Monday, September 12, 2016
The Flag, Anthem and other Reflections!
For those who follow me and know me, you are aware that this is an eclectic blog. One time, I will pen a post about a beautiful Goddess, another time I will talk about my past and then other times I will be angry and opinionated. Oh wait... I am ALWAYS opinionated!
It is what I love about blogging.
This blog will not be a welcome read for many I am sure and I almost didn't write it. But when something won't leave me alone, I pay attention in my old age!
I am a 60's kid! I marched against the Establishment, for civil rights, and battled with Religion. It is in my blood to speak to that which touches my heart and stirs my soul. No where did a Flag or an anthem cause me to do so. I rallied behind the idea that all should be treated equally and fairly. I did so in peaceful protest, never violent ones.
In 1968 the world was appalled when American Olympic metal winners, held up their fists to silently declare: "This was a way of saying, at the end of the 1960s ... that the African-Americans had had enough of domestic racism and that here was an opportunity to express their feelings about that.”
The world did not end and racism did not stop, but more dialogue about racism began. This country then moved on to something else.
Lately, an NFL football player did not stand for the National Anthem. It became a national issue, with people threatening to kill him, to stop supporting the NFL, and to bash anyone who in this Democracy DARES to demonstrate in any way, much less in a Silent protest on National TV. What I heard was, "hey, he should be thankful to live in a Democracy where he can make millions of dollars, and live in a nice house. How can he do that? He needs to respect the anthem and flag cause lots of people died to make this country where he can have all these privileges."Yep... Democracy at it's best, right? You are not allowed to have a silent protest cause it means you are dissing America. If you believe this then you don't understand Democracy.
Here is where I stand on the issue of Flags, Anthems, and yearly remembrances of violence, torture and war.
I am happy to be an American. On most days, I am thankful and proud to live in this country. I am grateful for all the opportunities I have been given and long for those yet to be achieved (ERA, civil rights, etc).
That being said, I do not stand for the anthem and I do not pledge allegiance to a Flag. I do not pledge allegiance to anything but caring for my neighbor and being a Voice for those without a Voice.
Definition of allegiance: loyalty or commitment of a subordinate to a superior or of an individual to a group or cause.
A flag for any country is just a piece of material that has been designed as a symbol for said country. It is mostly a piece of material to separate and divide, to rally the forces, and to hang at half mast for those deemed worthy of such an act. What is has become is a god!
The anthem speaks of war and is another example of stirring up the masses to remember how "we" beat up others in order to have democracy.
Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
In the 60's and 70's I was adamantly against and still am ALL wars as a way to solve issues. If women had been drafted at that time, I would have burned my draft card and either gone to jail or would have moved to Canada. I still feel this way at age 64. The anthem and flag are symbols of war.
It is why on my facebook posts there will be no "remembrances" of Pearl Harbor, the Vietnam War, Afghanistan, Iraq and even 9/11. What I will do is at my Goddess Altar will hold sadness for lives lost in senseless demonstrations of the patriarchal mindset of violence as the answer to problems with another. Why do we love to bring back to memory such things?
It astounds me that when the President wants to make peace with a leader from another country, the people here in the US, are outraged (i.e. Cuba of recent). If the decision is to pull troops out of another country is made, threats begin to pour forth from the mouths of those who have not and never will have to go into such wars. If the announcement is we are going to war, people put flags on their houses and cars and wave them as we go to kill other human beings and then get pissed at the numbers of OUR people killed and rally around the numbers of how many people we have killed. And then.... we celebrate if we win cause it was all in the name of Democracy!
My not standing for the anthem or the flag, is NOT a form of protest. I wouldn't stand if a Santa flag was brought into a football game. I don't stand when Who let the Dogs out is played at a basketball game. So why would I stand when a political flag or song is sung? I respect people who decide to use that as a form of protest, tho! This is America, this is a Democracy.... the Anthem tells us so.
I would also not stand if President Obama (who I respect totally as the leader of this country) or Queen Elizabeth (who I admire and respect as a woman in power) would walk into a room. I do not see that as a sign of disrespect, I see it as whether I would stand if anyone would enter a room.
It is all smoke and mirrors of power and control. The Flag and the Anthem, just like many Christian hymns are meant to insight not peace, but pitting one against another. Not love but through the use of violence demonstrating who is the bigger bully, and in that way rejoicing over making others "be like us, believe like us, live like us and act like us."
What bothers me, is that on the one hand we proclaim that this is a Democracy! We proclaim that others have died in war so we can enjoy the privileges of living is such a place were we can indeed speak freely. But this is ONLY if it is what we believe is true, what we believe is right and just. And for me that is NOT democracy! That is power and control. And I protest anything that reeks of power and control. I believe in protest, but Never Violent protest even if it is what I believe in.
So, the Black Panthers... peaceful, silent protest!
So, the NFL player...peaceful, silent protest!
Isn't that what America is about? I mean really.... we had to kill a shit load of people and have a shit load of our own people killed just so we could then bash someone who is actually taking this Democracy stuff to heart!
It blows my mind!