US Anthem protest critics, hypocrites…police in systematic profiling, targeting of people of colour


THE current protests by sporting personalities over racial discrimination against people of colour by not just law enforcement officers, but the establishment as a whole, again exposes the US as a divided nation whose talk of equality and freedom is mere lip service to hoodwink the developing world into following a world order that is not only a sham but far removed from the goals of democratic tenets.
Since 1998, federal law states that during a rendition of the national anthem, when the flag is displayed, all present, including those in uniform, should stand at attention.
– Non-military service individuals should face the flag with the right hand over the heart;
– Members of the armed forces and veterans who are present and not in uniform may render the military salute;
– Military service persons not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and
– Members of the armed forces and veterans who are in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note.
The law further provides that when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.
Military law requires all vehicles on the installation to stop when the song is played and all individuals outside to stand at attention and face the direction of the music and either salute, in uniform, or place the right hand over the heart, if out of uniform. The law was amended in 2008, and since allows military veterans to salute out of uniform, as well.
However, this statutory suggestion does not have any penalty associated with violations. 
This behavioural requirement for the National Anthem is subject to the same First Amendment controversies that surround the Pledge of Allegiance.
The First Amendment (Amendment I) is one of the 10 Amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution.
The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, ensuring that there is no prohibition on the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.
President Donald Trump and his supporters have rallied against the National Anthem protest, claiming that it is unpatriotic and is disrespectful of the men and women who have given up their limbs and lives fighting for freedom at home and abroad.
The National Football League (NFL) and National Basketball Association have become involved in the protests as black athletes did not take kindly to the Trump administration’s attempts to silence those who are speaking about real issues that are affecting the black community.
The NFL is now making efforts to pass a law that would penalise athletes who kneel during the National Anthem.
The League bosses are preaching ‘peace’, which is a code word for black athletes to cease their protests in order to remove President Trump’s racist and bullying rants away from them, as this is cutting down on their profits.
Freedom of expression seems to be a right reserved for those who do not seek for justice and equality in the US.
When the Black Lives Matter movement began making waves, the White Lives Matter and others were used to water down the discourse that there is systematic profiling and targeting of people of colour by the police.
Now, African Americans are being attacked and labelled unpatriotic, with the main trend being to say their actions are disrespecting members of the military.
Somehow the National Anthem has become about the military, about those who died in foreign lands fighting for freedom, justice and all things American.
The irony in all this is that the same notions of freedom, equality, the right to be heard, the right for equal protection under the law, the right to express oneself that these ‘brace’ women and men died for are not being afforded to those who live within the US’s borders.
In a country that recently witnessed several protests across the country by members of white supremacy groups led by the Ku Klax Klan, with the White House making pronouncements of freedoms and rights for all, for President Trump to turn around and tweet: “The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our country, flag and National Anthem,” is the highest level of hypocrisy by a head of state in our era.
The US military engages in service and conflict partly to protect the rights granted under the nation’s laws.
If those rights aren’t fully realised or exercisable, the sacrifices of military members lose meaning.


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