believe you — don’t believe at the edge of a sword because that has no legitimacy.
If you choose to give charity you — you don’t give charity because the government comes and takes your money and gives it to someone else that ennobles both the giver and the person who receives the charity. Freedom ennobles everything. Freedom gives everything legitimacy. And when people are looking for freedom, whose flag do they wave? Our flag. And that’s why — and this is the thing that is so poignant about this — is that here in America, we’re not respecting that flag. There’s just no question about it. When you have people burning the flag, which we have now, when you have people kneeling during the national anthem and saying, “Oh this is my protest,” which is ridiculous, because the thing you’re protesting is essentially that you’re not getting the rights of an American. Whether that’s true or not, that’s what you’re saying. You’re saying we want the rights of an American, and you are our fellow Americans, and therefore you should help us get those rights. So why would you dis the flag?
That is the one thing that links me and Colin Kaepernick together. If Kaepernick wants to say to me, “Hey you know we’re both Americans, and I’m not getting my American rights.” He can say that to me and I’ll listen. I may disagree with him, but I will listen to that. But once he says “and screw the flag,” I’m saying, why do I care? Why do I care about you? What connects you to me? Your humanity? There are plenty of people all over the world who are having a much worse time than a millionaire quarterback — a millionaire NFL football player. Plenty of people who are truly, truly oppressed in this world. If it’s this common humanity we’re talking about, I’m gonna be thinking about people in Somalia, not you in your millionaire limousine. That’s not who I’m going to be worried about. But, if what you’re saying is, my fellow American, I’m not getting the fair American shake that you’re getting, I will listen to that. But not if you’re telling me that you don’t care about America. Not if you’re telling me America is a bad country.