About a year ago, I wrote an op-ed entitled Independence Day: “…With Liberty and Justice for All” http://www.thomhartmann.com/users/r-kenyatta/blog/2015/07/independence-day-%E2%80%9C%E2%80%A6with-liberty-and-justice-all%E2%80%9D In that op-ed, I reflected on the holiday and it’s contraindications for Black People in America.
Never will I say the “Pledge of Allegiance”.
Never will I “stand” for the “National Anthem”.
The last time I stood for the Star Spangled Banner or recited the “Pledge of Allegiance” was when I was in the police academy; I was 20 years old and a very different person then.
I have done neither since.
On Friday, August 26, 2016 prior to a pre-season NFL game against the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick caused a furor by refusing to “stand” for the National Anthem. I applaud Kaepernick for this gesture because, while it may not have seismic socio-political implications, it does send a message; and I hope more Black people get it.
A wise man once said: “a man that will stand for nothing, will fall for anything”.
Black people have been “falling” for anything a long, long time.
Martin Luther King, whom white folks seem to adore now (not so much when he was alive) said this: “In a sense, we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.
This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice”.
Not much has changed Martin, aside from optics; the check is still bad.
As far as I am concerned, that flag stands for nothing other than the exploitation, enslavement, rape, murder, humiliation and genocide of my people. If you white boys want to get teary-eyed and place your right hand over your heart, more power to you as I kind of understand, in a perverted sense, how you might feel that way. However, try to come down off of your self-induced, self-righteous, Anglo Cognitive Dissonance driven, mythically enhanced intoxication called “Pat-Riot-ism” long enough to understand that it would be illogical for me to feel like you do. In fact, it would be indicative of a seriously abnormal psychiatric/psychological pathology.
Now wouldn’t it?
EYE, cannot stand for it, because I can see.
I cannot stand for it, because I can think and see.
WE must not stand for it.