This government is of the people, for the people, and by the people. If you are not protesting this current administration, then you are handing our democracy to an inept despot whose advisors are white supremacists, Nazis, white nationalists, and, probably, the Russian government.
So when trump uses the power of his office to tell NFL owners to fire players who refuse to stand during the national anthem, we ought to align on the side of freedom of speech and on the side of equal justice in our police and justice system. If you don’t, just hand our country over and prepare to live without the freedoms we often take for granted but that aren't shared by all our citizens.
I stopped placing my hand over my heart during the pledge of allegiance and the anthem years ago. I’ve lived the ugly side of America. I understand many in this country don’t think my husband Ronald and my daughters Cara and Mackenzie matter, and in turn, don’t think my voice matters because I engaged in race mixing. That hasn’t stopped me from being a patriotic citizen. I continue to fight for the ideals and values of this country that are sometimes skipped over or ignored in the quest to prove this country is for white people and not all our citizens. Now I will not stand for the national anthem or the pledge of allegiance. I agree with the professional athletes who know that any day of the week when they are off the field or the court, they are just another black person at risk of becoming victims of dangerous and possibly fatal interactions with the police, vigilantes, and white supremacists. They are also representing the 28 percent of people of color who live in poverty and who do not have a national stage on which to speak about the issues their communities face. And don’t tell me how, as a few people already have, that professional athletes make so much money they should stay quiet. No, they shouldn’t. Don’t be silent, especially under the rule of this racist administration.
The white team owners are horrid and racist if they cannot support the players who make them so much money and make sports so exciting to watch. They don’t deserve to have such great players if they are only valued for their skills and not because they are human beings who matter and who face discrimination and danger in this country.
In many of my Facebook posts, I swear. I use common swear words such as fuck, shit, asshole and bastard when I post articles about trump (I also refuse to capitalize his name—and I certainly will not call him president) and everyday articles that clearly show we are not living in a post-racial society. Rather we are living in a segregated society where it is dangerous and sometimes fatal to be a person of color.
This started after a homeowners’ association meeting I was holding when I was still the president—before I resigned because they refused to stop doing business with the attorney we hired to conduct our legal affairs when I discovered he was the state chapter chairman of the League of the South, a white supremacist, secessionist group that hopes to start a race war. At the HOA meeting we were talking to the district police captain, who came to our meeting to talk about safety and how to reduce crime in our neighborhood, about our shooter neighbor, the one who blindly shot through her garage door because she heard Mexican voices in her driveway and who also claimed an escaped prisoner, a black man, of course, had been captured behind her house—it was a lie. He was caught six miles away.
We were trying to explain to the cop that she made our neighborhood dangerous for the neighbors of color, many of whom were teenagers. In fact, she was a danger to all of us, because shooting blindly without knowing what is beyond your target, and not even knowing if your target is a true danger to you, puts everyone in danger.
The cop kept defending her Second Amendment right and said that he supported her shooting blindly because she had a small child in the house, and nothing would change his mind.
Ronald stood and told the story of how a police officer treated him while he was doing yard work at our old Syracuse home. He demanded to know if Ronald lived there—I suppose lots of criminals rake the lawn before breaking and entering. Then he told Ronald to get his “fucking license” to prove he lived there. Ronald quoted the police officer in telling the story, so people would be aware of how quickly a police stop initiated by racial bias can escalate.
We were holding the meeting in the community room of the church near our neighborhood, where one of our neighbors is a pastor. He made Ronald leave the meeting for swearing in the house of the lord, and he locked him out. I was crying when I told him that Ronald does not swear, he was quoting the officer to make an important point about how dangerous it is to be black when certain neighbors were vilifying every black person who entered the neighborhood. He didn’t care, and he didn’t unlock the door. I asked the one black couple if they could give me a ride home after the meeting, but Ronald had waited for me out in the parking lot.
That evening made me want to swear, even though I don’t usually, because when people think using swear words is worse than people of color being murdered just for having brown skin, I think we should take a fucking stand against it. So I decided that night I won’t put up with that bullshit and I will take a fucking stand until it is safe for people of color to live their lives safely in America without the threat of dying by the hand of a racist while going about their daily business.
I will sit during the national anthem, in support of people of color who feel this country doesn’t want them here, doesn't think they matter, and will engage in murder to prove it, and until such time all Americans are duly able to exercise their rights as citizens and where they can safely be where they are; I will swear until Christians get their damned priorities straight and stop hating on people, claiming it is in God’s name that they are doing so, and until they remember the good news and act to live it; I will stand beside people of color in protest of the new Jim Crow, the blatant murder of people of color, and the segregation of our country where people of color are expected to be invisible so white people can feel comfortable. I will stand with them because their lives matter. I hope you will, too, even if you think it doesn’t affect you. Check your white privilege and join in, or else nothing will change. Join me in being a creative maladjusted. Don’t be silent.