Friday, September 19, 2008

Josh Howard is an American too.

This post is going to piss off some of you in the A-merry-ca "love it or leave it" crowd. It has to do with Josh Howard, a very fine, and to some, misguided player, who plays for the Dallas Mavericks. It seems Howard pissed off patriotic Americans from California to Maine, when he refused to recognize the national anthem at an Allen Iverson celebrity basketball game. And, of course, folks are up in arms. Most average A-merry-cans view this as damn near an act of treason, and they want Howard punished (Thank god he works for Mark Cuban). To compound things, Howard injected race and invoked the name of his O ness in his little You Tube moment, which made all the folks on the right even more pissed.

Well, not so fast. The last time I checked, this is A-merry-ca, and the reason we love this country so much, and are so patriotic, is because it allows young millionaires like *Josh Howard to say fuck you to the national anthem. Dwight Howard had every right to do what he did, as much as we have every right to stand at attention and cross our hearts when we hear it. (The anthem)This is A-merry-ca damn it, and no matter how much it offends us, if someone chooses to say screw patriotism, we have to live with it. Because that is exactly what makes this A-merry-ca; the fact that ordinary citizens---even young rich black ones---can choose to take a position on something that offends us, without fearing being thrown into jail, or having his or her right to make a living taken away. That is the kind of shit they do in countries that we overthrow, and invoke our will on. That is not the kind of shit we expect in a democracy.

Honestly, like Matt Watson who wrote the piece in the last link I provided said: I sure hope Howard does not backtrack and apologize for what he did. I hope he fesses up and says that he did exactly what he wanted to do. I am sick of faux patriotism and the hypocrisy of celebrities and high profile people.

So if you are a Mavericks fan, enjoy Howard's game, and hope he can get your team an NBA championship. If you are not, boo Howard like hell the next time he is introduced in a game, but boo him because he plays for the opposing team, not because he has views about his country that you find offensive.
*Thanks for the correction "ruffian96"


Donald said...

Enfuego! with the posts these days. Personally, I couldn't are less what Mr. Howard feeling are towards the National Anthem. That is HIS choice and do not reflect anyone elses opinion but HIS.
Now in the court of public opinion he guilty lost my thought....
Oh yea, McSame wants to do with the health insurance industry what the Rethuglicans did to the finacial industry!

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Sounds like someone or persons done pissed him off. Could it be the political coverage on MSM? You know the double standard thingee.

People in the Sun said...

All the right-wing blogs are filled with misguided outrage. It would have been hilarious if there weren't so many of these people. As if it's anyone's business if an immigrant doesn't want to speak English or if a kid has songs that mean more to him than the national anthem.

Maybe it is funny: there's a direct correlation between bad English grammar and outrage about immigrants not speaking English.

RiPPa said...

Why do I feel an honorary field Negro of the week upcoming on this page...

Anonymous said...

I'll boo his ass. I'm a Spurs fan. :-)

Where's the outrage over Mr. Morton's missing flag pin?

Black Diaspora said...

Now, I wonder what happened to all those fine, upstanding, patriotic flag burners who opposed the Vietnam War?

Howard's offense pales in comparison. But what makes his sin so egregious--let's face it--is because the offender is black, and (My God!) a millionaire to boot.

America made this ingrate rich, and he still gives it the "finger."

Another uppity nigga for sure, and a hanging would be too good for him.

What makes this country great is that, if we so choose, we can snub the national anthem, and burn the flag, and not be shipped off to some Gulag, or locked away in some Abu Ghraib torture chamber.

What country guarantees its citizens the freedom to mock the country, and its most reverent symbols, without fear of retribution.

I may have my problems with this country, but as long as I can choose to be reverential toward my country or not, choose to salute the flag or not, choose to sing the national anthem or not, or choose to wear a flag pin or not--then that's the country for me.

I want my freedoms maximized, not diminished by government decree.

Freedom is not freedom, if others will punish me for exercising those very freedoms they say they cherish.

Patriotism should be something that is freely given, not something that is coerced by threats--either against my life, my body, or my means of making a living.

Somehow, that makes a sham of the freedoms we say we care about.

Anonymous said...

"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”~~Howard Zinn~~
I saw this quote somewhere.

This comment has been removed by the author.
GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Whelp, I just got through reading that sidebar about Palin's husband the first dude. MSM needs to be questioning his patriotism. I wish someone would forward that article to Olbermann and Maddow.

The more I read about Palin and family, the more I not only question McCain's judgment, but I question his sanity. McCain is crazier than a road lizard if you ask me.


Hey there Field Negro!

It is interesting that you mentioned this issue because I wrote a post last week for 9/11 and I displayed a burning American flag with my blog post while asking whether ALL Americans are truly innocent.

I received some email from people telling me that it was sooo brave of me to display a burning flag on 9-11-2008. Why is it brave?

It is brave to ask the questions that we should have been asking all along?

I never stand for the National Anthem and grab my heart while the music plays.

I don’t get teary eyed when I hear it being sung.

I have never seen a white person weeping during “Lift Every Voice and Sing”.
Have you>

Dr. Jeremiah Wright stands for the National Anthem and he fought for this country that has tried to demonize and vilify them for mentioning that there is racism in America! Hasn’t he lived through Jim Crow? Hasn’t he watched fire hoses pointed at women and children who were peacefully demonstrating the racist laws of our nation? Hasn’t he been to any funerals of blacks who were lynched? But he can’t talk about racism in America? He’s not qualified to mention anything from his experience?

But I digress.

July 4, 1776 …hmmm…wait a minute…

There is something about that date that sticks out in my memory…

Blacks were living through 911 terrorism American-sponsored… they were still being held as slaves.

Of course I am patriotic... as patriotic as a black revolutionary OUGHT to be.

Excuse me? Dr. Harry Edwards? Will you pass me one of those black gloves you had at the Olympics? Oh thank you. Nooo, thank YOU!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Whelp, what I'd like to know is why all the so-called Christians on the right don't worship God as much as they do the flag? Exchanging the one and only God for a false god is interesting to say the least seeing how they always claiming to be so Christian. BTW, isn't the flag suppose to represent FREEDOM and a NATION, instead of JUST US?

field negro said...

blackwomenblowthetrumpet, where you been chile? I am scared of you and that 911 post.

"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”~~Howard Zinn~~
I saw this quote somewhere."

da, I saw that somewhere too :)

"All the right-wing blogs are filled with misguided outrage."

People in the sun, what else is new?

Respect Black said...

Ohhhh! I get order to be truly patriotic you have to sing "The Anthem". Well can someone give those jackasses on Wall Street that screwed over the American people a call and let them know that...because either they weren't singing loud enough or got a copy of the wrong damn lyrics!

Anonymous said...

How much did he give to charity?


Bob said...

Howard is a smart man, he overcame a lot to get where he is (barely scraped through high school, but he worked to improve his mind & graduated from a good college). He speaks for himself. I'd say he was raised to love this country & still does, & he's in touch with where he came from & knows how exceptional he is.

Anonymous said...

Amen, ... atheist. One of the writers of our Constitution also said that "...patriotism is the last bastion of scoundrels..." And, blackwomen...trumpet, it's kind of embarrassing to watch people - especially Negroes - get teary-eyed about this national anthem. But then we also have short/no memories.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

You know what I find interesting in the whole bailing out deal, is that this was a similar practice with the Bush family. Yup, all of Bush's brothers were bailed out with taxpayer's money when they scammed the Savings & Loan Co., Insurance Co., and Real Estate investments and got away with it. This seems to be a pattern with Bush, family, and friends. Bush Sr. was a master at all of the above. Hmmm...I can't help but draw the conclusion that this is another scam.

Winnowill said...

I live in Dallas and this mess is all over the papers and local sports radio. And as you can imagine, it sounds like Rush Limbaugh and Pat Buchanan suddenly took over for Mike and Mike in the Morning. Regardless, I'm with Josh. I know every last word to the Star Spangled Banner but I've never sung it. I do not salute the flag, sing the anthem, or recite the pledge of allegiance (to either the US or Texas flags. That's right, Texas schoolchildren recite both the national and state pledges every day. Sheesh.) And yes, it's because I am black. By no measure am I saying that blacks shouldn't salute the flag or sing the anthem. We should have the freedom to express our feelings for our country in the way we choose, positive or negative, both or neither, which is the whole point.

But for me, I have no intention of engaging in some thoughtless nationalistic gesture celebrating a flag that for too long has symbolized oppression, exclusion, imperialism and hypocrisy, supposedly representing freedom yet used to help deny it to many of its own citizens. And we have yet to have a true reckoning with this history and how institutional and systematic oppression persists to this day. Until thay time, spare me the meaningless platitudes not substantiated by reality. Call me unpatriotic? Trust me, I'll survive.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Oops, sorry last post was wrong topic, but that thought just came to my mind, and I wanted to bring that to folks attention.

Swiff said...

Land of the Free/
Home of the Brave/
And to hell with us niggas - we slaves/
That shoulda been the last line/
Of a song that's wrong from the git/
So when everybody stands/
I sit/

- Chuck D

ruffian96 said...

Just thought I would point out that in the third paragraph from the bottom you refer to the Mav's player in question as 'Dwight Howard' who is a center for the Orlando Magic. Slight error but they are two different players. Wouldn't want Mr. Superman dunk contest winner to be upset with the fields:)

Black Diaspora said...


Great rant!

@GrannyStandingforTruth: "McCain is crazier than a road lizard if you ask me."

Where do you get these "right-on" analogies?

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I fail to see why this is an issue.

Of course the right would focus on this instead of the fact that they are pro-socialism when it comes to bailing out bankers but not when it comes to making sure that the poor and working class have health insurance.

Last time I checked we still had freedom of speech in America.

They need to stop worrying about basketball players and start asking questions about the "first dude" who belonged to radical party that wants Alaska to secede from America. To me that is more unpatriotic than someone not singing the national anthem.

Black Diaspora said...

@ nyc/caribbean ragazza:

Today, someone summed it up this way: When it comes to the bailouts, we're "privatizing wealth, and socializing debt."

It appears that the Repugnicants can't use the elephant symbol any longer when it comes to the economy and their governance; the weasel seems far more appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Right on point, as usual, Field. It never ceases to amaze me that people cry foul over patriotism in the same breath that they seek to personal freedoms. I guess they don't have anything better to talk about (like the economy)....

On a side note, can anyone tell me what the f*ck the BQ was talking about when she said this? Is this English, or did she start talking in tongues?

""Oil and coal? Of course, it's a fungible commodity and they don't flag, you know, the molecules, where it's going and where it's not. But in the sense of the Congress today, they know that there are very, very hungry domestic markets that need that oil first," Palin said. "So, I believe that what Congress is going to do, also, is not to allow the export bans to such a degree that it's Americans that get stuck to holding the bag without the energy source that is produced here, pumped here. It's got to flow into our domestic markets first."

field negro said...

Thanks ruffian96, I always confuse those two. I don't know why, because Dwight Howard has a much nicer game :) Good looking out.

"@GrannyStandingforTruth: "McCain is crazier than a road lizard if you ask me."

Where do you get these "right-on" analogies?"

black diaspora, you are right, granny is the best when it comes to these sayings.

winnowill, thanks for the insight from Cowboys country. I can jus imahgine the uproar down there. I hope your owner sticks to his guns.

BTW,rippa, Cuban won't win HFN, because he fired my boy Avery)

"Ohhhh! I get order to be truly patriotic you have to sing "The Anthem". Well can someone give those jackasses on Wall Street that screwed over the American people a call and let them know that..."

black butterfly, you nalied that one.

"'s kind of embarrassing to watch people - especially Negroes - get teary-eyed about this national anthem. But then we also have short/no memories."

Anon.,I could not have said that better myself.

Jody said...

I am a human being, living on planet earth, until further notice. Borders and Nation-States are artificial barriers that were created by the owning class to amass wealth and control the people. My aliegance is to the human spirit that pursues dignity, respect, compassion and justice for all peoples. Period.

The environmental crisis is showing us that we are ALL in this boat together.... Nationalism does nothing toward healing this planet.

-=Topper=- said...

Let me just point out that this NBA player hasn't been the only uppity negro to diss patriotism.

If you need to, DO IT!

David Sullivan said...

I don't fault the man for his views, but how he did it was plain stupid!

Anonymous said...

I really do not understand why we have to do the national anthem at every sporting event in the first place. We play so much attention to symbolism and not bother to understand the meaning. People do not understand what it means to be American. They have no problem with honoring the flag, but more than willing to throw out the constitution. It's easy for people to get upset about Howard not singing the anthem and saluting the flag, but not outraged about the deplorable conditions at Guantanamo Bay. They do not care about push polling or intimidating people at the voting polls. People sit by and just allow the government to pick away their rights for the sake of being safe. People can whine about flag burning without looking at the bigger picture of free speech. I am going to say being a woman, but people just appeal too much to their emotions and suspend their rationality. We react to everything without at least thinking about what it all means. Honestly, as long as Howard didn't physically harm or inevitably shorten a person's life, then the discussion is moot. It is Howard's constitution right not to recognize the national anthem, and I do not have a problem with it. I can not stand ceremonial pageantry with all its pretentious histrionics. It's disingenuous and that's an understatement. Can I say you just can not put lipstick on a pig? Why bother going through the motions when it doesn't mean anything. It's like faking an orgasm. You know the sex isn't good, but you go through the motions with the pretense that it is as not to hurt your partner's feelings. I think that is what most do with the national anthem at sporting events. They do not know the words and the average person cannot sing the damn song. If they read the lyrics, they realize that the song doesn't make any sense.

Anonymous said...

There are many who do not agree with the Flag, National Anthem and all other things, which make America… A-merry-ca. I recall Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (Chris Wayne Jackson) a NBA player who exercises his rights by refusing to stand for the National Anthem.

I think refusing to stand for the National Anthem is such a waste; there are other tools to use for discontent. I would love too see Josh Howard (and friends) start a non-profit organization which mentor high risk urban males or put a brand on an urban computer lab for children, staffed by volunteers from Diversity Groups across Corporate America. The goal of this opportunity is to close the digital divided. The first url the children should learn is

One way to challenge the system is using an inside game (creditability) first … that said… Josh Howard until you have a real inside game… Stand your ass up for the damn song.

Francis Holland said...

The national anthem is that one that glorifies "rockets' red glare and bombs bursting in air", right? Well, if we'd had any rockets red glare on our own shores, we'd realize it was nothing to sing about and glorify.

Maybe if we stop glorifying wars, we'll have less of them. To me, the song's just pro-war propaganda and indoctrination. I'm not going to salute that.

Anonymous said...

Fuck America, i will never place my hand over my heart for a nation built on the backs of slaves, nor will i pledge allegiance to a flag or nation that used genocide against native peoples all for some flat butt,dog hair having crackers.My morals just wont allow it. Trudat

Anonymous said...

Is he?

Anonymous said...

East Austin:

I do not think refusing to stand or not stand to the national anthem is a waste, it's a matter of simply exercising your right. It's what makes you an American. I agree with you that Josh Howard could use his celebrity to improve the lives of others are who not in the same position. I think it's up to the individual what kind of American he or she wants to be. Being an American is not one size fits all. The problem is people's ability about change. The reality is that some white people believe that black people are not patriotic in the first place. Whoever these individuals are get to decide what culture morales that the nation should are full of it. When did field-dressing a moose become American? Hey, I can knit, but that is not a criteria of being an American or becoming VP of the country either.

field negro said...

east austin, I agree with you to some extent, and don't even get me started about the fact that some of these athletes should be giving more to the neighborhoods they came from. But having said that; as a citizen, he still has the right to sit or stand, or do whatever, when the anthem is being played.

hennasplace is right, when people start deciding what is and what isn't patriotic, we start heading down a dengerous road.

Anonymous said...

Tell me who's the real patriots
The Archie Bunker slobs waving flags? Or the people with the guts to work for some real change?

Rednecks and bombs don't make us strong. We loot the world, yet we can't even feed ourselves. Our real test of strength is caring, not the toys of war we sell the world. Just carry on, thankful to be farmed like worms, Old glory for a blanket as you suck on your thumbs, real freedom scares you because it means responsibility.

So you chicken out and threaten me, saying, "Love it or leave it".
I'll get beat up if I criticize it.
You say you'll fight to the death
to save your worthless flag. If you want a banana republic that bad, why don't you go move to one?

-Dead Kennedys, 1985: "Stars and Stripes of Corruption"

Anonymous said...

This ain't first time and won't be the last my brothas.

I too was the object of scorn (for not standing for the NA) from fellow teammates and school officials during a season of baseball when I was in high school during the 60's in the Bay Area. I didn't and to this day...put my hand over my heart or stand for the national anthem. All this pseudo-patriotic shit is nothing more than nationalistic propaganda to keep folks believing in this delusional democracy.

It was the murder of Dr. King, Brother Malcolm, Fred Hampton, Bunchy Carter, et al that really made me realized that no matter what we do...4.0 student...didn't athlete in high school...didn't matter...mother (Xavier University) and father (Chief Petty Officer - US Navy) both well-educated with good jobs...didn't matter, they were still NIGGERS.

I remember white boys leaving threatening messages in my locker...and actually getting into a fight with TWO after school that very day...of course, with the help of a brave latino brotha who assisted...we beat them muthafuckas ass in front of their friends and many other classmates.

I remember my father waiting in a Texaco gas station in Lodi, CA for a service attendant (I know I'm telling my age) to put gas in his car...when no one came, he got out (with me tailing him to get a soda) and started walking toward the attendant who turn around a told us "Git on outta here, we don't serve niggas" father look down at me, embarrassed but angered with this cracka's racist reprimand. My father was a big man...6'4", 240lbs and could've beat the shit outta this white piece of trash.

But we climbed back into his 64 Impala and looked for another station. I will NEVER FORGET the humiliation and anger on my father's face for the rest of my life. This man serve his country honorably in WWII and the Korean War...but could'nt get his gas pumped in a po-dunk town in No. California.

"Adjectives that Describe Blacks"

Ain't that a we don't already know that most white folks don't view our humanity as something they should respect or recognize. I'm sure the purpose of the poll is just more of the same "race-baiting" that has been a (IMHO) useful tool to direct and work white folks nerve that a nigga could be the next president.

As much as things much remains the same.

Makes you wanna holla...

David Sullivan said...

If I were a black man I don't know if I could pledge allegiance to a country that built itself on the back of my ancestors. I hold my hand over my heart because I think of all of those men that died for the ideal, however misguided they may have been by their governments choices as to enter war. I hold out hope that we are slowly going in the right direction and this experiment we know as the USA will work out in the end.

If a black man can hold the highest elected office in the country, then it may be an indication we are not far off.

Anonymous said...

Close your mind
close your eyes
see with your heart
how do you forgive the murderer of your father?
the ink of a scholar is worth a thousand times
more than the blood of a martyr

we came through the storm nooses on our necks and a smallpox blanket to keep us warm
on a 747 on the pentagon lawn
wake up the alarm clock is connected to a bomb

anthrax lab on a West Virginia farm
shorty ain't learned to walk already heavily armed
civilians and little children is especially harmed camouflaged torahs, bibles and glorious qurans

the books that take you to heaven and let you meet the Lord there
have become misinterpreted, reasons for warfare
we read em with blind eyes i guarantee u there's more there
the rich must be blind b/c they didn't see the poor there
need to open up a park, just close 10 schools
we don't need em
can u please call the fire department they're
down here marching for freedom
burn down their TV's, turn their TV's on to teach em

The more money that they make
the more money that they make
the better and better they live
whatever they wanna take
whatever they wanna take
whatever whatever it is
the more that you wanna learn
the more that you try to learn
the better and better it gets
American Terrorist

now the poor klu klux man can't see that we're all brothers not b/c things are the same b/c we lack the same color

that's green, now that's mean
cant burn his cross cause he cant afford the gasoline now if a Muslim woman strapped with a bomb on a bus with the seconds running give you the jitters?

just imagine a American-based Christian organization planning to poison water supplies to bring the
second-coming quicker

nigga - they ain't living properly
break em off a little democracy
turn their whole culture to a mockery give em coca-cola for their property give em gum, give em guns, get em young, give em fun
if they ain't giving it up, then they ain't getting none and don't give em all naw ,man, just give em some its the paper, then these cops must be al-qaeda

It's like
don't give the black man food, give red man liquor
red man fool, black man nigga
give yellow man tool, make him railroad builder
also give him pan, make him pull goldfrom river

give black man crack, glocks
to teens, give red man craps, slot machines...

(end chorus)

History lesson in a song...

Lupe Fiasco...American Terrorist

Anonymous said...

I'm from Dallas I was ashamed to see the comments by people who are *shocked* a black man wouldn't just be enthralled with his country. Same story about Michelle O. and how she should be eternally grateful and proud of her country and how dare she question anything. . . whatever. I admire the guy for his courage. If this is a free country, I shouldn't have to stand up, sing anything, put my hand over my heart, or bow my head.

Anonymous said...

the fact that ordinary citizens---even young rich black ones---can choose to take a position on something that offends us, without fearing being thrown into jail, or having his or her right to make a living taken away

I call bullshit on this statement, Field.
Just ask journalist Amy Goodman and her camera crew, the people on the Terror Watch List/No Fly List, the innocent people on death row, the people who were arrested trying to citizen arrest Karl Rove, and even some of your clients (the innocent ones).

I don't know what country you're talking about, Field, but this is AmeriKKKa. They won't arrest Howard today, but they would if he were anywhere near where the bigwigs like the RNC folks are at.

That is not the kind of shit we expect in a democracy.

Perhaps...but if McCain's "elected" would this still be a democracy or a military dictatorship?

SagaciousHillbilly said...

I find all the flag saluting, heart crossing, national anthem bullshit to be nothing but cult-like behavior.
I refuse to participate.

field negro said...

segacious, somehow I can't see you standing at attention with your hand over your heart :)

anon.7:22PM, thanks for the lyrics. Lupe Fiasco has some skills.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Reminds me of the brothas at the Olympics decades ago who gave the black power fist. What an amazing moment in history, which as we know, repeats itself.

Anonymous said...

Not here to talk about how race is involved, but how Mav fans are affected.
1. Josh admitted publicly to smoking pot, a banned substance in the nba.
2. Josh threw a big b-day party the night before a playoff game which the Mavs lost.
3. Now he brings more negative attention to a team that is falling part.
Of course he has the right to feel however he wants about the country. Chris Jackson, because of his religious beliefs (muslim) sat down during the anthem. His beliefs didn't have a negative effect on the team. Josh and his immaturity is, well, that and Dirk is a pussy, is putting a team that had the best record in the league 2 seasons ago on the verge of not making the playoffs.
Speaking as a guy... don't screw my sports teams over!!

Ms B. =) said...

So Josh Howard issued an apology...
But its a no go for the end of the nightmare "anti-americanism" scandal that will so follow is his ass throughout Texas till the end of time!!!!

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