Sitting for a Cause: National Athem and Football Player

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I understand San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick  stance on NOT standing for the Star Spangled Banner, that use to be me 45 years old.  Sometimes you need to protest in any manner that you can at the injustice and inhumane treatment of Blacks by whites.   At the age of 15 years old,  I was pro Angela Davis, Martin Luther King, Malcom X and anyone else who was a leader in the struggle for civil rights whether local or national.  As a young Black child, I grew up in an area where white children felt comfortable calling me “nigger” instead of my name.  The worst part was the tone they used when they called me “nigger” like I’m dirt. “Don’t cross my back yard nigger!.”  “ Get your dog nigger!”  In what world is it appropriate to talk to a 7 year old child that way.  You learn to avoid those kids.

I got married at 17 years old and my husband who was 19 years old.  My husband was a marine stationed in Beaufort, SC.  Here I am a Black girl from the North and full of myself, I just graduated high school and I’m going to have a better life.  Well, I never knew the kind of racism I was about to face in Beaufort.  That’s for another blog all by itself. And my only protest was not standing for the Star Spangled Banner and the lowering of the flag on the military base.  My husband begged me to stand for the lowering of the flag or he would get in trouble for my actions.  I gave in but my conviction was stronger after that.

Then fast forward 40 years and I’m at a baseball game with a class of 3rd graders and my grandkids among them.  I stood for Star Spangled Banner and felt a strong wave of conviction come over me and I realized I haven’t pledge allegiance, sang the Star Spangled Banner in decades and it didn’t feel natural or good to be doing it now. So, kudos to Colin for not standing up during the Star Spangled Banner  to protest the unfair treatment  and oppression of Blacks and other minorities in this country.

“I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag. I know that I am a black man in a white world.”
Jackie Robinson from his 1972 autobiography

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#ForgiveLochte

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That being said, I’m sure he has learned his lesson about embellishing events or outright lying to mom, on-air talent of top news show and all Americans including me.  Yes, he was acting like the ugly American in Rio 2016and we were all embarrassed.  He has publicly admitted the error of his ways. Time to move on…..

(You never know when your own son may make an ass out of himself.)

The Ugly American in Rio 2016

 

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Everyone has heard the term “Ugly American” if you have travelled beyond the US.  He is usually the arrogant guy that shows no respect for the foreign culture. Unfortunately, the “Ugly American” showed up in Rio Olympics as US Olympic gold winners.  Yes, these guys was in full straight-jacket “UGLY” at a gas station where they lied about being robbed at gun point. James Feigen, Ryan Lochte, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger concoted a story of being robbed  at a gas station after getting out of a cab but at one point the story was they were forced off the road. All lies!  UGLY!  Of course, I’m sure after they realized the “lie” wasn’t working somebody told the truth. What a shame a tarnished Olympic memory for these guys.

I saw the Ugly American in the Bahamas.  We were booked for a day long excursion on another island.  The agency sent a van to pick you up from your villa or hotel and take you to your boat boarding location.  Well, our boarding location was on Paradise Island.  We pick up 4 young white men in their mid to late 20’s.  And, there is always one who is a loud mouth that starts off nice enough.  But, after a few moments the Black 80 year old van driver becomes fair game.  The van is slowly moving up-hill on the bridge to Paradise Island and the insensitive remarks start from the “loud mouth” for a laugh.” Hey, should we get out and push?” lots of laughter from his friends.  The van is full with about 15-20 people made up of families with children, I had 2 children with me, honeymoon couples and folks on vacation.  I was very uncomfortable and was glad when their conversation changed.  My first thought “Ugly American” in the Bahamas.

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What the US Olympic winners didn’t realize is that Rio has over 10,000 cameras located throughout the area.  The Daily Beast reports that Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city in one of the world’s fastest-emerging economies, has created a surveillance system that makes Big Brother live up to its name.  And, our Olympians got caught mis-behaving on camera and their lie was exposed.  They should apologize.

The BBC reported online: The people of Rio were unhappy to see the reputation of their city damaged, Mr Veloso said, adding: “We are dealing with important public figures who influence others and should know how to comport themselves… An apology would be welcomed.”

 

Muhammad Ali Rest With GOD

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I’m saddened by the news boxing great, Muhammad Ali died June 3rd.  The man I admired and viewed as a Black activist against the blatant racism that exist in America during his youth and mine.  The white man wanted to break him wanted him to conform to their idea of what a Black man should be. But those who lived during those times found in him a voice and hero. I know I felt that way.  He was going to be his own man with his own religion and it felt great to see what a REAL man looked like and sounded like. Ali fought the white man in the courts and won. And, we Blacks cheered! They hated him because he was loud, boastful and he belong to, what they considered, a renegade religious group known as  the Nation of Islam.  Rest In Peace!