Tuesday, October 11, 2016

As a Black Man I’d be Crazy to Stand for the American National Anthem

by Kwado Akoma Akofena

Black NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers has caused a huge uproar in America from whites on every level, from politicians, NFL football owners, and media hacks to average citizens because he refuses to stand for the national anthem to protest racism in America.

Mr. Kaepernick's been attacked vehemently by patriotic whites who totally ignore his factual position that for Blacks the American flag and the national anthem is a symbol and song of racist oppression and hypocrisy.

Right now, every Black person in America with any kind of pride and sense should be supporting Colin Kaepernick’s protest by not standing for the national anthem. If you have some Black pride and sense you would investigate who wrote the national anthem and when.

Let me expose the writer of the national anthem, Francis Scott Key, on September 14th, 1814 Key while being detained by the British, pens a poem which is later set to music and in 1931 becomes America's national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The poem, originally titled “The Defense of Fort McHenry,” was written after Key witnessed the Maryland fort being bombarded by the British during the War of 1812.

During the Civil War, “The Star-Spangled Banner” was an anthem for Union troops, and the song increased in popularity in the ensuing decades, which led to President Woodrow Wilson signing an executive order in 1916 designating it as “the national anthem of the United States” for all military ceremonies.

On March 3, 1931, after 40 previous attempts failed, a measure passed Congress and was signed into law that formally designated “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem of the United States.

While writing this poem in 1814, Key owned slaves and referred to enslaved Blacks as “a distinct and inferior race of people”. From 1833 to 1840 Key was the district attorney for the city of Washington, D.C. and used his office to defend slavery and attacked the abolitionist movement to free slaves.

What most Black folks don’t know is that there are 4 verses of his poem. The 4th verse you don’t hear about partially reads: “Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps pollution; no refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror flight or the gloom of the grave.” Frances Scott Key wrote this verse to attack Blacks who joined the British to fight against America during the War of 1812; as the British had promised slaves their freedom.

It is a total lie and myth that the national anthem represents Black freedom, the writer of the U.S. national anthem was a racist, cold-blooded slave owner and the above verse was anti-Black freedom. Black people were enslaved in America for 246 years and it took us another 100 years just to get basic civil rights.

There has never been a war that the U.S. has been involved in that was about or for Black peoples’ freedom. President Abraham Lincoln made it very clear that the Civil War was fought to save the Union and not to end slavery. 

In closing, to white people, if the national anthem was written by a Black slave owner who enslaved your white ancestors, and a nation that has been racist towards you for 400 years would you stand for the national anthem?  No, ya’ll would not stand, so why should we?

Black Male Murders Continue Under the American Flag

The controversial stance of Black San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem and flag raising before NFL football games due to its racist-oppressive symbolism is not the “causative issue”.

The issue is not so much what Kaepernick’s stance is ‘for’, but what he’s ‘against’ – American racial oppression, particularly racist police murders of Black men.

Indeed, the racist police murders of Black men continue; this week in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a Black man Terence Crutcher was killed by a white female police officer; Mr. Crutcher had his hands up and was unarmed.

Also, in Charlotte, North Carolina, a Black man Keith Lamont Scott was shot and killed by police; neighbors who witnessed the shooting said the officer who fired the fatal shot was white; that Scott was holding a book - not a weapon, as he waited for his son to get off a school bus.

The police murder of Scott has led to a Black rebellion in Charlotte – North Carolina’s governor has imposed a state of emergency and brought in the National Guard.

Let me contrast the police murders of the 2 unarmed Black men and the terrorist bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami, who is responsible for a bombing spree that injured 29 people in New York and New Jersey.

Rahami was taken into custody the morning of September 19, 2016 alive after an intense shoot-out with police officers. Let me make this clear, ‘real-clear’, the so-called armed terror bombing suspect was not killed while unarmed Black men are killed, because white police hate Black men more and view them as a greater threat.

Thus, the real war in America is not against so-called terrorism; the real and long-standing war in America is the racist police war waged against Black men.

This racist police war against Black men has taken place under the American flag; the racist white police who murder Black men have the American flag on their uniforms; the American flag is on the police cars that they ride down on Black men.

Think about it, do you think Jews honor the Nazi flag that millions of them were murdered under during the Jewish Holocaust? 

The ultimate ‘disregard’ and ‘disrespect’ of Black people is for whites to expect Blacks to honor a flag under which so many racist deaths of Blacks has taken place during slavery (Black Holocaust) and afterwards. 

Don’t Stand For Their National Anthem – Recite Your Own Anthem

Every week white police men and women go to sporting events and before the game they stand for the National Anthem with hand over hearts, reciting the verse while the American flag is raised.

Every week these white police men and women swear to ‘protect’ and ‘serve’ with American flags on their uniforms and patrol cars. Every week it seems somewhere in this country patriotic white police are killing unarmed Black men.

On September 18, 2016, Tawan Boyd, 21, was viciously beaten by police in Baltimore, Maryland, dying from his injuries on September 21rst. September 27, 2016, Alfred Olango, 38, an unarmed Black man, was tasered, shot and killed by police in El Cajon, California.

Before, during, and after the National Anthem is sung and the American flag raised, Black men are routinely killed and murdered by white police. Indeed, the racist police murders of Black men is a normal way of life in America; it’s the American way like baseball, hot-dogs, and apple pie.

For hundreds of years in the South, white men called Black men ‘bucks’; hunting us down and murdering us like ‘deer’. For Black men, the National Anthem’s verse:

“And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,gave proof through the night that our flag was still there”,

The following is my reinterpretation of this verse:

“And the white police pistols are shot, bullet sounds bursting in air, gave proof yet another day that a Black man’s life was not there. Oh say does that star spangled banner still wave over dead Black men’s bodies in the land of hypocrisy”

The constant murders of Black men by racist police should give ‘proof’ to Black people of why we should not stand for the National Anthem.

As Black people, we have our own National Anthem to stand for – we have the ‘Negro National Anthem’, written by James Weldon Johnson, titled “Lift Every Voice and Sing”.

As Black people we should become familiar with our National Anthem; read it, memorize it, and recite it daily. The verse, “Facing the rising sun of our new day begun, let us march on till victory is won” should be said daily as a morning affirmation.

As Black people, we must ‘realize’ and ‘accept’ that the American National Anthem was not written for us; it was written by a racist slave owner – it was written for white peoples’ freedom from Britain, while our Ancestors were those white peoples’ slaves. 

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