It’s time. Oh yes it’s time.
For several weeks it’s been football players like Colin Kaepernick taking knees. There have been black volleyball players taking knees. High school football players taking knees. There have been other NFL players raising black fists in the air. Seattle Seahawks player Jeremy Lane sits as the National Anthem is played. And four members of the Miami Dolphins took knees as well. Plus Denver Broncos Linebacker Brandon Marshall took his knee during the anthem.
But what is this all entail? Some anti-american movement? Was there a part in school that flag etiquette was not taught? Some are asking what is it about African-Americans (per some) having a disdain of hate when it comes to the Nation Anthem and that grand American Flag that many think it’s a symbol of oppression?
Oh it’s time y’all!
Long history of slavery,racism, oppression, tyranny, persecution have plagued this country for 240+ years. Thus is not new to black folks. But if you’re that white dude or female that enjoying being overly patriotic, or assuming that racism or oppression is one and done: then maybe you need to have those seats and listen up.
How many times have I heard and seen black folks in this country feeling oppressed about a location, subject, topic, category, or non-engaged because of the color of their skin? No matter if they didn’t get the job, or promotion, or just being a regular customer, or officer of a well known company that “religiously” doesn’t hire black folks? Lots of times. And I know so because there was a time, I was discriminated of a job offer in Waukesha because of me being black. Remember Dresser Waukesha? That company.
Most of the focus was shifted on the day that most of us had to reflect: September 11th. The same September 11th as we know had the most hellacious smackdown on American Soil. When the planes struck the Twin Towers, and the Pentagon. We know how it felt to go out on a clear nice day 15 years ago, and having that to be ruined by those that wanted this country to feel being sucker punched.
- Many of us 15 years ago had to put American Flags out to show solidarity or support that many of us really care about the well being of being “American.”
- Many of us 15 years ago, packed the church! And the rows of pews were filled as if a funeral was taking place.
- Many of us 15 years ago saw both the Republicans and Democrats were singing God Bless America outside of Capitol Hill.
- Many of us 15 years ago were questioning about why we were attacked in the first place. Heck were still talking about it!
- Many of us 15 years ago copied these words: Never Forget. – I got something to say about NEVER FORGET in my next blog.
So I guess in asking, after the booing of President Obama on the 15th Anniversary of 9/11, what is the legality of showing your so-called patriotism, or “Selected Patriotism” about this? He ain’t George W. Bush, I’ll tell you that!
Lot of folks be like, the flag though……. It’s a symbol of oppression. Others say it’s about freedom, but really? Look here, what I’m about to say that might not be suitable for the hyper conscious of black folks, but I’m going to say this. The stars and stripes on display is fine as is. Yeah I said it! You can take the flag and put it on a t-shirt and many ways. Even on a dress. But it’s only “negative” when you use it in a negative action or situation that many normally well know. The key word in this sentence is “NEGATIVE!” There is part of your symbol of oppression, black people! Remember back in school when your teacher was talking about weapons? Back in my Milwaukee Public Schools days, I had an english teacher at Jackie Robinson Middle School, telling us about weapons and how they can come into play when fights occur. When for example: a stapler is used for one thing to staple papers, but on the other hand it can be used as a weapon against another person in a playground/classroom fight. No joke! That goes for anything like Irons, TV’s or a wooden chair, or even an American Flag! If you use the American Flag as a weapon in a physical sense, then it becomes a weapon! I’m not just talking a psychological sense. Or that “Symbol of Oppression Sense.” I’m just making it clear as I say this. When I was in college, I took a US History Course and one of the things I remember about loving America, is that there was a time that the American Legion would lay the physical on you if you didn’t respond that you love America. In this case, you would be smacked senseless. No joke. But that was then.
How many white folks see the RGB Flag, or the Marcus Garvey Flag as a symbol of oppression? Or Segregation? Tell me! And there will be black folks in your face saying it’s not. The color Red is the blood. The Green is the land, and the Black symbolizes the people of the folks whom were first of Africa: black. And the reason why I asked this question, because some will respond about the American Flag being not totally racist or oppressed out of emotion. Wait a second: that’s been the whole story all this time: Out of emotion!
Let’s be honest, many of us were never EVER educated enough about stuff like this. Like what happened in all? You see other countries getting all with their sense of honor, but us folks here in the good ole USA: half of us do it, and the other half don’t do it and complain. When the Fourth of July was happening, you got many black folks on Instagram and Facebook asking “what are you celebrating?” Well I ask this: what are YOU celebrating? Clap back perhaps? Let’s be real about it! Just asking.
It’s time that this issue needs to be open for dear life! It’s also time that every single destructive act that America produced, copied, destroyed, buried, manipulated, severed, thwarted, oppressed, racially inclined, sexualized badly, religiously hacked, conscious resistance of betrayal and many other horrific things that the country weathered in its 240 year history. From the black slaves to settle in 1619 in bondage, to the lands stolen from the Native Americans. It’s time!
Something that I reminded myself when writing the My Fox Milwaukee blogs about America. If America were to admit the truth of any wrong doing, then it must come to grips of it.
Now if you’re like Kate Upton who is too blind to see that, along with her “depressing” viewpoints of the NFL players taking knees during the National Anthem, then that’s a problem. I don’t see her or some wannabe overly patriotic person telling that in the inner cities, the black communities, or any member of the Mothers of the Movement that has lost Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Dontre Hamilton. Or Mike Brown. I don’t see her doing that. Better start, white chick! So with all this kneeling, it’s another form of expressing Constitutional Rights. Like many of you not going out after church to a bar. Or get drunk at a club on Saturday night. Or giving your money to Walmart or your churches financial goals!
Or even choosing to have your child home schooled or not. Or posing your gun on Facebook or Instagram like a joker just to get noticed. Well it’s your Constitutional right. But you better be responsible for your Constitutional rights as it progresses for your next lifetime! I say that in all things.
Speaking of that: The Star Spangled Banner. The official theme song of America. For many many years, the anthem has been played, sung at events, played in solos and many others. And there were those got criticized of the Anthem being a disgrace to those serve in uniform. But I’ll say that the Anthem is good “on display”. But the author, Francis Scott Key that made the anthem in 1812, was also an owner of slaves! The third stanza in the Anthem, which no one hardly sings by the way, spells out as this:
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Well ladies and gents, let’s breakdown the meat of the third stanza. Now many are already saying that the stantza is racist. The words in the stanza: “No refuge could save the hireling and slave” some say that is so racist that it needs to be erased. But what did Francis Scott Key meant by this? Since he was a slave owner by the way.
- The word Refuge means in dictionary terms as we know is related to Refugee, as being forced to cross national boundaries and cannot return home safely.
- Hireling means: A person who works only for pay, especially in a menial or boring job, with little or no concern for the value of work. In a adjective sense: it also means serving for pay only, vernal, and mercenary. See that?
But when you put it all together in that ONE LINE: The Refugees of the slaves, our ancestors were forced in bondage, couldn’t return to Africa that had to be worked for menial jobs, with no concern for the work values of the jobs that was slave related. Henceforth: “No refuge could save the hireling and slave.”
Hmmm….we have those type of jobs today right?
And some are making the arguement that it related to the Black Slaves going to the British side for Freedom. While many is the opposite like being force fed into menial work being in bondage for so long.
So with that being asked: Is the Star-Spangled Banner as a whole is a racist song when it comes to black folks? Just because one line in the song is considered racist doesn’t mean the WHOLE SONG is racist! Let’s be real. But it’s worth examining of asking W. Is “America the Beautiful” racist? Is “God Bless America” racist? Oh, let me ask this: Is “Lift Every Voice and Sing” the same song we sing at MLK events a racist song? Uh-oh! I went there! Now many of you are thinking, “really Stephen? Lift Every Voice and Sing is not a racist song! It’s about unity”. I know, but what about America’s anthems? Shoud they hold the real true meaning of unity as well? Without all the lines of Racism? Think about that while doing you feel is worthy of protest. It’s ok. No one is not going to say anything.
So with all the kneeling, to me it’s not about the flag in Colin Kaepernick’s opinion. Nor it’s all about those following the idea that Colin is doing. It’s all about really addressing the ongoing treatment that Black folks get EVERYDAY that is unfair, not right, and I dare say UN-AMERICAN when innocent lives are being taken everyday without notice. Even not getting the jobs without notice. Not getting healthcare without NOTICE. Not getting to the finish line like the other guys WITHOUT NOTICE! Do you see this?
Maybe I might catch hades for this, but I think many job seekers RIGHT NOW looking for work, that got disrespected either online or in person at interviews, need to boycott the companies that don’t hire black folks due to their race. That’s right I said it! I CALLED IT. The best way to combat that, in my opinion, is do what everyone is doing the least: Go into your own business. I don’t care if you use drones for retail houses for $200.00, or own your own store that is home grown. Or take pictures as a side gig at Funerals. Get your own business started and you can hire many folks you want. Or run it yourself being your own boss. And I’ll BET that those looking in will be kicking themselves in the crotch or feet wishing like for example: “why didn’t we get them (him or her) to work for us?” speeches. Mainly because the ignorance of that CEO or HR didn’t allow them to come into get picked or hired. And many of you CEO’s who are just now reading this, might be that CEO or Owner that is facing that truth like a bullet. And the same with HR’s and etc. Admit the guilt!
And yes, some of the sponsors that the players had, are now pulled. All because of the kneeling image. BUT some have come out to be new sponsors. When Brandon Marshall’s Sponsorship from the Academy Federal Credit Union and CenturyLink, of all folks, Russell Simmons the brother of Rev Run of Run DMC, got Rushcard calling for Brandon. Talk about turnabouts fair play.
So let me end by saying this. I did this when Alton Sterling passed, and I’m saying it here in the Red, White and Blue. Stars and Stripes and a strong message to relate:
Now let that take a knee to respond with the black fist up and hands over hearts.