Wednesday, June 30, 2021

My Two Cents: Gwen Berry

I’ll try to keep this brief … it’s about Gwen Berry, Hammer thrower and political activist, who appeared to turn her back on the American flag as ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ was played at the U.S. Olympic Trials over the weekend. As the song ended, Berry put a black T-shirt with the words "Activist Athlete" on her head. And this isn’t Berry’s first time protesting; at the 2019 Pan American Games she raised her fist in the air as the anthem played.

But this time, this time is the last straw for many on the right, and many who are white. Following her silent protest, many on the right came for her; Texas congressman Dan Crenshaw says Berry should be removed from the team; Senator Ted Cruz tweeted, "Why does the Left hate America;" and former GOP presidential candidate and ex-Wisconsin governor Scott Walker blasted Berry on Twitter:

"What is wrong with people? Growing up, everyone stood for the American flag. Didn't matter your politics, race, sex, income, religion; everyone stood for the flag. It was one of those civic rituals that brought us together. It still should today."  

Here’s the issue these politicized white Republicans don’t understand: this country hasn’t been decent to people of color; sure, slavery is over; sure segregation is over; sure Black people now have the right to vote; sure they’ve won their Civil Rights. But how many white Americans had to fight for those rights? How many white Americans were stolen from their homes, shipped across an ocean, chained together in the bowels of a sailing vessel, sold into slavery, beaten, raped, tortured and murdered?

Yes, all that’s over, to some extent, but we still see Black men, women and children, murdered by police for cigarettes and counterfeit bills, toy guns and failing to signal a lane change, broken taillights and walking while Black.

That deserves a protest. From Gwen Berry, and from all of us. It deserves a protest because these same white GOP politicians don’t hold the Capitol insurrectionists in that same regard. To them, turning your back on the anthem is a crime, but storming the United States Capitol in riot gear, racist shirts, and Confederate flags is patriotism … if you’re white.

Gwen Berry:

"I never said I hated this country! People try to put words in my mouth but they can't. That's why I speak out. I LOVE MY PEOPLE." 

She’s just trying to make it better. And more equal.


Helen Lashbrook said...

If these Repugnant gits spent more time dealing with eradicating slavery across the world then they'd have less time to get into a hissy fit about people objecting their gerrymandering and all the ways they try to keep people of colour (and non Repugnants) down.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

More power to Gwen Barry and other athletes like her!

the dogs' mother said...

She has a voice, she uses it,
and best wishes to her.

xoxo :-)

Ramón said...

Republican conveniently ignore that protest ignited USAmerica's revolution against British rule; it ended child labor, women HAD to protest for the right to vote; protest got workers 8-hour work days - - - - the list is long, and republicans were beneficiaries of two centuries of protest.

Moving with Mitchell said...

I admire and respect Gwen Berry and I would have been right there with her.

Steve Reed said...

Bravo. Absolutely. And I take issue with Scott Walker's assertion that "growing up, everyone stood for the American flag." He's about my age, and when I grew up, there were Black Panthers and many others being justifiably critical of America and its institutions. Walker just wasn't paying attention, or he has a selective memory. It's more of that "oh-the-past-was-so-much-better" revisionism that obsesses conservatives.

Mistress Maddie said...

I totally agree with everything you say. There nothing wrong or demeaning by what she did. These white conservative don't understand...these people love their country....its just the experience they receive is not the same as their privileged asses.

On a side note I think our national anthem should be America the beautiful.

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Every time a Repug or xtianist conservative wrap themselves in the flag and grab their pearls, an angel gets his wings.
She wanted to make a point and she did.
Good for her.


uptonking said...

Yeah... the backlash came fast and swift, because the media is starved for conflict of this nature. I applaud her efforts. It's her party... she can do what she wanna... Those that are upset? I don't think they would pass a test when it comes to true loyalty... it's a lot of the same people who are in denial about Jan 6th!

Janie Junebug said...

"Growing up, everyone stood for the American flag": Except, perhaps, people who didn't have a voice, the unrepresented, unnoticed, people of color.


Bob said...

Not every person's relationship with America is the same; ask People of Color, ask the LGBTQ+ community. Out America's are quite different than the white cisgendered America these folks long for.

We have Free Speech here and she's using hers. love it.

White people have trouble when People of Color protest because they think it's anti-American when really it's anti-hate.

Scott Walker is irrelevant, even in the GOP, so he's clinging to his fifteen minutes.

I saw Meghan McCain whining about this on TV, saying that she couldn't express her love for the flag, her patriotism for the country, her love of the anthem because the left hates that conservative ideal.
Yet she said all of it on TV and no one stopped her, proving her own argument invalid and dumb-assed.

They wrap themselves in the flag because they think it makes them look less racist, but they just look like racists wrapped in flags.

Those who are upset should be treated like a Black American for a while and then see how they feel.