The Blood-Splattered Bannner

In the wake of the voicing of so many opinions, it has become harder and harder to bite your tongue. It has become apparent that a world where credibility was once valued has been exchanged for a world in which anyone’s opinion has relevance, a world where a T.V. personality millionaire can be elected president only to make a mockery of his prestigious position.

Despite the hostility of the political environment, some people’s actions and words are still leaving a lasting impression on the public. Recently, Ellen DeGeneres, when asked by News Anchor Megan Kelly if she would ever host Donald Trump on her show, graciously said that she would refuse based on the premise that he was dividing our nation and that she could not in good moral conscious hand him a platform to do so.

Unfortunately, in the age of social media, the world is your platform, and Trump has used his obsession with Twitter to vocalize every idiotic thought that passes through his mind, without taking the care to do so much as even fact check, evident in the case of him tweeting the falsified news about Iran testing a ballistic missile. His lack of fact-checking hasn’t our only caveat; his blatant disrespect for others has made the majority of American citizens question his validity, most recently referring to protesting NFL players as “sons of bitches,” at a press conference. The rhetoric surrounding the decision of many NFL players to kneel during the national anthem on Sunday is plagued with assumptions by the media of players disrespecting veterans by refusing to stand. The people who subscribe to this opinion are missing the very point of the kneeling, and for that matter, the very heart of veteran’s self-sacrifice in service of our country.

Many veterans have gone on the record since Sunday to support the nonviolent protest, reminding the American people that they fought for the freedoms bestowed upon Americans, including the freedom of speech and peaceful protest. This fundamental principle is the beating heart that keeps America going.

Blood has been shed in several instances of hate crimes against African Americans in recent years, a horror which could have done well to have remained in the Jim Crowe-controlled swamps of the 1930’s south, but has reared it’s ugly head in neighborhoods and cities throughout the country. This is the primary catalyst for the union of NFL players who are protesting the national anthem, a song which is innately racist, having been written by the slave owner and anti-abolitionist, Francis Scott Key. Perhaps it would be beneficial to the symbolism of our country to replace the tune with something less degrading and culturally insensitive, like “America the Beautiful.”

Until these problems can be dissected and discussed with a modicum of compassion, by informed and progressive individuals who seek to encourage unity and the understanding of the racial and cultural burdens that people of color have been forced to bear, our proud flag’s stars should be replaced with the splattered blood of our fallen African-American brothers and sisters, whose systematic oppression has been tolerated for far too long.

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