'Whiteism' A Letter from the Editor

September 27, 2017

Make a choice.  Pick a side.  White or Black or Hispanic or Asian- pick a side!   The Trump Way or The Human Decency Way.  The Trump Way where, no matter what, you comply.  The human decency way, where no matter what, you stand with your heart for what you believe to be right.  


Well, unfortunately there are too many wrongs- that even when we stand (or kneel) for our beliefs we're still in 'trouble'.  In 'trouble' by the Trump.  His crusade hardened against the NFL players when he knew they would quietly protest with #takeakneesunday for our anthem.  Again Trump takes to his 'private' cell server to open the blue birdie app and get his 120 characters in that will gut punch a whole group of Black Americans that day and this was the NFL's and NBA's day this past week/end calling all players who kneel or disrespect our anthem 'son's of a bitch' and that they should be (drumroll for his 'originality')- FIRED.  Hey Trump- America is not The Apprentice and your not the final decision maker especially not when you try to wrap your whiteism around sports (and anything else).  The NFL is a private entity- look it up.  You definitely should know how 'businesses' are ran, or no?


I STOOD for our flag.  I stood every day of my life for our flag.  I was raised to stand for the anthem, I was taught each and every word as we all know the words (to the first 2 verses) but then someone popped my bubble and I almost gasped (30 years later) when I realized I've been completely duped my whole life on this 'anthem thing'.  


It's not fun sleeping in -4 degree weather in a mud hole, it's not fun going to the restroom outside as a woman especially, it's not fun having live fire shot 2 inches above your head as you madly crawl through concertina wire in mud with everyone else crawling accidentally kicking your face with their feet as they flee to escape, it's not fun leaving your 9 month old child and not returning to see her until she is 2 as you serve a hardship tour, and it's NOT FUN qualifying and HAVING to get food stamps and WIC when you are in the military because they won't pay enough for all of the above I listed.  So,  with that being said, understand 1 thing Mr. Trump- I will kneel.  


Then one day (as an adult) I was at a high school basketball game for my child and, as usual, the players are announced and run out to form a line so that the whole venue can stand, place their hand over their heart, and pay respect to our flag and anthem.  I jumped up as the first bar of music has always been my que, feet at attention (you never forget that its automatic for life) and fingers curled in with thumb straight down (you don't forget that either) and I remember that flag being at the end of the concertina  wire I was low crawling under with live fire 2 inches above my head- but I saw the Flag at the end.  I had to get to that flag, it meant freedom, it meant no more dying to me at that time, it meant SAFETY, it was the comfort you wanted to reach at that horrible moment when you can't choose to have your mom to just hug you, but you have the Flag and it assures you we will KEEP standing and we are OK as it itself, the Flag, has always been our peace in the wake of local, national, world tragedy.  To me it signifies so much and one of those things is unity.  Trump has torn it to shreds.


So we are at this game, and the anthem plays.  My daughter is kneeling.  I'm appalled.  I'm sad.. doesn't she know everything I did by serving the Army for 10 years was for HER?  She's definitely getting in trouble by me!


How wrong was I.  How disrespectful was I.  How ignorant was I.  How unMOTHERLY was I.  Pathetic, a pathetic excuse for a mother to even yell at her for 'embarrassing' me.  I publicly apologize to her because, as we all want for our children, she was better than me.  We have helped each other grow, she has almost 'raised' me as I was raised by the 'all-white' thinking but my eyes opened and my bubble popped when I realized I had a daughter with more of a cultural stance than I've ever taken. 


How the hell could I stand up, place my right hand over my heart, turn my body slightly so I'm facing the flag, and stare at it in awe as these words accompanied by tunes blast out of the sound system:


Francis Scott Key's "The Star-Spangled Banner, 3rd Verse"


"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 washed out their foul footsteps' 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"


So when Key references the “foul footstep’s” of the “hireling and slave” who “no refuge could save” from “the gloom of the grave” in the third verse, he’s referring to the killing of Colonial Marines. As noted by The Root political editor Jason Johnson, “The Star-Spangled Banner is as much a patriotic song as it is a diss track to black people who had the audacity to fight for their freedom.”


So, I am supposed to stand up and pay tribute and respect to that verse?  A song is a song and you cannot just take the first 2 verses and say 'this is the song'- NO it's NOT the song.  Sing the whole song and let's see who is left standing.  


Yes I served, yes I respect the flag.  No I will not stand, No I will not place anything over my heart for injustices.  That just makes to much common sense.  I'm not scared, I don't care who looks at me, who speaks to me anymore, who talks behind my back.  I have one person to answer to and that is the Great God above.  I have a daughter (as we all try to make a good example for our children) to stand behind and FOR.  


Until Colin Kaepernick stood for kneeling this all didn't happen.  Unity, solidarity did not happen.  Amongst owners, players, and coaches.  Until we all stand for something we will keep talking about the same things.  Kaeperknick gave his career up, can you give up standing?


Social media has gone crazy, people are not speaking to friends or family anymore, and I get it.  Because at some point you must align with those who respect and believe in the fight your in and believe wholeheartedly in.  


At this point America, I would like to say shame on those that are of white race and still want to live in some sort of 'whiteism' bubble or act as though this is all not going on and that you don't have a responsibility to just, in the very least, open your eyes.  All the hate you're spewing about blacks on social media and other outlets has uncovered those we thought were friends but the whole time were undercover racists.  


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