It is the night of September 13, 1814. The British fleet are bombarding Fort McHenry in the harbor at Baltimore, Maryland. Francis Scott Key, a 34-year old lawyer-poet, is watching the attack from the deck of a British prisoner-exchange ship. Key had gone seeking the release of a friend. They were told that they had to remain aboard the vessel until the end of the attack. When the battle was over, the following morning, Key had his telescope on the fort and saw the American flag was still waving. The sight of the tattered Stars and Stripes was so moving that he pulled a letter from his pocket and began to write the poem. This poem eventually became the national anthem of the United States – “The Star Spangled Banner”.
Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight’
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
It does, sir. Regardless of a the actions of an ungrateful millionaire.
NFL.com has the story:
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has willingly immersed himself into controversy by refusing to stand for the playing of the national anthem in protest of what he deems are wrongdoings against African Americans and minorities in the United States.His latest refusal to stand for the anthem — he has done this in at least one other preseason game — came before the 49ers’ preseason loss to Green Bay at Levi’s Stadium on Friday night.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. “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.”
The 49ers issued a statement about Kaepernick’s decision: “The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”
Niners coach Chip Kelly told reporters Saturday that Kaepernick’s decision not to stand during the national anthem is “his right as a citizen” and said “it’s not my right to tell him not to do something.”
The NFL also released a statement, obtained by NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport: “Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem.”
By taking a stand for civil rights, Kaepernick, 28, joins other athletes, like the NBA’s Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony and several WNBA players in using their platform and status to raise awareness to issues affecting minorities in the U.S.
However, refusal to support the American flag as a means to take a stand has brought incredible backlash before and likely will in this instance. The NBA’s Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf of the Denver Nuggets, formerly Chris Jackson before converting to Islam, refused to acknowledge the flag in protest, citing similar reasons as Kaepernick and saying that it conflicted with some of his Islamic beliefs.
Abdul-Rauf drew the ire of fans and was briefly suspended by the NBA before a compromise was worked out between the league and player, who eventually stood with his teammates and coaches at the playing of the national anthem.
Kaepernick said that he is aware of what he is doing and that he knows it will not sit well with a lot of people, including the 49ers. He said that he did not inform the club or anyone affiliated with the team of his intentions to protest the national anthem.
“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody,” he said. “I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”
Kaepernick said that he has thought about going public with his feelings for a while but that “I felt that I needed to understand the situation better.”
He said that he has discussed his feelings with his family and, after months of witnessing some of the civil unrest in the U.S., decided to be more active and involved in rights for black people. Kaepernick, who is biracial, was adopted and raised by white parents and siblings.
Kaepernick’s Twitter feed is filled with civil rights messages.
The former Super Bowl starting quarterback’s decision to go public comes while he is fighting for his football life with the 49ers, who drafted him in the second round in 2011. He lost his starting job last season after being one of the most promising players in the NFL during his run under former coach Jim Harbaugh.
Over the past few months, his relationship with management has turned sour. He requested a trade last spring, which never came. He also has spent most of the offseason rehabilitating from operations to his left (non-throwing) shoulder, his hand and knee. His recovery left him unable to fully compete with Blaine Gabbert for months and has him seemingly in a bind to regain his starting job.
He made his preseason debut against the Packers and played in the second quarter, completing two of six passes for 14 yards. He looked as rusty as you’d expect from someone who has not played since last November.
Following the game, and without any knowledge of Kaepernick’s non-football behavior, coach Chip Kelly said that there has never been any discussion about cutting Kaepernick. Rapoport added Saturday that Kelly will make “football decisions” on Kaepernick, despite the quarterback’s comments.
So where does this disrespect for Old Glory come from?
It starts at the top.
Let’s go back to 9/13/11, 2 days after America solemnly remembered the 10th anniversary of the worst attack ever on American soil by Islamic Terrorists. James Robbins wrote the following story for The Washington Times, in which he illuminated a whispered conversation between the President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, and First Lady, Michelle Obama:
The internet was buzzing this week with video of First Lady Michelle Obama apparently showing extreme disrespect to the American flag at a ceremony in honor of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. As police and firefighters fold the flag to the sound of marching bagpipers, a skeptical looking Mrs. Obama leans to her husband and appears to say, “all this just for a flag.” She then purses her lips and shakes her head slightly as Mr. Obama nods.
And, it filters to the home.
Back in the 60s, President Lyndon Johnson (whose big hand I once shook, at his ranch, as a little boy, after his presidential term) and the Democrats, brought forth a plan, called “the Great Society”. It was decided, in order to ensure that everyone would have an equal opportunity in America, that Uncle Sugar would step in to fill in the gaps.
Two seminal pieces of legislation were passed.
First, the Civil Rights Bill that JFK promised to sign, before his assassination, was passed into law. This Act banned discrimination based on race and gender in employment and ending segregation in all public facilities.
It also helped to cement in stone, minorities’ loyalty to the Democratic Party, which continues to this day.
The second bill that LBJ signed into law was the sweeping ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ACT OF 1964. It created the Office of Economic Opportunity whose stated purpose was to attack the roots of American poverty. A Job Corps was then established to provide vocational training.
A preschool program designed to help disadvantaged students arrive at kindergarten ready to learn, named HEADSTART, was then established. Then came VOLUNTEERS IN SERVICE TO AMERICA (VISTA), which was set up as a domestic Peace Corps. Schools in impoverished American regions would now receive volunteer teaching attention. Federal funds were sent to struggling communities to attack unemployment and illiteracy.
What Johnson told Americans, as he campaigned in 1964, was that the establishment of this “Great Society” was going to eliminate the problems of America’s poor.
It had the opposite effect
The Great Society created a dependent class, which, instead of diminishing as it’s members joined the workforce, increased from generation to generation, relying on the federal government to provide their every need.
Uncle Sugar became Mother, Father, Preacher, and Doctor to generations of Americans. This “plantation mentality” continues to this day.
A few years ago, I worked at our county’s State Employment Center Office.
While at the Employment Office, I was able to observe Americans, both Black and White, down on their luck, struggling to find work and survive in this economy. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of “unemployed ” who came to this particular office were Black.
I saw Black American Families whose existence living on the Government Dole, had become generational.
It is these people whom Obama and the Democrats have hypnotized into believing that Uncle Sugar loves them, and is their only solution to surviving a stifling existence.
They are so, so wrong.
The strength and vitality of America does not come from the benevolence of a Nanny-state Federal Government.
As the greatest American President of my lifetime, Ronald Reagan said:
The nine words you never want to hear are: I’m from the Government and I’m here to help.
Being enslaved to the Government Dole steals one’s ambition. It takes away any impetus or desire to create a better life for yourself and your family, to challenge yourself to pick yourself up by your bootstraps and pursue the American Dream. It makes you reliant on a politically motivated spider’s web full of government bureaucrats who view you and your family as job security.
I watched American citizens trapped in this web of government bureaucracy, so numbed of any initiative that they once had, that they seemed offended that they actually had to prove that they inquired about three jobs that week in order to keep their “benefits”. Others seemed puzzled that they had to search through the state data base and pick out a job that they wanted to talk to an interviewer about receiving a referral to, and weren’t just simply handed a job when they walked through the door.
Instead of moving forward, by exercising the self-reliance that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached so well, these people I saw, were content on being “taken care of” by Uncle Sugar, as if being held down by their own poor, miserable circumstance, was a good thing.
I am sure that it would have offended you, Dr. King, to hear the tenants of Marxism, i.e., “sharing the wealth” and Class Envy, being “preached” to the same Black Americans whom you tried so mightily to raise up and inspire.
For the past several years, the results of LBJ’s “Great Society” have been the lead story in every television newscast, on every newspaper front page, and on every internet news/political website.
Dr King, I am sorry to tell you that racism and injustice is still going on in America. Unfortunately, it will not end any time soon, There are too many race-baiters profiting off of it.
Including, the President of the United States.
President Barack Hussein Obama is as responsible for what has happened in Ferguson, New York, Baltimore, and is happening in cities across America, as any thug wannabe in those cities.
However, he is not alone in his responsibility.
Also responsible are the black political leaders, who make their living and get their 15 minutes of fame by exacerbating racially-divided situations. Their silence speaks volumes.
For example, by the Mayor of Baltimore, purposely giving carte blanche to the rioters to destroy her city by ordering the police to stand down, she, like the Roman Emperor Nero, lit the match that has set her kingdom ablaze.
If Black Lives truly do matter, it is the black community who are going to have to save themselves.
With a nationwide illegitimate birth rate of 74%, black Americans, with help from Uncle Sugar, have succeeded in tearing apart the very thing that kept them safe and strong for decades: the Black Family Unit.
Until that Sacred Foundation, which taught individual responsibility to generations of black Americans, is restored, the violence and disrespect for others will continue.
I remember, as a 9 year old in Memphis, Tennessee, watching my parents’ black and white television as the National Guard was called into action on the night that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.
I remember after that Civil Defense Announcement that President Lyndon Johnson come on national television to make the announcement of Dr. King’s death. I remember a feeling of helplessness and of fear, as a nine-year-old, that I had not felt before.
It wasn’t just the fact that we were living in Midtown Memphis, that made me afraid.
It wasn’t just the fact of the out-of-control violence itself, that caused my consternation.
It was watching my beloved Hometown on the verge of going up in flames.
And now, 48 years later, Memphis is the #2 Most Dangerous City in America, as ranked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and has borne witness to 145 homicides so far this year, the overwhelming majority of which were black Memphians killing one another.
Words can hurt or words can heal.
A President who was supposed to bridge the Racial Divide in this nation…has, instead, widened it.
And, with every divisive word he and the political activists whom he champions speak, the chasm of Racial Divisiveness, which has created a gaping hole in the fabric of American Society, grows wider.
Words mean things.
The part of Dr. King’s magnificent speech about “the content of their character” has been purposefully ignored by the professional race-baiters, assorted politicians (but, I repeat myself), and those, like this millionaire professional quarterback, who seek to blame those who put their lives on the line every day to protect Americans and uphold the law, for the deaths of those whose lives were lost because of their own choice to break the law.
Dr. King, your call for self-reliance has apparently fallen on deaf ears of some of those who have the financial means to help their blighted neighborhoods and the young people roaming their streets.
So, how can we expect these young people to respect OUR FLAG, when they have no respect for THEMSELVES?
To those of you read this today, who somehow believe that dishonoring OUR FLAG, makes you more enlightened than the rest of us, and is your “right”, okay.
However, it is my right, as the son of an American Soldier, who stepped off a perfectly good boat, in a hail of gunfire, onto Normandy Beach to protect our American Freedom, to call you out because of your disrespect of Old Glory and the sacrifices made by those who cherished our nation’s flag.
Yes, children, including Colin Kaepernick and First Lady Michelle Obama. All this for a flag. And, for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in its service.
Until He Comes,