Football player wearing red white and blue football uniform kneeling on field

Well, our President in Twitter Chief, Donald Trump, has once again trumped his own self.  This time he’s taking on the rights of athletes to protest the injustices inflicted on people of color in America during NFL games. Our Twitter Chief, President Trump, feels that it’s more important for him, as President of the United States, to tweet about the right for people to protest peacefully, than it is for him to tweet about the horrific plight of the people of Puerto Rico, who are in desperate need of drastic help to rebuild and survive after hurricane Maria.

As of September 27, our Twitter Chief had tweeted twenty-three plus times about his anger at the NFL players for not “standing and being respectful during the national anthem” and only six times about how he was going to help Puerto Rico, which by the way is a part of the United States since 1898, which makes the people of Puerto Rico AMERICAN citizens.  But wait a minute, hold up, seems like we have been down this road before with the President of the United States being slow to help its “Brown” American citizens after a natural disaster.

Remember Katrina?  On August 29, 2005, approximately 80 percent of New Orleans’s city and neighboring parishes became flooded and remained flood for weeks. An investigation of the responses from federal governments resulted in the resignation of FEMA director Michael D. Brown. At that time, President George W. Bush, was also criticized for his “late” response to the plight of the people, mostly Black, of New Orleans. Katrina displaced over one million people from the central Gulf coast to elsewhere across the United States, making it the largest diaspora in the history of the U.S. at that time.

President Trump has decided to remove the focus from his possible involvement with Russia, his continued fight to end medical insurance for the poor and sick and his lack of empathy for the people of Puerto Rico, who are mostly brown, by stirring up the “good old boys” of the south.  On September 22, Trump made his fiery pitch to a crowd in Alabama that in response to football players kneeing during the National Anthem that NFL owners should come together and “Get that son-of-a-bitch off the field’ and later Trump followed that up with the players should “be fired” for not being “respectful during the national anthem.” 

I did some research and the “national anthem” begin as a poem titled “Defense of Fort M’Henry” and was written by a lawyer, Francis Scott Key, in 1814 after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy. Key was “inspired by the large American flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, flying above the fort during the American victory. Key’s poem was set to music for the Anacreontic Society (men’s social club in London) and renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It then became a well-known American patriotic song. The now-renamed song, was used for official use by the US Navy in 1889. It was made the national anthem by congressional resolution on March 3, 1931 and signed by President Herbert Hoover. So, this song that has caused so much “uproar” has only been this country’s “national anthem” for eighty-six years folks.

And why have some Black athletics decided not to honor (glorify, respect, admire) physically in public the “national anthem?” Could it be that the lyrics imply that there is “justice” for all Americans? That America is the “home of the free?” Could it be that in the second verse, that’s never sung at public events, they would be honoring lyrics that say “Their blood has washed 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.”

They refuse to show honor to a song that was turned into a national anthem to suit the mindset of a nation that needed to instill in its people that there was and will always be people who fit the “hireling and slave” roles needed in a capitalistic society. A “hireling” is a person employed to undertake menial work with little or no concern for the value of the work. A slave is a person who is the legal property of another and forced to obey them. Today we have hirelings.  However, slavery, in its initial raw form has been eliminated in America. But, there are some people who still have the need to “force” others, especially other people of color, to obey them and to follow their directions, even if it causes them direct harm. Thus, the command from our Twitter Chief, President Trump to “FIRE THEM.”

Appears in Issue: