Tag Archives: National Anthem

TRUMP AND THE WHITE CLAIM TO AMERICA

Can I be honest about something? I believe that Donald J. Trump is operating out of America’s grandest tradition of white power brokers telling those they oppress “It’s my way or the highway.” This sentiment succinctly conveys the vast majority of whites belief that they own this America and if African-Americans do not agree with the way things are done around her, well, they should “Go Back to Africa.” Put simply; whites innate urge to control those consider they consider inferior is not new. Such a perspective is conveyed in whites belief that even the poorest citizen should display unending gratitude for being provided the “privileges and opportunities” afforded to those fortunate enough to call themselves Americans.

There should be no doubt that the recent “tweets” by Donald J. Trump toward professional athletes who have the audacity to protest while receiving unconscionable financial benefits in “the land of the free and the home of the brave” reveals much about Trump and his supporters.

I was unsurprised when in the midst of a political rally in Huntsville, Alabama, that the embattled White House figure reinvigorated his base with the following statement regarding NFL players who have decided to kneel during the playing of the National Anthem. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now. Out He’s fired! He’s fired!” Trump followed this sentiment with a tweet that read as follows, If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!

Most reasonable people, regardless of racial identity, realized long ago that Trump possessed neither a logical mind nor a modicum of impulse control. However, more frightening than Trump’s flaws is the presence of “American Patriots” who fail to realize that their demand that the alluded to protests cease serves as a supreme contradiction to the very U.S. Constitution that they profess to love. “American Patriots” are either absent basic insight or afflicted by cavernous blind spots that allow them to sleep well despite political viewpoints that are rife with contradictions and inconsistencies. blatant contradictions to their political position. In many ways, the alluded to individuals remind me of that great American Thomas Jefferson who penned that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” while holding black men, women, and children in bondage on his grand plantation.

In many ways, it is unsurprising that Trump and his followers allow their rather juvenile expressions of American Nationalism to eclipse founding principles whose very pillars provide allowances for freedom of speech and the right to protest.

Such inconsistencies flow directly from the fact that America is romanticized as a mythical land where hopes and dreams are readily available to those who diligently pursue them. It is this fallacious portrayal of America in venues from textbooks to films that sit at the core of self-proclaimed “American Patriots” illogical thought patterns and contradictions that serve as the justification for their very unamerican thoughts and deeds. It is flawed reconstructions of our national past that allows the alluded to individuals to boldly consider themselves the standard-bearers of a multi-racial nation whose history has been heavily bleached. So I am unsurprised by Trump’s continuation of one of America’s grand traditions of telling those who protest injustice in this nation with the same vigor that the “Founding Fathers” disagreed with British tyranny and exploitation in the late-18

Hence, I am unsurprised by Trump’s inability to recognize that he is merely adding to America’s grand tradition of telling those who protest injustice in this nation with the same vigor that the “Founding Fathers” did during their conflict with the British that they are in error. Afterall, from the perspective of Trump and modern-day “American Patriots”, political dissent and protest are unamerican activities. Afterall, the most consistent theme expressed by a radicalized cadre of White Nationalists to those who take issue with how things are done around here is that it is “my way or the highway.” Maybe, just maybe, the National Anthem for this nation should be changed to Percy Mayfield’s “Hit the Road Jack”, a song made famous by Ray Charles. It would, after all, be more fitting and represent the thinking and thoughts of those who consider themselves true Americans.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2017

“I ain’t no Martin Luther King”: The Ignorant Mind of Michael Crabtree Has Been Revealed For All To See!!!!!!!

I was most certainly not surprised when Michael Crabtree told a white reporter seeking commentary on the recent protests involving michael-crabtree-2Black athletes and the National Anthem, issues that are closely associated with his former teammate Colin Kaepernick, “I just play football. I ain’t no Martin Luther King.”

To be honest with you, I am surprised that a person of Crabtree’s ilk took this long to arrive on the scene as his arrival was in a word, predictable. The Michael Crabtree’s of the world seem to arrive every time whites need reassuring that Blacks are neither politically astute nor desirous of first-class citizenship.

In fact, Brother Malcolm spoke about this type of fool when he stated that anytime that a proud Black man in possession of his ‘correct mind’ says something that white folk don’t like they go and find some bootlicking, buck-dancing Negro to come forward and dispute the obvious truth that he has spoken.

Michael Crabtree’s desperate attempt to ingratiate himself to whites via displaying to the entire world his absolute ignorance regarding all things extending beyond the gridiron is not only unfortunate, but also reeks of someone who has been wholeheartedly convinced that his only contribution to the nation will occur via catching a football. What a pitifully small life Mr. Crabtree has chosen for himself.

Just consider for a moment that here is an individual with what can only be termed an attentive audience eagerly waiting to hear his michael-crabtree-1position on contemporary social and pressing political issues and the only utterance that he is capable of sharing is “I ain’t no Martin Luther King.”

Maybe Michael Crabtree is on the verge of being a marketing genius and planning to trademark his drivel. I can see it now, t-shirts with the saying “I ain’t no Martin Luther King” in every sporting goods store across the nation placed right next to Nike’s well-known slogan of “Just Do It”.

Unfortunately, I suspect that Crabtree’s shirts would appeal to a segment of up and coming African-American athletes who have been duped by teachers, parents, and society in general into believing that the development of their physical prowess and maintenance of a feeble non-inquisitive uncultured mind is the most assured path to “the good life”.

If the next generation of athletes choose to follow the well-worn path that Michael Crabtree has traveled, the world will most certainly be worse off because of it. History has displayed that any individual who travels down a path devoid of politicization and the development of the mind will undoubtedly set the African-American liberation struggle back immeasurably if for no other reason than its propensity to fight against one of our greatest traditions, that being, the creation of politically astute Black athletes. Put simply, if succeeding generations of Black athletes follow Michael Crabtree’s example, not only will we never have another Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., nor will we ever produce another Paul Robeson, Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Arthur Ashe, and the list goes on and on. And for that reason we should all be saddened because the world will be a much worse place for all of us to live.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016

Petty Protests and Inconsequential Activism: Why Colin Kaepernick’s Protest Misses the Mark of Aiding the Black Liberation Struggle

Muhammad Ali, the agreed upon ‘Greatest of All-Time’ by sports fans once quipped, “A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” I absolutely love this particular quote for myriad reasons, most notably because it reminds me to continually re-evaluate my political positions and beliefs.

It is this re-evaluation process that has led me to take significant issue with Colin Kaepernick’s recent decision to not stand for the Kaepernick 2playing of the National Anthem. Put simply, Kaepernick’s decision to publicly protest in this method is little more than a public tantrum that does absolutely nothing to advance the cause that he claims to be representing.

Let me first relate that in another period of my life, I would have wildly celebrated Kaepernick’s antics, I myself routinely refused to stand for the playing of the National Anthem. During those years, I considered it one of the most poignant ways of protesting the historic wrongs and injustices that this nation has perpetrated against my people for the world to see.

A much less wise version of myself would have not only agreed with Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the National Anthem, but also considered it a significant blow against “the man”. I also imagine that had I been asked about my one-man crusade, my response would have been eerily similar to Colin Kaepernick’s recent response to this matter. The San Francisco quarterback responded in the following manner to a reporters questioning his actions,

I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color…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…I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed…”

As much as my twenty-year-old version would have agreed with Kaepernick’s position, I now realize that as a forty-something-year-Kaepernickold African-American male who has wrestled with this thing called Race for several decades that oftentimes an absence of experience leads us to prematurely celebrate before victory has been seized. Let me be absolutely clear, it is not that I disagree with Kaepernick’s decision to not stand for the playing of the National Anthem, it is that he, and a host of other like-minded individuals believe that this rather mundane public protest is significant.

Now endowed with an insight that only life’s lessons can bestow, I consider Kaepernick, and likeminded individuals who have rushed forward to support not “stand(ing) up to show pride in a flag that oppresses Black people” as persons who fail to understand either the issues facing African-Americans or have any semblance of an understanding regarding their eradication.

Make no mistake about it, Kaepernick’s decision to protest the National Anthem reminds the nation, including a segment of Americans’ who devoutly avoid racial issues, of long-standing patterns of racial discrimination executed by ordinary American citizens, as well as long-standing patterns of institutional racism perpetrated via American institutions. The NFL Quarterback was able to protest while neither denying nor dismissing the incredible contributions of African-American activists who have strove to “Let America Be America Again” by spending their entire lives as trailblazers and torchbearers illuminating and paving a path to success for individuals such as Kaepernick.

The euphoria surrounding Kaepernick’s protest has led the vast majority of supporters and opponents to ignore a basic query of ‘How does sitting on your ass during the playing of the National Anthem Kaepernick 3solve any of the voluminous problems facing Black America?’ The truth of the matter is that such fleeting public protests barely address, let alone reverse racial inequality in any significant manner. Unfortunately for the future of Black America, today’s cadres of attention-seeking contemporary activists appear to consider symbolic public protests as the ‘gold standard’ of activism.

This reliance upon highly symbolic, yet totally intangible, protest has seemingly duped an entire generation of so-called activists into believing that such ‘antics’ are akin to the grassroots activism and institution building of yesteryear. It is this institution-building that holds the key to Black liberation, not symbolic public protests that do little more than invigorate social media sites and users.

If the legions of individuals who support Colin Kaepernick’s courageous decision to not stand during the National Anthem really want to eradicate racial inequality maybe their activism should extend well-beyond celebrating an inconsequential protest and dedicate their resources toward the historic grassroots struggle to address tangible issues within our community such as supporting the independent Black school movement, job creation, political participation, supporting Black entrepreneurs, and volunteering their time tutoring African-American school children.

It is in the aforementioned areas, and a host of others, that the potential for racial uplift and therefore racial equality is found. What is the alternative you ask? Well the only realistic alternative is for our activist community to continue what has been their greatest post-Black Power Era tradition of sitting on their asses as Mr. Kaepernick displayed during his protest, griping about racial issues without doing anything definitive toward the creation of independent Black institutions, and watching as the world go by.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016