As someone who enlisted in the U.S Air Force at 19, after flunking out of college; I can tell you, most black people aren’t in the military because they love this country. They’re there because they effed up and are going away to reinvent themselves, they grew up in the hood and there was limited/no other opportunities, or they need money for college — ergo Montgomery GI Bill.
So, let’s stop with the “you’re disrespecting other black people who fought for your freedom by not standing or placing your hand over your heart during the National Anthem” rhetoric.
First of all, the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner — as penned by Francis Scott Key from “Defence of Fort M’Henry” were written in 1814. Slavery was still on and popping. So, we’re supposed to be in awe of this great land, and all its opportunities–when black people were still slaves at the time?
Secondly. Exactly which war was fought on behalf of the freedom of black people? At its core, the Civil War was fought over state autonomy and state vs federal authority…not freeing slaves. According to the 1857 Dred Scott decision, no person with African blood could become a U.S. citizen. This wasn’t even even 200 years ago, folks.
Thirdly. Where was all this false patriotism when my uncles and other black men returned from the Vietnam War and were booed and spat on? Can you imagine what it must’ve been like to be drafted into a war, experience racism from racist superiors, be exposed to Agent Orange, and return to systemic racism, and oppression in a country you just “fought for”?
Suddenly, we’re “unpatriotic” and a “stupid nigger” if we don’t want to pledge allegiance to an inanimate object or stand in awe of a song professing of “the land of the free” when this country was built on the free-labored backs of the our ancestors? Seriously?
Furthermore, “Fighting for freedom” is an oxymoron and the greatest lie ever sold. If this is the greatest country in the world, why do we need to invade other countries to attain freedom? Wars are started over control of money, oil, gold, and opium poppy fields. Period.
No one is hurting or disrespecting anyone by not standing at attention or saluting this BS.