by Tommi Avicolli Mecca

How many people know that the melody for this country’s national anthem, a song that is impossible for the average person, and many a damn good singer, to sing, was taken from “To Anacreon in Heaven,” a British song about womanizing and boozing?

Seems appropriate, considering how it’s sung at sports events where people partake of enough booze to intoxicate a whole city for a year. 

People may hold the song in great esteem these days, but the “Star Spangled Banner” is really the Rodney Dangerfield of national anthems. It hasn’t always gotten respect at sporting events since first being introduced at a Chicago Cubs vs. Boston Red Sox game at the 1918 World Series, years before it was even the country’s official anthem.

Throughout the years, reactions have been mixed to the “rockets red glare and the bombs bursting in air.” By the mid-50s, people in the stadiums were outright ignoring the song, which caused some in the sports world to complain that these fans were being disrespectful and distasteful. Even now, not everyone in the bleachers unglues their eyes from their cellphones when the national anthem is sung. 

So, it’s strange that people get so upset when someone such as SF 49er Colin Kaepernick refuses to stand during the song. Kaepernick has a good reason not to stand. One that’s protected under the “freedoms” we supposedly enjoy in this “land of the free and home of the brave.” 

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media’s Steve Wyche. “To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

The right wing sees his action as somehow disrespecting the men and women in this nation’s military. Which makes no sense at all. It’s not the military's anthem. It’s the anthem of the country. Of we the people. Though I want nothing to do with any anthem that glorifies war. So it’s not my anthem. My anthem would be more akin to “Imagine” by John Lennon.

Kaepernick joins a long list of public figures, as reported by The Washington Post, who have supposedly disrespected god and apple pie and motherhood by doing something inappropriate to or during the song. They included Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, a player who sat it out (it cost him his career), Beyoncé, a singer who lip-synched it (who can blame her?), and Roseanne Barr, a comedienne who shrieked the words and grabbed her crotch (maybe she thought she was in the locker room).

People who call what Kaepernick did “un-American” don’t have a clue as to what this country supposedly stands for — the right to stand while everyone else sits. The right to have a different view. The right to make a political statement anywhere, at any time, no matter how unpopular it is. If you don’t believe that, then, honestly, what country do you think you live in?

The country should be addressing the issues Kaepernick raises and not worrying about who stands or sits during a sports event.

Views: 318

Comment by Zanelle on September 2, 2016 at 9:19am

Exactly!  Thank you for saying what needs to be said.  We are all in this together and it is the freedom to have a different view that is important.  I love the song Imagine too by John Lennon.  I have been posting it here frequently because it is nice to have some hope for a future.  We aren't there yet.  Too many still cling to things that need to go.  I love freedom and America has always meant that to me.  

Comment by alsoknownas on September 2, 2016 at 9:39am

I warned my dad at a ball game during the Vietnam war that I wanted to protest and not stand during the anthem. He'd been a semi-pro player and was a WWII vet. He was shocked.

I stayed seated and the people in the row behind were quite ticked off and started talking trash.They said they wanted to throw me out.

Dad stood up, turned around and told them he didn't agree with me doing it either, but he'd gone to war to defend independence and he'd do it right there again if needed. He was ridiculously tough and there wasn't any misreading him when he was in that mood.

He patted me on the back and we enjoyed the rest of the game.

It was one of our turning points.

Comment by Maui Surfer on September 2, 2016 at 9:42am

Kaepernick is a Hero and only a true Fascist would be against his stand. Or a card carrying Racist.

Comment by JMac1949 Today on September 2, 2016 at 9:59am

I got no problem with Kaepernick sitting out the Star Spangled Banner but his wardrobe choices are distracting from his protest:

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on September 2, 2016 at 10:00am
I have to wonder how many of the people who SAY they are upset with Kaepernick's protest have any idea what the 3rd verse of the national anthem is (or even care if they do)?

If people aren't disgusted with the veneration of war, they should at least be disgusted by the veneration of slavery because NOT protesting shit like that is to tacitly approve of it.

Good post, Tommy.
Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on September 2, 2016 at 10:03am
JMac, I would wear those socks in a heartbeat and I applaud his on-going, nonviolent protests.
Comment by Keith Joiner on September 2, 2016 at 10:08am

I'm with Amy. 

Comment by JMac1949 Today on September 2, 2016 at 10:24am

Amy when it comes to effective nonviolent Civil Rights protests Malcolm X comes to mind:

Hinton Johnson incident

The American public first became aware of Malcolm X in 1957, after Hinton Johnson,[E] a Nation of Islam member, was beaten by two New York City police officers.[74][75]

On April 26, Johnson and two other passersby—​​also Nation of Islam members—​​saw the officers beating an African-American man with nightsticks.[74] When they attempted to intervene, shouting, "You're not in Alabama...this is New York!"[75] one of the officers turned on Johnson, beating him so severely that he suffered brain contusions and subdural hemorrhaging. All four African-American men were arrested.[74]

Alerted by a witness, Malcolm X and a small group of Muslims went to the police station and demanded to see Johnson.[74] Police initially denied that any Muslims were being held, but when the crowd grew to about five hundred, they allowed Malcolm X to speak with Johnson.[76] Afterward, Malcolm X insisted on arranging for an ambulance to take Johnson to Harlem Hospital.[77]

Johnson's injuries were treated and by the time he was returned to the police station, some four thousand people had gathered outside.[76] Inside the station, Malcolm X and an attorney were making bail arrangements for two of the Muslims. Johnson was not bailed, and police said he could not go back to the hospital until his arraignment the following day.[77] Considering the situation to be at an impasse, Malcolm X stepped outside the station house and gave a hand signal to the crowd. Nation members silently left, after which the rest of the crowd also dispersed.[77] One police officer told the New York Amsterdam News: "No one man should have that much power."[77][78] 

His choice of wardrobe was totally subdued:

Comment by JMac1949 Today on September 2, 2016 at 10:34am

In the meantime Kaepernick is putting his money where his mouth is: Kaepernick pledges to donate $1 million.

Comment by Maui Surfer on September 2, 2016 at 10:45am

Wonder why Race in America is such a sham? Lets use Malcolm X as Example A: What was his pre-Muslim nickname? Detroit Red. Why? Red Hair. How does a "Black Man" get red hair? HIS GRANDMOTHER IS RAPED BY A KKK HATER WHOSE ANCESTORS WERE FROM THE UK WHERE RED HAIR IS COMMON!!! Anyone who is clueless getting the picture yet?

Now, to speculate, there is some evidence that Red Hair is related to the Neanderthal gene Europeans, but not Africans, all carry. Not to tarnish our long lost cousins, just an interesting "Racial" factoid.

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