Op-Ed: Hella Black…and proud of it!
Happy Wednesday lovelies!
As you all may know, 45 decided to come for former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick for no reason at one of his “pep rallies”. Naturally, everyone’s ears in the NFL perked up. And like with all fights, you may not have started it but you’re definitely going to finish it. All across the league, you saw not just individuals but entire teams taking a knee during the national anthem. Or, in the case of the Pittsburgh Steelers, they weren’t even on the field at all. Side note: the NFL doesn’t require players to actually be on the field during the anthem. But that’s neither here nor there. Taking a knee during the national anthem to silently protest the injustices against black people in this country is not disrespectful. Here’s the facts and receipts on why it isn’t:
1. The national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner, didn’t actually become our anthem until 1931. And only after Congress passed a measure to make it so after 40 previously failed attempts. FORTY.
2. When was America founded again? Oh yeah, that’s right. July 4, 1776. You know, the holiday where we all wear red, white, and blue (because ‘Murrica), eat hot dogs, watch fireworks, and, most importantly, have a day off from work. But really it’s just a pissing contest to show how “patriotic” everyone is. Okay, girl. You win.
3. How many colonies were there in 1776? 13. How many states were in the union in 1931? 48. How many stars are on the flag? 50. Which means the flag wasn’t “completed” until 1959 when Alaska and Hawaii made our nation complete. Awwh feels.
Which means if we’re going to pull rank here it would go like this: nation first, anthem second, and flag third.
So why is a flag, which the dictionary defines as “a piece of cloth or similar material, typically oblong or square, attachable by one edge to a pole or rope and used as the symbol or emblem of a country or institution or as a decoration during public festivities”, so important? I mean, (white) people burned flags to protest the Vietnam War and that was considered as protected free speech under the first amendment. But kneeling silently isn’t? Or is it because in this instance, a black man did it. Hmmm.
I’m not a professional athlete so you may be wondering how this affects me and why do I care so much about this issue to devote an entire blog post about it. It affects me because I’m black too. *gasp* I woke up black, I’m going to conquer my day while black, and I’m going to bed black. And my feelings are hurt. Why can’t I live my life just like everyone else? Why can’t I have nice things because I work hard? Why do I have to just compartmentalize your micro aggressions because if I even try to tell you it bothers me YOU’RE somehow offended?
Frankly, I’m tired. I’m tired of having to work twice as hard to be half as good as everyone else, especially as a blogger. I’m tired of having to state the obvious because you’re too “privileged” to see your preferential treatment. I don’t want to get anxiety while driving if a cop pulls up behind me. I don’t want to be followed in nice department stores because I “might steal something”. I don’t want to see the shocked look on an HR person’s face when I come in for an interview because Amber is a white-sounding name. I don’t want to be “articulate for a black girl” anymore. I just want to be free to be me. Period.