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When Respect Overtakes Prejudice
10/18/2016 4:36:25 PM

By Hakim Abdul-Ali 

Living in a globally utopian world full of ethically different "colored" folk is and has always been a challenge, especially to "those" folk who are politically marginalized, economically underrepresented and systematically oppressed. Sounds like a lot like the sagas of many soul "brothas" and "sistas" and other oppressed "colored" folk in this nation to me.

For all of these maybe rejected folk and neglected others, the very thought of universal freedom, justice and equality in this land has always been an uphill climb to envision what freedom for all is really, really meant to be.

In America, the insidious "his-storical" skin color and religious prejudices towards certain people of color ranks high on the scale of "hue-man" injustices, until that scale is rusty with continual governmental broken promises and societal false oaths of equality for all.

All of this makes me reflect and think about when is freedom, justice and equality ever going to be a living reality for this vast country's expanding people of color, or is it going to be the perpetual, vexing political banter that is heard about their bewildering conditions when elections roll around. Sometimes, it makes me ask out loud, "For Whom Does the Flag Wave?”

That's a pertinent question if you visualize wanting a respected equality, freedom and justice for the land of your birth to be a reality where all are treated equally, like I do, with a sense of love for all and hatred for none.

I hope that doesn't sound too self-righteous, but I do believe that this potentially great nation of ours needs more than mere puppet words to fix the centuries-old segregated concept of clandestine equality, freedom and justice political rap for all line that still exists in our land.

From the cries of many of today's young, uptight so-called minorities to the legions of seasoned (and still waiting to when is it gonna come) ethnic senior citizens of color, know that America, in many Euro-American political sectors, has become a galvanizing magnet for closet racism to thrive and grow like an unidentifiable virus spreading throughout the land. Sometimes, when I hear some privileged political folk talk about making America great again, I have to ask politely, again, "For Whom Does the Flag Wave?"

While you ponder the realities of that inquiry by me, you should know that movements like "Black Lives Matter," for example, did not, all-of-sudden, come about unless something was inherently wrong with the prevailing political, educational, judicial and economical systems that govern and run this country for certain deprived masses of people of color.

That reality, along with all the political chicaneries existing today, lets me know that something is wrong when, apparently, no major nor minor political candidate can be trusted to tell the truth as their words come back to haunt them, time and time again, when their once invisible lies are no longer hidden. Aren't you tired of this?

That brings me to the aspect of respect for truth as I'm reflecting on the recent revolutionary stance of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's position to sit during and not stand for the playing of the national anthem, the "Star Spangled Banner," before any of the games his team was playing. His bold and staunch position, as a protest against what he feels is the racial injustices towards America's African-Americans in many ways, has ignited a national firestorm of opinions and concerns, both pro and con.

Of course, as you probably already know and imagine, the quarterback's sentiments have been met with anti-debates in many circles, just as it has set off a sympathetic movement among many oppressed people of color, who are seemingly in agreement with Mr. Kaepernick's views and thoughts about this inflammatory issue. What are your thoughts on this hot topic, or are you afraid to voice your opinion for fear of being recognized as a knowledgeable student of American pride and a thinker of factual consciousness?

Think about that charge for a moment as you consider what the "Star Spangled Banner," as a lyrical "his-storical" truth, actually implies. There's the concluding lyric that causes me to consciously wonder and forever think "For Whom Does the Flag (Really) Wave?" Listen closely.

This last emphatic lyric in case you didn't know it says, "O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave." I wonder to whom and what Francis Scott Key, the author of the national anthem, was really addressing and referring to. Hmm! Maybe, you should do a little serious homework to discover what "lies" behind many things that don't seem to crystallize in understanding the dichotomies of the deceptive realities of fabrication, truth, fiction and fact that are and have been "his-storically" accepted by many as truth without validation.

My research about Mr. Key reveals that he was a slave owner and a lawyer in Maryland, with a known and skewed historical record of disrespect for and towards the "colored" folk of African descent. Do your own homework, and you'll be surprised at what you may find if you're so inclined, if it matters to you at all.

In this country where so many things have "his-storically" been passed on throughout the centuries without thorough fact checking the authenticity of those things and their legitimate intentions and meanings until we, as a non-thinking entity, quite literally fall for anything. We all accepted so many lies just because "some" folks from the past passed some things to you through mis-education and indoctrinations that are clearly racist, factually bogus and without proper validity.

In spite of this, I sense that as I listen to many folk today with diverse opinions in my own worlds of existences and clearly hear their views, it's still good because I hear freedom at work. Not everyone will agree with everyone on every subject or issue, but it's with respect that makes me think that’s somehow, what freedom to speak one's mind in a democracy is "supposed" to be about, and, that, again, is just my respectful outlook on this point.

Mr. Kaepernick, an American by birth, is entitled to and deserves that respect also, no matter how you feel about his views on protesting police brutality and institutional racism that is clearly reflected in the stark disparities certain traditional ethnic racial groups in this country. "His-story" does not hide when the truth of racism and bigotry escapes from the darkest corners of lies and falsehoods for all to see.

Colin Kaepernick's stance is just another position statement in the "our-storical" legacy of freedom fighting souls. He clearly is that, and like I've said before, respect is a two way street because it goes in both directions. Love his views or dislike them, he still deserves the respect for voicing them. To me, this is and that is what made (and still makes) America great from way back then until now.

I hope that you respect me for sharing this with you today, and as always, that's, "As I See It."

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