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Blacks In Military Refuse To Stand For Flag, Anthem

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Jack Flash
Blacks In Military Refuse To Stand For Flag, Anthem

Excerpted From Yahoo News: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and a growing number of athletes have been called “unpatriotic” for their refusal to stand during the national anthem. But now, the form of protest may be spreading in the military – an entity where respect to national symbols is expected and such an act holds much more controversy.

Since August, at least two cases have occurred where black members of the military posted public accounts of themselves refusing to stand or salute to the national anthem, an obligation for enlisted troops in the US military that can be enforced by disciplinary actions.

Compared to professional athletes such as Kaepernick, enlisted men or women who choose this form of protest may face more severe consequences and criticism for their actions – and perhaps the reason why they chose to do so in the first place – that could be interpreted as either brave or blatant disrespect for the nation and institution they serve.

In August, an African-American sailor at the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Pensacola, Fla., who has not been identified, posted a video of herself on Facebook sitting down alone on a bench near a flagpole with a raised fist – a symbol for the Black Power movement – while a recording of the national anthem played. It was not a military exercise nor was she in uniform. The video was widely shared by a Facebook page unaffiliated with the US Army that condemned the act.

In the video, the sailor references Kaepernick’s protest and explains her actions for freedom of speech and equality, all the while describing her nervousness in doing so and how hard it was, saying it was a “small” but “significant” act.

“I made a small statement and I’m proud of it … I’m still nervous, my hands are still shaking,” she said. “I don’t not respect the men and women whom I serve alongside. It’s just until this country shows that they got my back as a black woman … they got my people’s back … I can’t and I won’t be forced to [stand.]”

A similar protest occurred this month when another sailor with the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Petty Officer 2nd Class Janaye Ervin, posted a status on Facebook about her refusal to stand during the anthem.

“On September 19, 2016, while in uniform, I made the conscious decision to not stand for the Star Spangled Banner because I feel like a hypocrite, singing about ‘land of the free’ when, I know that only applies to some Americans. I will gladly stand again, when ALL AMERICANS are afforded the same freedom,” her now deleted post said, as reported by the Associated Press. “The Navy has decided to punish me for defending the Constitution and has taken away my equipment I need to do my Naval job. It was my pleasure serving my country, I love it dearly, that is why I must do this for you. I will keep you all posted on what happens next!”

Ms. Ervin’s actions elicited reactions from both sides. It triggered Brooklyn resident Brandon Akins to start a Change.org petition called “Keep black soldiers out of jail for choosing not to stand for national anthem,” which had the signatures of around 400 supporters at the time of publication. A Facebook page called “Hold Janaye Ervin Accountable,” which condemned her for failing to follow navy rules, was also created.

According to the Associated Press, troops have to salute when the anthem is played either to the flag or the direction of the music when they’re in uniform. When they’re not in uniform, they have to place their hands over their hands or salute.

Ms. Ervin’s actions elicited reactions from both sides. It triggered Brooklyn resident Brandon Akins to start a Change.org petition called “Keep black soldiers out of jail for choosing not to stand for national anthem,” which had the signatures of around 400 supporters at the time of publication. A Facebook page called “Hold Janaye Ervin Accountable,” which condemned her for failing to follow navy rules, was also created.

According to the Associated Press, troops have to salute when the anthem is played either to the flag or the direction of the music when they’re in uniform. When they’re not in uniform, they have to place their hands over their hands or salute. Keep reading

  • RubyTwoThree

    FOAD and get out of our military.

  • regina.layne

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  • ATTILA727

    Dishonorable discharge the bitch.

  • catherineinpvb

    Just ‘who’ are these ‘soldiers’ going to fight for; when sent on Mission? Their choice – or the Country that ‘brought them’. . .Meantime; can hope for ‘Moral Conviction’ brought to bear. . .and hopefully, quickly. Optimism a challenge, however; given lights of current CIC Leadership; where what is good and necessary for our Military. . .is deemed ‘bad’. And what is bad. ..is made ‘good’.

    And so, here we are. . .the Unraveling of Greatness. A now, painfully familiar Obama,Inc. MO… .that stands per goals; only with that, of our enemies.

  • Medicinewoman2

    You are hereby discharged. Dismissed.

    • Bosco127

      Dishonorably!

  • Jackie Puppet

    Ship ’em out to sea, then have ’em go for a swim in the middle of the ocean when it’s dark.

  • Samuel Kimball

    How about court martial-BCD and get’em out of there. How disrespectful to your country.

    A

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