Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Booing-- A Guest Post By Paul Lukasiak


-by Paul Lukasiak

The people who are complaining about NFL players taking a knee during The Star Spangled Banner don't give a damn about respect for the anthem, or the flag, or veterans. If they did, they'd be livid about a far greater demonstration of contempt for those symbols-- the booing engaged in by those who oppose the protesting NFL players.

An NFL player who takes a knee during the anthem is engaging in the least intrusive form of protest possible... those who disapprove of his actions can simply look away, and focus their attention where they themselves would say the attention really belongs-- on the flag that is being displayed, and/or the person singing the anthem. No one is forcing anyone to deal with the players' protests at all-- yet these players are roundly condemned by so-called “patriots” for “disrespecting the flag.”

Meanwhile, hundreds (thousands?) of fans are loudly booing during the anthem to protest the players who take a knee, and not only do these same “partriots” not criticize the fans, they often praise those who boo. But what could be more disrespectful to the flag and the anthem than to protest in a way that is simply unavoidable?

While the players are in no way interfering in the ceremony, booing is a direct assault on the anthem. You can look away from the players, but you can't “hear away” from someone booing while you are trying to listen to the anthem. The booing is inescapable-- and the only way to avoid hearing it is to avoid hearing the anthem as well.

But I've yet to see one single “patriot” who is the least bit disturbed by the booing-- let alone be mortified by this egregiously assaultive display of disrespect toward “the anthem, the flag, the troops, and our veterans.” The only thing these “patriots” have a problem with is black men getting attention while protesting the pervasive racism of the criminal justice system in this country. Its an offense to ask white sports fans to take a moment to consider a reality that black people live with all day, everyday.

As for the anthem, it was written in 1814 by Franc1s Scott Key. In 1814, well over 80% of the black people living in the United States were slaves. Thus, when Key wrote the words “O'er the land of the free,” he was clearly relegating black people to the status of non-persons.

This is unsurprising, given that Key was the son of a wealthy slave owner and owned slaves himself. Key was also adamantly opposed to abolitionism and used his power as US Attorney for Washington DC to suppress the abolitionist movement.

But despite this history, white “patriots” demand that black athletes treat Key's song as sacrosanct,and act as if the atrocities done to their ancestors in the name of the flag never happened.


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At 9:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Hitler and the nazis (the first version) made Germany what it became in '33, they didn't sit or kneel during playing of theirs either.

Humans value tribalism, jingoism and nationalism over all principals. Humans are deeply flawed beings. It's a bloody miracle we've not killed ourselves and the planet for THIS long.

In today's developed world, the USA is the next incarnation of Nazi Germany. We're not quite there yet, but that's where we're sprinting.

I take it as proof of this that so many not only sit during our disgusting anthem but boo those who do. There is no reason at all to stand except to display our fully developed flaws.

At 9:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

meant to say so many not only DO NOT sit... but boo those who do.

At 11:06 PM, Blogger Thomas Ten Bears said...

Boycott football. Don't just change the channel, don't go there.

At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is why Woodie Guthrie's " This land is your land" should be our national anthem.

At 2:57 PM, Blogger Elizabeth Burton said...

"That is why Woodie Guthrie's " This land is your land" should be our national anthem."

Well, except that it's not White people's land—we stole it from the original inhabitants. Which is why some Native activists would object to making that song our national anthem.

The fact is, we need a new one, with no baggage. Given the level of talent among our musicians, surely we can manage to come up with something that's easy to sing and has lyrics that reflect the ideals the country is supposed to stand for.

At 4:50 PM, Blogger Skeptical Partisan said...

Football players are exercising their right to speak out to indirectly petition their government for redress of grievances. In concurrence with the precept of 'use or lose it', all Americans should exercise their Constitutional rights as often as possible to improve their lives and preserve those same rights.

At 5:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To EB, I'd suggest "American Idiot". just a few chords required and the lyrics are far more salient than any other.

But I'd also suggest that the song isn't the problem. The rapidly Nazifying nation it represents is the problem.

If they played Green Day's anthem, I'd still sit in protest because the NATION is shit.


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