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The Star Spangled Banner: A Legacy of Evil
On the day of an historic, and heroic refusal to stand for the playing of the national anthem, Colin Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game: "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
It is remarkable that there are actually Americans who are so naive, or so arrogant, or so simply dumb enough to think that after over 500 years of oppression, intelligent and educated people of color would stand up and cheer for America! I haven't seen any Jews standing up lately and cheering for Adolf Hitler, or the Nazi Party. To suggest such a thing is not only absurd, but quite offensive. The Americans who are whining about Kaepernick's refusal to accept a lie have obviously never studied American History. The white-washed Eurocentric version that is still being seeded throughout the public school system is on par with what you might find in a Cracker Jack Box.
Hitler put the Jews through a living hell for 12 long years, and over 6 million Jews perished as a result. But the Europeans who invaded this continent in 1492 have put the Indigenous people through over "500" years of hell and oppression! As a result, over 100 million Indigenous people were slaughtered by the turn of the 20th century. Many historians have agreed that the American Holocaust was the greatest Holocaust in human history. And of course, the African people were enslaved by the European Colonizers, and they too have suffered the degradations of slavery and racism for over 500 years.
And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but since the Star Spangled Banner was introduced as the national anthem in the 1930's, many people of color have stood up for this perverse ritual, but only as a reflex; only as a means of "going along to get along". It is only natural for people of any race to take the path of least resistance; especially if they are in the minority. And considering racist Americans today, having witnessed their vitriolic response to Colin Kaepernick here in 2016, does anyone truly think it would have been pragmatic for a person of color living in Alabama not to stand up in 1945,1955, 1965, or even 1985? Yes there are traitors among us, and there always have been. Some of them are celebrities like Larry Elder who are paraded through the media in an effort to show America: "See! This is what a good Negro looks, walks, and talks like." But these are more the exception than the rule.
The Matter With Me by wrenchBiscuit
A Beautiful Double Standard
What a beautiful double standard we have here in the United States of America! The Indigenous people, and the people of African heritage are consistently admonished by a white racist mentality to forget about the past. We are told that bringing up the atrocities and the injustices committed against our ancestors by the European Colonizers is divisive, and that we are giving in to a "victim mentality" by dwelling on the past. But we can see in the recent controversy that many Americans who subscribe to Manifest Destiny are also dwelling on the past, and of course, they always have. But because of the double standard, they do not define it as such. For the average American, the singing of the "Star Spangled Banner" is simply considered a matter of patriotism, not living in the past. And Pollyanna just can't seem to understand why a hypocritical song about freedom that was written by a racist slave-owner during the antebellum would be disgusting, and divisive.
And the monuments all across the nation honoring Columbus and all of the dead Presidents are considered to be a matter of "national pride", but not a matter of living in the past. Printing the faces of these same dead Presidents on U.S. currency is not considered living in the past either, but simply a matter of honoring men of distinction who have made significant contributions to American society. Yes, they made quite a few contributions. But Pollyanna just can't seem to understand the overall impact of these contributions. She cannot understand how the murder, the dispossession, and the enslavement of millions of Indigenous and African people, could be seen as perverse and immoral.
And for many years Americans have participated in Civil War re-enactments on a regular basis. I suppose they feel they are not living in the past, but simply giving honor to the fallen, which is actually quite twisted. I fail to see how pretending to kill each other again, and again, and again, is giving honor to those who were actually killed and mutilated on the battlefield. In truth, such re-enactments reveal sadistic, and homicidal tendencies, especially since many of these men participate year after year in these morbid spectacles.
Last but not least, since 2001, and for 15 years, people have commemorated the attack on the World Trade Center, on Sept.11,2001. There is also a National September 11 Memorial & Museum on the former site of the World Trade Center. And of course, many Americans see this as an appropriate way to honor the innocent victims of 9/11. But I'm sure it never crosses their mind that in doing so, according to the white racist perspective, they are living in the past.
Don't Worry Be Happy
The American racist always has a good excuse to justify the double standard. And the unwritten code of the double standard would look something like this on paper: " It is OK to remember the past, but only if you remember the good things about America, and leave out the bad."
If Americans want to celebrate thieves, murderers, and baby chasers like Columbus, George Washington, Andrew Jackson, or anyone else who committed crimes against humanity, then I say let them do it. Let them have their grotesque monuments, their racist songs, the evil icons on their currency, and their holidays that celebrate human blood sacrifice. And if they want to commemorate innocent people who have been killed, then it is their right to do so. However, I do have a big problem with the "American Double Standard". If it is acceptable for a racist, or an uneducated American to remember, and to honor the past, then I, being an educated person, have the same right to remember and honor the past as WELL. But here is where the twain shall never meet, and this is for obvious reasons. But I will spell it out, so that there can be no misunderstanding.
In many cases, when Americans are honoring their past, they are also honoring a past that brought a great evil, and a great misery upon the Indigenous, and the African people. From my perspective, to honor the white man's past, is to dishonor my own. And conversely, to honor people of color, I must necessarily dishonor those who brought the evil upon us, as well as those who are today indifferent to the legacy of racism that persists here in America; a legacy that is evident in the murder of unarmed and innocent Black men, women, and children, by the police; a legacy that is evident in the murder of unarmed and innocent Indigenous men, women, and children, by the police. And of COURSE, it is quite evident in the fact that in many cases, the police are allowed to murder people of color with impunity. The most outrageous example of this is the killer cop in Cleveland Ohio who murdered 12 year old Tamir Rice in cold blood , on video, and was never indicted by a racist Ohio grand jury!
I must also add that white Americans who honor the evil of the American past by participating in racist traditions are also dishonoring themselves, as well as their brave ancestors who fought and died for the abolition of slavery, and for the rights of the Indigenous First Nations.
A Legacy of Evil
And so, from any side of the fence, Colin Kaepernick did the right thing. And he did something that was long overdue. Any American, especially a person of color, who stands in honor of the national anthem in it's present incarnation, is playing the fool. They are giving honor to an evil nation, and an evil institution of slavery that existed 200 years ago.This is not the same United States that existed in those days. Even many racist white Americans will stand up and loudly proclaim this to be the truth. And this argument is commonly used by the racist when an educated human being happens to mention America's evil past. They will argue "Today is a new day, get over it, and stop living in the past!"
But the same racist Americans who lean heavily on such lame arguments refuse to recognize that this recent controversy clearly highlights the American Double Standard. As I have stated, the United States of 200 years ago was an evil nation. It does not matter that there were actually some good and decent white Euro-Americans living here during that time. A nation can only be defined by the majority, and can only be judged based on how the most vulnerable of that society are treated. The institution of slavery was without a doubt an evil institution. Only a racist, or a fool, would argue that such an evil institution could exist in a society where the majority were good Christian men and women. "The Star Spangled Banner" is a song from a different America, and a song that glorifies a United States that no longer exists; a United States that has not existed since the end of the Civil War, over 150 years ago! "The Star Spangled Banner" is not glorifying the United States of today, but the United States that existed in 1814. Consequently, Archie Bunker and the Sons of the Pioneers need to take their own advice and "get over it". It is time to stop whining about a football player who has integrity, and by all means: "Come up the years, and leave the past behind."
Three Good Reasons To Find A Better Song
"The Star Spangled Banner" was originally written in 1814, but it wasn't adopted as the National Anthem until March 3, 1931. There are 4 verses in the song, but commonly only the first verse is sung. Consequently, many Americans do not know the other verses. The recent controversy notwithstanding, there are still three good reasons why all Americans should boycott this evil song, or any ceremony that is associated with it,
Reason Number One: The author of the song was an avowed racist, and a slaveowner who fought against the abolition of slavery. He used his power as prosecutor in Washington D.C. to hinder the efforts of local abolitionist's.
Reason Number Three: At the end of each verse we see the lyrics: "...O’er the land of the free...". This phrase is repeated four times throughout the song. And it is hypocritical to say the least, since the African and the Indigenous were not "free" in the white man's world. But since the Indigenous and the African slaves were also human beings, this repetition belies any humanity that we might have otherwise bestowed upon the author, and reveals his true racist nature. It also reveals the arrogant and racist nature of many Americans today. How so?
To refer to a country as the land of the free when millions of people are walking around in chains can only mean one thing. It can only mean that Francis Scott Key did not recognize the African slave as a human being, but as something less than human. This is why he felt so comfortable with himself. From his racist viewpoint, he had done nothing wrong by owning slaves. For him it was the same as owning a horse, a cow, or a pet dog. And the fact that many Americans today are comfortable with the contradiction only further confirms the prevalence of racism in our society.
Racism is more about feelings of superiority than feelings of hate. Francis Scott Key did not start hating African slaves until they escaped, joined the British, and then delivered some richly deserved payback to their American oppressors. A man who feels superior will never consider the feelings, or the humanity of those he has deemed to be inferior. Overall, there appears to be a positive reaction to Colin Kaepernicks protest. Those who have reacted strongly against this historical protest represent a dying breed of white racist Americans. I suspect that 99% of those who are whining today about Kaepernick have never taken the time to study the history of Francis Scott Key, or the content of all of the verses. And I am also certain his critics know little or nothing of the black struggle ; from Reconstruction to the present, or from 1492 to the beginning of the Civil War.
But most telling of all, I am certain that a majority of these will never do the research after the fact. They will never make an effort to understand why he did what he did. Why? Because they feel superior, and for them, the only thing that matters is that he defied the status quo, and challenged a system of white supremacy. They don't care about his reasons because they do not consider people of color to be worth their consideration. And they certainly do not consider people of color to be their equals. As David Byrne sang in the song "Once In A Lifetime" ... "Same as it ever was!"
wrenchBiscuit on Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix is the only artist who has ever played "The Star Spangled Banner" properly. Lyrically this is a song that glorifies evil. And in his time it was not only used to glorify an evil past, but also the Vietnam War. His instrumental interpretation revealed the corrupt underbelly of the American Dream, which for many people throughout the last 500 years, has only been a horrible nightmare. Throughout his intense and dramatic interpretation , he channels the spirits of dead soldiers, slaves, and Indigenous people. We hear their screams of agony, and cries for deliverance; we witness the horrors of war and hear the bombs falling. We hear the voices, we hear the sounds, and we see the images that have always been there, but carefully hidden behind a decadent facade of hypocrisy, striking a pose of freedom.
Francis Scott Key: A Brief History
Francis Scott Key was an aristocrat, a racist, and a city prosecutor in Washington, D.C. He believed that African slaves were mentally inferior, and he was without a doubt, pro-slavery.He was also a loyal lieutenant of President Andrew Jackson, who was also a racist slaveowner. Francis Scott Key wanted to protect the white man's right to own people as property. During the war of 1812, he was especially offended by the formation of the Colonial Marines. The Marines were a battalion of runaway slaves who joined the British Royal Army in exchange for their freedom. All totaled, the British were able to free more than 4,000 African slaves during the war with the United States; a war which lasted almost 3 years. Francis Scott Key did not only view the Colonial Marines as a threat to life and limb, as they proved to be fearless warriors, but in a greater sense, he viewed the Colonial Marines as a threat to the very notion of white supremacy.
At the end of the war, the Americans demanded either the return of ex-slaves or monetary reparations for the loss of property. ( It is ironic that the progeny of these slaveowners complain when Black people speak of reparations, yet their miscreant ancestors did not hesitate to demand compensation for their "losses".) But with few exceptions, the British refused. After the war, in February 1816,the British offered the Colonial Marines farmland in Trinidad. and their descendants are still living there today. To further illustrate the evil racist character of Francis Scott Key, From 1838 to 1839, the 25th U.S. Congress received approx. 1,500 petitions signed by more than 100,000 people. Eighty percent supported the abolition of slavery in the capital. But Francis Scott Key fought to stem the abolitionist tide, and to discredit the anti-slavery movement. He died in January 1843. I am confident that today his corrupt soul resides in the appropriate hell.
Here is the third verse of the "Star Spangled Banner" that most Americans have never heard:
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
The Black Lives Matter Movement is famous for saying "No Justice No Peace". Today I paraphrase that to read "No Truth No Peace". If the American people truly want to move forward, then they not only need to stop living in the past, but most importantly, they need to stop glorifying an evil past, and promoting a lie. Americans need to learn how to pick the best of what America has to offer, and hold that up to the light, instead of choosing the worst. I hardly think that Kidnappers, Thieves, Slaveowners, and Murderers, are the best choices.
Furthermore, rather than being so concerned about nationalist icons and traditions, the American people need to be concerned about fixing real problems, and confronting the important issues, such as the police killing innocent unarmed citizens. And white America needs to wake up to the fact that more innocent unarmed "white people" are being killed by cops than any other race! Although minorities are being murdered disproportionately, white victims of police brutality still take home the prize. We are living in a police state where the police have very little accountability, and we are standing at the threshold of Fascism. Even though many white Americans may not care about the plight of minorities, it seems they should still care about their own safety, and the safety of their children.
And there are other important issues as well: Big Oil is polluting our water, Monsanto is poisoning our food, and then there is the troubling matter of a lecherous young man assaulting a young woman who was unconscious, and then getting a slap on the wrist. In a civilized and moral society, Brock Turner would have never walked away from such a heinous crime with only a 6 month sentence. People get longer jail sentences for fender bender DUI's. But this only illustrates how perverted America truly is. Racist Americans have made a loud noise in response to Colin Kaepernick's protest, but they are not the majority they used to be. Nevertheless, the outrage these Neanderthals have expressed through social media is remarkable. Without a doubt, they are more upset about a man of color who got down on his knee in protest, than a white sexual predator who has been set loose among us.
© 2016 Ronnie wrenchBiscuit