Dear Mr. Brees,
I am a huge football fan, and–although I am a NY Giants fan, I have always admired your skills and abilities on the field. I had respected you as a person as well. However, while I still respect you, I am very disappointed in you in light of your recent comments about not tolerating anyone who “disrespects the flag” [by kneeling in silent protest when the National Anthem is played].
You fail to see that these protests are not, nor have they ever been, about “disrespecting the American flag”! Mr. Brees, you mentioned that your grandfathers served our country and that’s why the flag means so much to you. May I remind you that your grandfathers probably served alongside Black men? Do you realize that Black men served, and continue to serve, a country that views them as “less than human”, as “thugs”, as “a threat”, as a menace to society??? Yes, your grandfathers served our country. But, so did my father and my uncle–and my Dad is a Black man who still, at 94, feels the affects of racism (my uncle has passed on and is in heaven)!
As far as “disrespecting the flag”, well, let’s delve further into that, Mr. Brees.
The “Pledge Of Allegiance” is as follows:
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. And to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”.
Mr. Brees, let’s break down some of the phrases in this Pledge:
“One nation, under God”: this country is NOT one nation under God– in fact, this society seems to be trying to remove God and any semblance of godly values completely out of the picture. Therefore, “one nation under God” is a lie!
“Indivisible”: this country is more divided than it has ever been– and we have a leader in the White House who seems to enjoy fueling that division! (Even many members of his own party are regretting putting him in office–that says a lot, don’t you think?) Therefore, “indivisible” is a lie!
“With liberty and justice for all”: To me, this is the most blatant lie of all– because, clearly, there is NOT liberty and justice for all people; there’s only liberty and justice for SOME, and let’s face it–most of that “some” are people who like YOU, Mr. Brees! When a Black man gets labeled a thief while he’s only going for a jog, then gets shot and killed, that is not justice for all! When another Black man gets thrown to the ground while in handcuffs, then has a police officer kneel on top of him with his knee in this Black man’s neck for close to 9 minutes–while this Black man is crying out for his mother and saying he can’t breathe–and that Black man ends up dying, that is not justice for all! ( I can’t possibly name all of the Black men and women who have been unjustly targeted and harmed or killed by the police–the list is too long!)
Mr. Brees, I can only assume you fall into one of three categories:
- You can’t see that it’s not about disrespecting the flag, because you have been living in a bubble all of your life.
- You can’t see that it’s not about disrespecting the flag because you DON’T want to see the injustice of racism because it makes you uncomfortable.
- You DO see the injustices of racism, but you just don’t care about the pain and trauma of anyone who doesn’t look like you.
I don’t know which category you fall into. But I do know this: if YOU continue to place your hand over your heart and recite the words to the Pledge Of Allegiance–knowing how things really are in this country– then every time you recite that pledge, you are lying, Mr. Brees! And I believe THAT is more disrespectful to the American flag than any kneel-down during the National Anthem!
Here’s what I have decided to do: I cannot in good conscience recite the Pledge Of Allegiance as is, knowing that most of this pledge is a lie, seeing what is and has been happening in this country. However, I will recite THIS pledge if ever the occasion arises where I must stand for the Pledge Of Allegiance:
“I pledge allegiance to the Most High God, who is above everything and everyone including the USA. And to HIS republic for which I stand–in the hopes that we will one day, become one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”! Because, THAT pledge, Mr. Brees, is closer to the truth!