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Resist

and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire.  (Daniel 3:11 NRSV)

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light? What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming? Those are the opening lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner, which was written in 1812, which today expresses respect, honor and reverence towards our country, military and flag - it shows allegiance. Out of this respect, you stand and place your hand over your heart in respect. To fail to do so, is frowned upon because it shows a disrespect to all the things that many feel make this country “great.”

This is what we’ve been programmed to do since we were children, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. However, for African Americans and the poor, this allegiance is only one sided. By definition, allegiance means loyalty of a subordinate to a superior. This is how our country has brainwashed individuals who are African American, live in our zip code or come from our economic background to believe, that we should be loyal to flag and country regardless of how we are treated and respected.

Our only option is to resist the mindset that insist our values are inferior. Symone Sanders explains this means we have to resist the urge to roll over and go with the flow. To resist the want to normalize what has happened and take our eye off the ball of the issues. It means we must stand up for what we know is right and true, not because it is popular but because it is necessary.

The National Football League has just recently adopted a new national anthem policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if they choose not to stand, according to ESPN. If players on the field refuse to stand, the team is subject to a fine. This is in lines with what the commissioner says is respectful of the national anthem. this sounds like the decree from Nebuchadnezzar’s orders to fall and worship at the sound of the music as illustrated in Daniel 3.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego illustrates for us what it means to resist. They paid no attention to Nebuchadnezzar, but they did what was necessary regardless of the consequences. As NFL players face scrutiny, face fines and lose endorsements for there position towards the National Anthem and use their platform as a means of protest towards police brutality let us consider ways to support their efforts. Our voices should be heard. Our boycotts should hurt economically. This is what is necessary. Our resistance may prevent other brothers and sisters from becoming the text Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Philando Castile, or Sandra Bland.

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