The public discourse around “respecting the flag” has become one of the fiercest battlegrounds in the culture war. One side is using a very public display to protest systemic racism plaguing the country, while the other side has decided to completely ignore that and act like it’s about disrespecting the troops.
In Superior, Montana, a man was arrested for assaulting a 13-year-old boy. A man named Curt Brockway grabbed and threw a teen boy on the ground during the national anthem at the Mineral County Fair and Rodeo.
Witnesses told local news station KPAX the man claimed the boy disrespected the flag by not removing his hat.
A lot of dishonest and/or dim people like to label any violence as fascist, but the violence needs to be in support of fascist ideology. This, is an act of fascist violence. https://t.co/G6R0eHbjM7— Some More News (@SomeMoreNews) August 7, 2019
Brockway picked up and slammed the boy on the ground causing a skull fracture.
Taylor Hennick was nearby for the incident. She had just entered the fairgrounds when she heard it happen.
She told the Missoulian:
“There was a little boy lying on the ground. He was bleeding out of his ears, seizing on the ground, just not coherent.”
Brockway attempted to justify his actions to the bystanders.
“He said (the boy) was disrespecting the national anthem so he had every right to do that.”
The teen was rushed to the hospital. The injuries were severe, but luckily, he was released from the hospital and is now recovering at home.
The boy told MTN News:
“It’s just a lot of pain in my head. I don’t remember anything – the rodeo – the helicopter – nothing.”
I can’t even. And he was released without bail! https://t.co/IhiJo26zga— Naveed Jamali (@NaveedAJamali) August 7, 2019
Let’s not forget about the 13 year old boy that was attack and severely wounded by a 39 year old man in Montana for not taking his hat off during the National anthem! Said he had the right to do it Boy was disrespecting the National anthem! The boy’s ears bled for six hours!— judithm78072121 (@judithm78072123) August 8, 2019
I know, white!— Annie 🥇 (@AnnieJohanson22) August 7, 2019
Brockway was arrested Saturday night for the felony assault.
At his court appearance on Monday, the state requested a $100,000 bond. However, the judge ruled that Brockway could be released on his own recognizance.
This is particularly egregious, as Brockway is still serving a 10-year probation from a 2010 assault charge.
Absolutely, I believe he was charged w/felony assault, why would a judge release him? Any chance the guy would try to hunt down anyone he thinks turned him in? So tired of hearing of violent perpetrators & white guys getting light treatment for vicious assaults.— Ponder (@Washyourowndish) August 8, 2019
And it’s a convention. Even if he intentionally chose not to remove his hat it’s irrelevant. Even if he was being ‘disrespectful’ it’s irrelevant. He was assaulted and the perpetrator has a history of violence and was released with no bail— Mel Morris 🇨🇦🇬🇧 (@melsm57) August 7, 2019
Hell, he shouldn't own a flag.— Brian Jennings (@bjennings812) August 8, 2019
The debate about respect for the national anthem has been a major talking point for supporters and detractors of President Donald Trump. After Colin Kaepernick began his silent protest of police brutality, Trump took up the other side of the argument, claiming that kneeling during the national anthem was disrespectful to the troops.
People have taken this debate to all kinds of crazy levels. After Kaepernick became the face for Nike’s new iteration of the “Just Do It” campaign, people who disagreed with him showed their displeasure by destroying their shoes, sometimes to horrific results.
Additionally, there has been a noted spike in hate crimes since Trump took office. People see the President and his words as stoking a flame of hate and discrimination. Enough so that experts are investigating the correlation between his words and incidences of hate crimes.
This is the America many have had to deal with.
Some people just don't understand what America stands for. https://t.co/8m6wBK6b5b— Frank Janosko (@FrankJanosko) August 7, 2019
I flew my flag every day until this piece of shit was elected. My flag pole is now empty until he is long gone.— victor volpe (@mousetrap6731) August 8, 2019
Toxic nationality is not patriotism https://t.co/slzl6gx9kp— Dr. Alison Bateman-House (@ABatemanHouse) August 7, 2019
There is no word as to why Brockway was released with no bond, but it’s an alarming incident. A violent offense carried out by someone serving probation from a previous assault should be treated more seriously.
Brockway’s arraignment is set for Aug. 14th. At that time he will enter his plea.