I remember being a black child growing up in the south and being forced to say the pledge of allegiance and listen to the national anthem and being mad about it. I especially remember changing some of the words so it better reflected what I thought America was. This is the reality for many black people in the United States.
Let’s start with the facts: Black people who are patriotic are viewed as Uncle Tom’s. Non-black people reading this article may not understand this, but in 2021, the climate revolving around patriotism has shifted. It used to be slightly acceptable to openly show support for America, but now that is not possible. What is the biggest enemy of black individuals in America (according to popular belief)? The police!
Black people have been at odds with law enforcement since the creation of police forces (because the police were solely created to disenfranchise black individuals). Initially, this hatred of law enforcement was seen as an opinion from the minority because a popular line of thinking is that if you aren’t doing anything wrong then you will not be harassed. However, we all know that in 2021, to be harassed by the police all you have to be is black. Therefore black people should not have any admiration for the police, the government, or anything having to do with American culture. Black people have long ago created their own culture in America when American culture does not cater to them. Typical American culture works to the dismay and the exploitation of the black body, and so black people had to create their system of being to feel relatively comfortable in America.
I have a lot of problems with the NFL, however, they did have Alicia Keys open one of their seasons with the black national anthem. If we take this at face value, they did a good job, but this does not erase this mistreatment of Colin Kaepernick and the wrong decisions they made in regards to black players using their platform to protest injustices to their white audience. The black National Anthem (Lift Every Voice and Sing) is just that because of the long-divided history of the United States. The National Anthem is something that is grouped in with the justice system, BMI scale, and the constitution as things that are not reflective of black individuals.
To properly display that the National Anthem is not reflective of Black Individuals we can take a look at some of the lyrics and history. The National Anthem was written during the American Revolution, and as we all know many black people fought in the war of 1812, but they did so as enslaved people. Despite the national Anthem remarking that America is the home of the free. The song is a tribute to the American flag and patriotism, however black history is indicative of pain, struggle, and triumph, this is not in any way reflected by the National Anthem. Although the National Anthem is not representative of Black History, It’s 2021 and the Black National Anthem has been around for centuries. So black people might as well stick to what they know.
Happy Black History Month