F*&k the National Anthem

While I do not shy away from stating my opinion on this blog, I usually try to do so in the least offensive way possible. I am an atheist, a Democrat, a martial artist and a dog person, but you do not have to be any of these things to be my friend. You just have to not be an asshole. That's all. Pretty simple really. Just don't be an asshole and we can hang together.

Not gonna do it today.

Today I am going to break my own rule and just come out and say it: ya'll have to stop with the national anthem. It is a fucking song, people. It means the damn game is about to start. It means someone is about to win a bet for how long Beyonce can hold a high note. That's it. And the game will start whether the players sit or stand or lay down in the grass and get themselves a suntan.

It does not matter what the fuck you do when this song plays. Really. What matters is that people are dying. Period.

But wait, there's more. If you are one of those people who actually feels offended when an Olympian just stands there, or when a football player takes a knee, then you are making shit up to be angry about. Listen buddy, you don't have to make stuff up, there is plenty to be angry about already. Why don't you take a moment to actually think about why there might be a few protests happening right now. Because people are dying. Over and over and over again, black people are dying in ways and situations that could have been prevented, that would have been prevented had the situation been just a little bit different. But thinking about that makes you feel funny. You'd rather not. You'd rather complain about a song instead.

Oh yeah, there are also some bombings going on. And a whole lot of unconvicted rapists. And four year olds who accidentally shoot each other with daddy's gun. Also some of your neighbors are struggling to feed their kids breakfast every morning.

Did I mention that the cops keep shooting black people? And yes, you and I, we are white people so that's not really about us is it? But actually it is, because those black people are our friends, our neighbors, our children's classmates, our fellow fucking human beings!

But yeah you go ahead and get angry about the national anthem.

And before you get all pissy, you should know that I know a few really great police officers. And that I support and respect the NYPD completely. It is a hard job to be a cop. And you know what makes it even harder? When freaked out cops keep shooting people! Because the thing is the more this shit happens the more the cops will be on edge, and the more the cops are on edge, the more they are going to mess up. And the more they mess up, the more people are going to die.

I am a white woman. I don't know what it is like to get pulled over and fear that I might not survive. But I can close my eyes and imagine how scary that must be. I can imagine what it must be like for the mothers of young black boys who have to sit their kids down and explain exactly how to behave when a cop speaks to them.

Listen buddy, no one is asking you to give up anything. Just to be aware. Be aware that institutionalized racism is a real thing, even if you don't quite understand it. Be aware that your life, and mine, have been automatically easier because of the color of our skin, even if you don't quite understand it. You do not have to stop living it. Just be aware and listen and care. And for goddsake stop talking about the national anthem like it fucking matters. Like it means anything. Stop getting angry about some dude taking a knee because you are too much of a fucking coward to admit that you don't really get the other stuff. That the word racism makes you feel funny. That talking about dead black boys makes you uncomfortable. It should make you uncomfortable. You don't get it. I don't get it either. That's the whole point.

Go ahead, read from the required script now. Your line is, "Well if you hate it so much here why don't you leave?" That's what you wanted to say wasn't it? But the truth is I love it here. Why wouldn't I? I am not the one being discriminated against.

Why don't you try this instead.
Just repeat after me:
I Do Not Understand.
I Do Not Know How to Fix This.
I Am Sorry You Are Hurting
How Can I Help?

Dude, your precious song is a lie. "Land of the free, home of the brave?" For who? You and I, that's who. That song, it is about us. And if you were a real patriot, instead of whining about where to put your hand during the anthem,  you would be furious that those powerful words do not apply to half of the people who are listening. You would have your knee right there on the ground with those protesters. As every single player, at every single game should. As we all should. Because we are ALL Americans, and more importantly we are all human beings. And when our fellow humans are being hurt it is time to stand up for them.

Or in this case, kneel down.
Or if you can't handle that, then please just shut up.
Thank you.

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