(BALTIMORE – September 1, 2016) – Reading is a very powerful activity. Just when you think you knew a thing or two, here comes more information. I am embarrassed to admit that I am just learning some things that I thought I knew about, but really didn’t.
I’m talking about the Kaepernick Revolution that is currently underway. In short, we need a new National Anthem, one written by a non-bigot. And on that note, we should write a new Constitution, also. Damn, if I’m 3-5th’s of a human being. I personally believe this mindset still exists today whereby some Americans believe in their hearts that black lives really don’t matter. Clearly, Dr. Phil and Oprah need to team up and get America’s racists some advanced-level therapy. Racism is killing America, literally.
I am convinced that until America reverses its pattern of racial hatred and disregard for people of color, we are all doomed. Racism, I insist, is like an addiction. Until it is arrested and addressed, it will continue to run rampant. Even in the light of the nation’s first black president with a Muslim name, Barack Obama, the killing of countless unarmed black men in the streets has poured far too much blood for this nation to even ponder the term “civility.” Truth is, racists hold four-legged animals higher than the black man … the black woman … the black child.
Nonetheless, I wanted to share a couple of things with you that I didn’t know, like the third verse of our beloved National Anthem:
“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. “
Bottom line: It celebrates the death of black slaves for daring to fight against the will of the nation we call America.
Let me give a special word of thanks to both Shaun King and to Morgan State’s own Jason Johnson. Both men are phenomenal writers who have brought to light information we all should know about American History.
Both men write about the state of black people and are consistently aiming to enlighten the masses, beginning with their own. I believe they are to be commended for their tenacity and consistency.
In Johnson’s recent piece on the National Anthem, he teaches us that there were slaves hired by the British to fight America’s slave owners. Johnson explains that Key was a racist lawyer who was in support of slavery and was annoyed by blacks who would dare fight for their own freedom. How ridiculous of Francis Scott Key to think that was enlightened thinking?
So, Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the National Anthem has been a rewarding experience I pray we all can grow from – however difficult that might be for some Americans. Clearly, America’s dirty past has caught up with her and is ever reminding it of the sins of the past. Even more, like an addiction, unless racism and racists are treated, they will continue to go around blind – all the while infecting others.
It’s called denial where the addict doesn’t even realize his deadly ways. That’s America! And it is time for an intervention, one I dub the Kaepernick Revolution where the weapon du jour is information.
Today, the San Francisco quarterback has joined the ranks of greatness. And, I am so very proud of him. Jim Brown has come to his side. And so has Kareem Abdul Jabbar. I am proud because instead of ignoring his gut instinct, Kaepernick followed the initially unpopular path. Yet, something is changing in America and Colin is leading us, whether we know it or not.
A change is underway for the better.
As our children are heading back to school, I am reminded to encourage parents to continue to read and enlighten themselves. We all have a lot to learn and we can never know everything, including the third verse of the National Anthem.
While we’re at it, a lot of us could stand to re-learn the words of the Black National Anthem by James Weldon Johnson in 1899 and first publicly performed at the esteemed Stanton Prep in Jacksonville, Florida, one of the greatest black educational institutions in the world ….
God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forgot Thee,
Shadowed beneath Thy hand, may we forever stand,
True to our God, true to our native land.