What’s more American than civil disobedience? America’s founders spilled blood and spent treasure to get free of, dissolve, or re-adjust certain political binds in the pursuit of natural laws the creator had intended. The Preamble set the cornerstone of a war and eventually the creation of the United States.
Today’s events have reached the National Football League. One time Super Bowl African-American quarterback and his resistance to honoring the National Anthem. Not standing for the pledge of allegiance, a tradition. A staple at public events and a symbol of our nation’s shared sacrifices and patriotism, singing the Star Spangled Banner can be viewed in a different way. Shades of Tommie Smith and Juan Carlos in 1968. African American’s resistance to both physical and mental captivity in the United States is nothing new. Even before the slave revolt of Nat Turner’s 1831 resistance wasn’t just physical. The idea of subliminal bondage has come to the fore again.
However, it’s the subliminal that is designed to perpetuate the inferior status of the former slave and their descendants. The institutional mind game designed to outlast the physical captivity is surgical. After all, what good was a slave that always wanted freedom? What good is a slave that always questions his place on earth or in time? How hard would it be to train every generation to step to the rear and make way for others?
Questioning the wording of the National Anthem (note the second and third verse especially) maybe the motives of arguably the most racist President of the 20th century or at least a devote segregationist, Woodrow Wilson (the support for the Star Spangled Banner originated with Wilson), is long overdue. But isn’t that the point? Placing subliminal messages and supporting those messages with every method possible. In song, by oath, in literature, art and so one. The descendants ride and live on roads named in honor of people that treated them as chattel, schools, courthouses and state and city governments that similarly revere and commemorate the service of en-slavers or men that at the very least worked to perpetuate black’s subservient status.
Finally, no one truly knows what the result will be of the national conversation of the Star Spangled Banner. Nor if it was hijacked by politicians that knew the use of it was a subliminal indoctrination. Think only of a seemingly patriotic statue on a college campus (statue of Silent Sam on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: read more) that thousands of students walk by without knowing of its true meaning nor of dignitaries that erected it.
But we do know that written on the hearts of everyone is the need to be free. We also know that freedom can be expressed in so many ways. Nothing will stop this generation or subsequent ones from seeking the truth. The roots of their stolen heritage the intent of those that plotted to hide it and the systems in place to keep those awful realities alive perpetuating it.