Every Race Has a Flag but the Coon

Nkrumah History, Social Injustice 0 Comments

Every Race Has a Flag but the Coon was written in 1901 and was one of the biggest hits in America that year. It was written by two white men, composer J. Fred Helf and lyricist Will A. Heelan. The lyric is sung from the perspective of a black American who is ashamed to be black, because, as he so articulately states “What won’t the Yankees do for their old red, white and blue, every race has a flag but the Coon.”
The singer then goes on to suggest that he might show some initiative and create a flag for blacks, his idea is to take a flannel shirt, paint it red, draw a chicken on it with two poker dice for eyes, waving razors around its head, “with a possum with a pork chop in its teeth.”
This song was penned over THREE decades after the 14th amendment was passed in 1868 making former blacks AMERICAN citizens.
It has been said that this song was so offensive at the time that it could incite violence by merely whistling it the direction of a black American.
In fact, the red, green and black colors that one often sees Black Americans wearing while protesting social injustice were created in 1920 by Marcus Garvey in DIRECT response to THIS song.
President Trump has called for Americans to boycott the NFL for allowing athletes to kneel during the singing of the National anthem, but even the Star Spangled Banner itself has an infamous third verse (one that you NEVER hear sung) that advocates executing slaves that had the audacity to fight alongside the British in exchange for their freedom from ENSLAVEMENT.
This is how DEEP racism is rooted into the DNA of the United States of America. Our own national anthem had to have a verse omitted because it is so offensive.
So while you might not be following the President’s lead this Sunday and boycotting the NFL BECAUSE you’re offended that some athletes are kneeling during the national anthem to protest social injustice and the NFL hasn’t banned participating in these PEACEFUL protests, let’s get something clear, they are not protesting the flag, the national anthem, the men and women in the armed services, or being anti-law enforcement or anti-White.
They are peacefully protesting social injustice.
For some Americans the stars and stripes, the national anthem, the pledge of allegiance are SYMBOLS and ODES to what America represents IDEALLY (one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL) while others, see those ideals ring hollow and they want America to BE the country that we like to “advertise on the tin”.
The way I see it, we only have two choices.
We can either work TOGETHER to address the social injustices that have prevented America from EVER being a nation of liberty and justice for ALL, OR we can stay the course and be a nation that asks people who are the historical victims of social injustice to accept it as the price they pay to live here. We can remind those who do protest or support the protestors that they should be THANKFUL that social injustices in this country aren’t WORSE, or lastly, and most disturbing, being openly nostalgic about a time in America when social injustice was worse and advocating that America should go BACK to those times.
IMHO if you are one of those Americans who believe in the American “ideal”, that we are one nation, indivisible with liberty and justice for all, and it upsets you to be reminded that we aren’t there, then you really only have ONE choice.
Help us get there.

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