The National anthem, or Star Spangled banner, beefing has captured much of our attention. Patriotism can be veiled as emotional manipulation. Many blindly align themselves to a red, white, and blue striped rag simply from symbolism. Francis Scott Key, the songwriter, observed a battle firsthand where the flag was flying. However, he was fully immersed in a war and highly charged at the time. What did he mean when he penned it? What did Francis Scott seek to convey?
‘NO refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.’
That’s a passage in the fourth verse of “Defense of Fort M’Henry”, now known as the National Anthem.
We have seen the “Veterans for Colin Kaepernick” campaign. We’ve heard Jerry Rice speak against him. His jersey has been burned and the ‘Niggering’ has been relentless. Let’s cut to the chase. This ‘song’ is not about our beloved service men. This poem is not about representing one’s country at all. It has been stated that ‘our national anthem’ is ‘one of the most racist, pro-slavery, anti-black songs in the American lexicon’ by Jason Johnson of theroot.com. We’re going to agree with that sentiment.
Francis Scott Key was against the idea of free blacks. He felt they should be sent back to Africa. (Damn, that sounds familiar). Some runaway slaves, who challenged the power structure, joined the ‘enemy’ to be free. These were the Colonial Marines. Key had to fight against this band of brothers. He received a beat down by a battalion in Bladensburg, Maryland. Subsequently, after that victory, the British, along with their colored comrades, torched some important buildings in D.C. Key could not have been pleased. Especially since, as a lieutenant, he suffered a defeat to those he believed to be inferior mentally. This was the mindset of the author of everyone’s favorite pregame song.
It is song he wrote while waiting a boat for the British to release his doctor buddy, William Beanes. Francis watched a bloody battle in Baltimore that America lost. The Battle of Fort McHenry on Sept. 13 1815…
The history and the spirit of this song is illicit. Should any American stand for it? One could argue that those who salute this song feel the same as Francis Scott Key. I definitely do not think any original person should stand for that anthem. We can not support energies that encourage ideas of inferiority. The American people betray the concept of liberty by entertaining a song that speaks of crushing slaves. Knowing what the origin of these words are changes the argument.
Yes, Colin Kaepernick took a stand. Those who disagree and attack him are friends to white supremacy. View them as New World Order version of slavery supporters from Key’s day. We have freedom of speech. There is freedom of expression. We are not three – fifths of a human being. Fight against injustice. Work for equality. Be true to yourself. Stand up for your rights. They cant regulate blackness. Perhaps that’s the wish of many a Kaepernick detractor. To that, I have an answer.
American people who support freedom, should support Kaepernick, as well. Do not attack him. Form a more perfect union. White people who wish death on black men who seek freedom, should sing this anthem the loudest and proudest. My father served in the army and honored the flag. He shared that he can respectfully stand, yet does not feel compelled to place a hand over his heart. Many athletes do the same. They simply stand in wait, ready to play. White, black, or indifferent, many players assume this position.
What makes Colin Kaepernick unique in his refusal to stand, is what he had to say:
“I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. If they take football away from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”
It seems that stance is what has angered many. The original lyrics and spirit of the National Anthem suggested that the author wished death on his enemies. He saw ‘black’ people as lesser. Key considered them slaves. In his mind, a state of servitude was their rightful place. ‘Black’ people were enemies of that flag from the beginning. As more ballers learn the truth about this tune, they’ll feel the need to sit out as well. As a matter of fact, in the National Football League, this has already happened.
Continuing to stand and salute after getting to the root of this ceremony is an acknowledgment of racist ideology. Demonizing an NFL quarterback for rejecting the enemy’s flag and battle song is crazy. Believing in the “American Way” means to question if calling ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ the National Anthem is valid. Question ideas, question policy, question treatment. Question what it means to believe in liberty and justice for all. By sitting, taking a knee, taking a stand, and speaking out, Colin Kaepernick has answered the call.