By Hessie L. Harris

In the end, corporate America always follows the almighty dollar, which is the reason it casts its lot with progressives and political correctness.

That viewpoint has cost the NFL and its affiliates huge sums of money and prestige that they will never recover. After the “knee campaign” fizzled, Colin Kaepernick decided that he would show disrespect for the Betsy Ross flag by claiming that as a shoe emblem, it was objectionable because it was created during the period that slavery existed in America.

The whole situation is an example of cultural, racial and historical ignorance.

What led Nike to believe that Colin Kaepernick speaks for black America?  Surely the day has passed when black America is considered a monolith with designated spokesmen.

In fact, these days increasing numbers of black Americans actually know the elements of grammar, are articulate and can speak for themselves, thank you very much.

However, the historical ignorance of Colin Kaepernick and Nike is still in full bloom and on shameful display. Black Americans and slaves such as Peter Salem, a black freedman, and Salem Poor, a slave who purchased his freedom, both fought side by side with white Americans during the Revolutionary War. Crispus Attucks, a freedman, was the first American to die in the Revolutionary War.

James Armistad, a slave in the Continental Army posing as a runaway, was actually a double agent, feeding false information to the British while providing the truth to the Americans.  Because of his courage and ingenuity, he was freed after the war, along with many other slaves.

Meanwhile, General George Washington, while thoroughly outnumbered in troop strength, was able to force the British to surrender at Yorktown. President Washington’s knowledge of how valiantly the blacks fought during the war inspired him to grant freedom to his slaves in his will.

However, most slaves were not freed after the war and were put back into slavery by their masters.  Furthermore, freedmen still did not enjoy the benefits of full citizenship.   America still had a long way to go. 

Those blacks who had served in and supported the Continental Army had fought for “their country” under its flag, as they would do again in the future.  In spite of the stain of slavery and discrimination, they continued to believe in the promise of America and its ideals as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and later the Constitution.

At the same time, within their country, they fought against beliefs, attitudes and laws that deemed them inferior.  They knew that they were just as much Americans as any white person and entitled to the same rights and privileges granted to others.

The Betsy Ross flag was the symbol of all that was right and good about the nascent nation and all that it would become in the future. Therefore, the blacks proudly fought under that flag, valued it, and marched under it and later iterations of it.

So once again, Colin Kaepernick and his acolytes – including Nike – got it wrong.   They did not dishonor the flag. They disgraced and dishonored themselves.


Montgomery County Republican Party