Colin’s Last stand
(Adam Jones at the Bat)
By D. Lloyd
The outcome wasn’t hopeful for ‘Black’ to matter that day,
The Super Bowl did little for Colin K. still the city had few cards left to play.
And when the 1st failed trial, nor 2nd or third 3rd court(ers found good a name;
Like Mr. Gray, Baltimore ‘fanned’ — dropped them all and did just/ice the same
Baltimore Sports: April 25, 2015
During the second day of the ‘riots’ of Baltimore, scores of young African American boys peered through locked bar-gates at their first baseball game. School was out (and this was odd… because there were no ‘feet’ of snow) and while not far away, even younger kids were playing faded, once mighty cannons that overlooked Federal Hill. Adam Jones, the center fielder for Baltimore (and a man that looked like them) was playing versus the Chicago White Sox, inside of an empty Camden Yards. The talented All-Star stared over the fence… towards the ‘Black’ children, lined amongst the vendor booths and bars outside — with locked eyes — knowing like him that: ‘They could love ‘‘America’s Game’’ too, if given a chance. He said:
“ To have fans (here), it would be awesome so that it can give them three hours of distraction away from what’s really going on. You know, I think the people of Baltimore need that.” — Adams Jones
But the gates never opened. The kids eventually dispersed. Baseball would go on ‘business as usual’ and after the game, these children would go away forever — never to return as adults. And even though the Orioles had won the day, by a large margin, ‘generations’ were lost to baseball. But ‘Downtown’ was open — ‘money doesn’t riot — ‘establishing an even bigger gentrification-stratification boarder, but people of the city — and the team’s owners — had the same question: ‘Why didn’t they just let them in?’ And Adam Jones and the city ‘over the fence’ burned within — with a different passion.
“You would rather not deal with a ‘Black’ man in America talking about issues than having Ryan Mallett be the possibility of being your starting quarterback,”
- DevRock Murray
”Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door — this it is and nothing more.” — The Raven
America’s Game: 1880’s
In the International League, one player refused to kneel to take a team picture because one of his own teammates — standing — was a black man. To address the injustice and to set the proper standard, the International league office banned all future signing of all African American baseball players. George Stovey, a signed Black pitcher for Newark, became suddenly ill before the White Sox game. Later, Chicago’s legendary ‘hero’ manager Adrian ‘Cap’ Anson, used his influence to prevent Stovey from ever pitching again. Before some games, the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ was sometimes played if a military band was present. But by 1890, Major league owners and ‘Jim” had effectively forbid Blacks from being on the same field with White’ players… or singing ‘their’ anthem — thus defining, America’s Game.
“I’ve seen Kaepernick called the N-word, just because he’s being sensitive to what has happened to African-Americans in this country. But when people that are not of color speak up, it’s their right. But any time anybody of color speaks up in the United States, for some odd reason, they always get the raw end of the deal. It sucks.” — Adam Jones
In a recent season, in San Francisco, a Giants ‘fan’ apologized for throwing a banana (that landed on the field) during a game against the Orioles All-Star Adam Jones. The fan said, that he had grabbed a banana off a catering cart and tossed it in frustration of the Orioles’ 10–2 win over the home team Giants. Adam spoke out. But ‘Others’ believed that Adam Jones’ reaction to be race-dramatic and typical histrionic behavior for spoiled, high salaried athletes — adding further, that Jones played too close to the infield.
“Oh, my God!,” The fan realized. “I threw a banana on my way out.” In 2017, during a nationally televised, Monday night game — again, food found its way to the outfield and Adam Jones. This time it Boston and peanuts…
Across these ‘un-united’ states, America seems to shadow box these episodic ‘groundhog’ eVents while concentrating more on the comfort of ‘Great America’ than on the protesting core ‘message’: Black men being discriminated against and killed in ‘less america’. Most Americans cannot imagine being stopped while simply driving or being shot while walking in middle of the street — or being called anything other than ‘Tigger’ when playing a game; such ‘confrontation frequencies’ are not a reality to ‘Majority America’, but ‘Stop and See’ encounters are a periodic ‘expectation’ for those of ‘permanent pigmentation’. ‘Black Lives’ should have mattered to have stopped ‘guns’ from being emptied into a back seat with a child clearly strapped in. ‘Political Spin’ should no conceal ‘truth’ or appease followers — nor should it ‘KKKloak’ what is in/on the back/minds of Black people: One ‘Greater Life’, in america is worth more than ‘many others’. And time and time again — in the courts, in our media, in the streets, in our protests and in our games — this truth becomes self-evident: ‘All men created equal’ is just a guideline and ‘Justice for all’ is a moveable feast…
“The outside world doesn’t really respect athletes,’’ Jones says, “Unless they talk about what they want them to talk about. — Adam Jones: Baltimore
In 2016, during the NFL season, Colin Kaepernick knelled quietly before a football game — eventually a camera noticed. During a preseason NFL game in Virginia, in the late 1950’s, protestors stood up and rallied against an integrated seating policy during a Baltimore Colts’ exhibition game. On the field, their opponent, the Washington Redskins, still did not have a ‘Black’ player. But the game had changed — certainly the Colts and Lenny Moore did; the game itself was not competitive but the Washington club had kept its image respectful to their market — the South. But Washington’s lack of diversity signaled more than the Redskins dismal 1–12–1 — it became the harbinger standard for future NFL/competition — integrated football teams won games and the price to be paid was equality. Even still in 1961, the Redskin’s first African America players John Nisby, Ron Hatcher and Bobby Mitchell were required to stand/listen to ‘Dixie’ before every home game — followed closely by a National Anthem, that was first featured in ‘The Baltimore Patriot and Evening Advertiser’ of September 1814:
The Star Spangled Banner (Third Verse)
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Hirelings = British Colonial Marines/ Freed slaves with British citizenship and guns in returned for their services rendered and freedom for themselves and their families. Re: Battle of Bladensburg
Slaves = 1) Somebody forced to work for another 2) Dominated Person
(*Historical notes: The ‘slaves’ were shipped in for ‘money hire ‘ — coming mostly from local plantations. The ‘hirelings’ were Black men who fought alongside the British for the hire/promise of freedom for their families and freedom/citizenship of the Crown — afterwards, some slaves that were ‘returned’, were actually said to be free ‘citizens ‘ of Baltimore. Clearly, ‘the land of the free’ — and homage to ‘The Stars and Stripes’ was ‘time sensitive’…)
America: Blacks For Sale — “The Baltimore Patriot and Evening (9/1814)”
“A Family of BLACKS, consisting of one Boy 14 or 15, one Girl 9 or 10, and one Woman and two Children all from the country. Likewise (There are) two Laborers with tools. Enquire at this office.”Advertiser’ of September 1814
There was very little interaction between fans entering the stadium and the protesters, who mostly stood off to the side. However, one fan taunted the protesters and said, “Kaepnerick [stinks].” In response, a protester said, “He’s better than Mallett.”
Even with the advent of new technologies designed to deter abusive behavior, there is always a categorical excuse for body cameras not to be turned ‘on’ in close encounters of the ‘Black’ kind:
“A police officer put a gun to (Michael) Bennett’s head, according to the football player I have no reason not to believe, and threatened to blow “my (expletive) head off.” A second officer came over and “forcefully jammed his knee into my back,” Bennett wrote, “making it difficult for me to breathe.”, wrote Jarret Bell.
“We need to change the system
We need black ownership
We need police accountability
We need equality n justice
This is about America treatment of minorities!”
— Kervin Andre
“What happened with Michael is a classic illustration of the reality of inequalities that are demonstrated daily,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said in a statement Wednesday.” — Jarret Bell on Twitter (USA TODAY)
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted — nevermore! -Edgar Allen Poe
Baltimore: A Tale of Two’ Cities
American Liberties and speech for ‘Black America’, during the War of 1812 (and for Black quarterbacks in 2017), were — like its victories — restricted and very few. The opportunities for Colin Kaepernick are almost non-existent — similarly the fate of the captured Black British Marines was just as bleak: execution, slavery or auction:
“I don’t think the whole Colin Kaepernick issue is a football decision,” the Meredith Tyler said. “I think it’s probably a money decision and the Ravens organization is too frightened that they are going to lose (paying) fans, lose supporters, lose ticket holders that they don’t want to take that chance nor do other teams in the league. — Baltimore Sun
An American Hero 1830 -2017
And as for Francis Scott Key’s opportunities — the ‘Greater American Anthem” hero? He became the District Attorney for Washington D.C., where he continued doing ‘his’ thing for America’s rights on slavery and for the ownership of ‘blacks’ — while residing as ‘the chief overseer for the nation’s policies and Washington’s racial uprisings/disturbances that killed an uncounted number of ‘Blacks businesses owners: Francis Scott, ‘Keyed’ a crucial part of America’s fight for ‘heritage’ by enforcing ‘The Snow Riot” persecutions jailing young Black men on ‘evidence’. Washington wanted only the labor of ‘Blacks’, to build the Capitol\capital— not their votes\voice. (re: ‘Taxation without Representation’, DC)).
As for Kaepernick, the ‘X’ 49er’s quarterback? He:“Became one of the most polarizing athletes in the country last year when he began declining to stand for the pregame national anthem.” — The Baltimore Sun
Some heroes of America are not ‘Heroes’ to all Americans, while ‘real’ All-Americans are locked up merely for being ‘black descriptive’ or running from gunfire (Contrary to the general public opinion — and the ‘Nothing to Hide’ theorem — as a “Black man you are the primary threat and an ‘American with Rights’ second — amendment: ‘We only shoot black people..’ ). America fought for it’s freedom and the right to become a sovereign nation, but yet it sometimes fails to remember the “Many Others” that were not free or have been free for very long — either by constitutional ‘rights’ or on in the streets.
Richard Sherman said. “Now if you told me this guy threw eight pick-sixes last year and played like a bum, had no talent, that’s one thing. But Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett or whoever is playing for the Jets right now — whoever is starting for the Jets is terrible — have jobs. You’re telling me fans would rather you lose and put a worse player out there because a guy took a stand? That’s where it’s so troublesome to me.”
In a country that has not always stood for “Black America’ then or now — but questions ‘Black Patriotism’ now for protesting ‘their’ reality — for not acknowledging some American icons/heroes… try to see a different perspective: Shortly before ‘The Star Spangled Banner was printed and posted, the State’s/state(s) of ‘Blacks’/americans were: 1) Slaves 2) Property 3) Abused 4) A ‘Traded Commodity’ 5) By law, could not be educated and 6) Had no rights under the Constitution or claims to land.
After the Battle of Baltimore, some Black men, who fought for America, were rumored ‘repatriated backwards’ into a slavery they had never known (That was too, was about the money. It was becoming increasingly expensive to get ‘new’ slaves into the south). If you were ‘Black’, there was no ‘Red, White and Blue’ pride for ‘Old Glory’s’ defiance, only suffrage and tomorrow’s promise of the whip — forced to stand — chained to a tree. That was what being ‘Black in America’ stood for then. And Now? Where are the statues of my forefathers?
Baltimore twice saved America. Black Americans were always there — supporting the nations and its flag — as freemen or as slaves, they had no choice. So why not give Colin a choice\chance in a country that once made it a crime for a ‘Black’ man to read or speak his mind? Maybe its time for America, to show that ‘being’ a ‘Black American’ is not about race, patriotism or money, but about — ‘We’ — The People and winning together.
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! — quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.” — The Raven
“O Say Can You See”: The Movie
(Fade White) 1814:
THE SETTING: A YOUNG MAN in Baltimore, the next day after the ‘Battle of Baltimore’. Cameras focus on a racially mixed man YOUNG MAN; who has stayed patiently, with his family — with gun in hand and barely rested — o’er the past two days. After the night’s war, THE FATHER has not come home.
FLASHBACK: THE FATHER demands YOUNG MAN stay inside because of the BALTIMORE CURFEW and the need for someone to watch over the family’s safety from the ‘Night-riders’ clan. Rumours of ‘Blacks’ attacked in Washington.
CLOSE UP: THE FATHER is fighting — repelling the British landings with many other ‘citizens of Baltimore, while cannons sing in unison the constant ‘proof through the night’. It is a brutal battle — but the British cannot secure a rampart and are losing the ‘Battle of North Point’. The ‘Black’ Colonial Marines, marching from a successful defeat of Washington, would arrive too late. There would be no English ground support. Hampstead is also lost to the British, while ‘many’ Englanders are in launches — ‘others’ with the body of General Robert Ross — returning to the fleet.
They are anxious to return to Britannia. The American invaders had been defeated in Canada, but today they are not in ‘high’ spirits — their hero was dead. Particularly a harsh event after their good fortunes this past Spring: vanquishing Napoleon’s legion and repelling the Americans from the Northwest. But the war was still on and the warships ‘Constellation’ — and the USS ‘Constitution’ would be found and forced to defend. Justice could not hide forever. And there was Alexandra …. Washington was still/burning.
WIDE ANGLE: In the background, ‘Rocket’s Red Glare’ sprout from the British ‘Rocket Ship’ HMS Erebus. O’er distance, the frigate’s launch on the fort, is more effective than the other 18 ships of the British armada. ‘Low tech’ British cannons and bombs, though massive in their firepower, do very little strategic damage to the fort — while munitions become low. Meanwhile, Fort ‘McHenry’ cannons continue to reach out and establish a ‘vaunting’ line in the water… Stalemate.
PAN OUT: (BATTLE SCENES) — Shores dimly seen… the battle’s confusion… The (Cries-) ‘Havoc of War’… the terror of fight.. the gloom of the grave….. morning’s first beam… the land of the free… and the Home of the brave! No refuge could save the hireling or the slave!)
The battle has been over for hours, but the YOUNG MAN now fears the worse. He leaves the gun (Blacks are not allowed to carry weapons — he could be seen as a ‘Negro’) and runs half a mile to the inner harbor. (PAN IN AND ACROSS): There is a strangely wonderful site, in twilight’s last, the city is jubilant, but there are also signs of ‘continuity’ chaos. (ZOOM OUT): There are new gallows here — a few are painted ‘red’. The Docks are active with captured British, ‘hirelings and ‘traitor slaves’ — all kneeling.
PAN: On the ‘blue’ water, smaller boats are returning the ‘borrowed’ slaves to the south… and then he sees THE FATHER. (ZOOM IN): Wearing proudly, the defiant ‘white’ shirt his mother had made. It is clear, even from a distance — from the dark stain, that his father is wounded and the boat is preparing to leave harbor. The YOUNG MAN tries to get the attention of those who know his father’s name but by the time he does so, his father has been thrown into a dark cargo hold near the bow and the ship begins to drift slowly away under\from the falling sun\son. He knows it then — (FUTURE SHOT) despite the onslaught of lawyers and practicing time — he will never see THE FATHER again.
WIDE SHOT: The ‘slave ship’ sails past a streaming ‘Old Glory’, as it waves over the Inner Harbor, while men still cry and hug with the tears of the earlier, joyous victory. In Fort McHenry, soldiers hurry to take the flag down. There are dead Black/White men — respectfully waiting to be separated and buried.
CLOSE UP: Quietly kneeling, on the dock of the bay - because he can no longer stand\ see — YOUNG MAN cries...
Rain… (FADE OUT)
FLASHBACK: The father smiles while coming through the front door. It has been a long day at sea. He is glad to be in his home.
FADE TO BLACK
Now imagine you are a NFL fan and that you have to watch mediocre back-up quarterback play because of perceived ‘fan base’ whiplash. The goal is supposed to be ‘to win’ — not the ‘white way’. America loves efforts ‘portraying’ identities of what >America perceives ‘Black America’ to be worthy of— of course well outside of equality ‘visions or the directives of the ‘other’ guy named Lee. And where was the movement to Do the Right Thing for ‘Glory’? Apparently, America had seen better movies but loves the comfort of “The Jeffersons”.
“I think it wiser, not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered.” — Robert E. Lee
America still hasn’t forgiven\forgotten those who stood\stance with\focused raised\rise fist\Black wearing\Matters ‘America’\’Live’ to the ‘World’; but those american ‘heroes’ — even though they wore the ‘Red, White and the Blue’ and got ‘Mark Spitz’s gold — never got Russian’s\Nadia’s fame\theme nor America’s grace\gratitude. ‘Blacklisted’ for exercising their amendment rights and the Olympic athletes would never again represent the USA on a international stage. Adam Jones was right: Has anything — for those who wear America’s uniforms and speak out — really changed?
In times, where just because a Black man will not stand ‘before’ a gaming eVent is an patriotic injustice and where ‘Black’ athletes are still called names not their own on Monday Night— while standing in America’s’ prime-time — some things are clear: Gladiator’s mentality may still exist as an ‘American Experience’ and the ‘American Experience’ is drastically different; ‘We the People’ live different ‘Americas’. One in which Americans, do not stand in their homes during Monday Night football’s anthem - but can criticize Kaepernick for not standing before his job? The conditions in ‘black america’ — food and water — are diabetes healthy and disproportionately expensive and do continue to contribute toward Black community degradation. Black men\children\women are being shot and killed. IT WAS never about the FLAG; it is about the anthem now only because it has been shanghaied and used as a harbinger for racism — championing cultural division… we are protesting our children dying - for whom does your patriotism toll? Why is Kaepernick’s protest of these ‘truths’ an issue and why does it cost him his livelihood to say that there is injustice in the ‘land of the free’ — what every American knows to be self-evident by experience or TV reality?
As for Colin’s attire: In America, even ‘shirts’ with names, that we do not like, cannot be tried in court or sentence the wearer ‘UN-American’. Unlike political realms and ‘Twitter Crusades’ — ‘word characters’ cannot discern ‘whom’ is more American… at worse, Colin is guilty of ‘fashion’ taste and the occasional bad interception.
The Pact (Press Alternative Continuum Timelines)
“The pack is there, manipulating words like you breathe. Ambushing with sharp edit, stalking the spoken sentence, and mauling intent. Too late we sense their presence, as the teeth of their accusations rip and penetrate far deeper than skin or truth affords. Victims fall in silence, overwhelmed by events of the word. ‘Speachwolves and Spam’. ‘Their’ words captured with the inspiration of fear, forge weapons of power that raise conversations far beyond Webster’s definitions — into an avalanche of predetermined opinions, hatreds, bias and judgments. In reality, reality is quietly defenseless… — From the Novella: “Run For Your Lives! It’s Mr. Polly!”
And ‘Who’ ‘stands’ united for ‘>America’? Sometimes the answer is ‘black and white’ but is never going to be ‘wide’ enough to bridge ‘Aparts’. Kaepernick’s stand is simply a start— because like ‘war criminals’ on the wrong side, in ‘<america’ there is a different truth and a ‘casualty of the word’ — ‘Speachwolves’ and ‘Spam’: Greater America’s judgment. For Black Americans, in the/these UN/United state/States — America ‘then’ was not necessarily ‘Great’ before— certainly much less ‘now’ …again.
Adam Jones at the Bat
And from the smoke, barely audible, like a small ‘Cindy Who’ whispered’ heave,
‘No Finest’ heard the line, if they did, it ‘Quothe’ no more: “I Can’t Breathe!”
Now the ‘Law, balled, closed statements neatly drawn ‘ — judged red, and let go:
‘Innocent!’ Took the air! The ‘peoples’ filled the streets with protest/riots of ‘No!’
From ‘Old Republic’ throats — ‘many others’ in ‘Dixie’ — there raised a lusty yell,
“Every damn ‘Colin’ against the flag, not standing!’ You can ‘not stand’ in Hell!”
Protest grew, +more knelled; racism surged high, waves of riot shored & roared-
‘ <america’ took to street, against: shootings >bullets flying, dying by the score
Oh, somewhere in this flavored land — of man, favored sons are shining bright
Boys play toy gun ‘shoot-up’, laughing, and somewhere ‘race’ does not = fight,
Still somewhere Black & White LOL! Somewhere ‘unshot’ — safe children shout!
But there is no joy in Baltimore — US of A — for ‘America’ had ‘Struck Out’.