The Anthem, Police Brutality or Both?

Colin Kaepernick

An Opinion Piece By Elisha Brown

It’s no secret that Colin Kaepernick is making history by protesting police brutality during the national anthem. Let’s be clear before we go on further, Kaepernick is not protesting the anthem, he is using the anthem as a vehicle to bring attention to his cause, which is police brutality.

Earlier this week, I was frustrated that Rico LaVelle chose to sing the national anthem while kneeling. The debate I encountered on twitter was whether they could take the money to sing the anthem and protest at the same time. However, I strongly feel that singing the national anthem sends a stronger message, than any opposing message you could make while singing it. In my opinion, the best message to send is by not singing it at all.

Let’s briefly review the history of the national anthem. The national anthem did not become the national anthem until more than a century after it was written and was originally named “Defence of Fort M’Henry.” The first stanza is the stanza we sing as the anthem. However, there are four stanzas. The song is about the war against the British in 1812 and the war was over territory. Since England eradicated slavery before America did, American slaves fought on the side of the British in order to obtain their freedom. In the third stanza, the line reads, “No refuge could save the hireling and slave. From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.” When I hear “bombs bursting in air” I don’t feel patriotic, those lines represent death and despair. We just have to throw the whole anthem away. View Post