I use to fear walking alone on the streets as a black boy, and when I joined the U.S. military in 2008, I feared being a black young man in fear of losing my life – not to someone overseas, but to the white men on my team who hated my skin pigmentation. Today, I still face opposition as a black man. Many of us, black people, aren’t welcomed in America as much as the next illegal alien or immigrant. Many of us black people may not completely agree with everything America stands for, but some of us believe we live here because God allowed us to be here on purpose. I can understand how it’s not so easy to be excited about the pledge of allegiance or the national anthem. I also understand how our emotions can get stirred up in frustration, fear, and fluster. A bit angry? I ask, how much longer do we look for excuses to blame others for our misery and wicked hearts? To my minorities and underprivileged, how much longer will we selfishly live as if we were the only slaves who walk this earth? Abused, rejected, hated, mistreated, discriminated and finally put to death – are all, however not the only things Jesus experienced (Isaiah 53); what makes any minority more special than Christ? I value my heritage like any other black man. It breaks my heart to learn what black people experienced in history, and evermore today, after all the blood, sweat and tears black people put into helping to build this country; and fighting so long for peace and justice.

We, black people, were exiled from our land and scattered abroad to work as slaves. We helped build elevators in America and most Americans continuously walk all over us like escalators as if we’re unimportant or irrelevant. Sure, just ignore the fact that black people helped build the white house, and the railroad – we picked cotton, worked the sugar cane fields and tobacco fields; We helped the Caucasian race by serving as their maids and butlers in their homes by cooking, cleaning, and babysitting; We influenced the music culture by creating music such as the blues, soul, jazz, hip-hop, r & b. We invented peanut butter, the soles for shoes, the traffic light, the automobile, the light bulb, air conditioning, clothes dryers, wash machines, the television, and so much more. Many ask: ‘Is this really true?’ I get it, it’s not something revealed in school as if none of the facts matter – Who discovered America first? Who were the true originators of great America? Who contributed the most? Who stole the land from who and who deserves most respect living in America? Sounds like what the Israelites would have said to the Egyptians during their exodus, somewhat if not all. Right? No peace until there is justice right? What about, ‘Where’s the appreciation, where’s the credit?’

Since we seek to give credit where credit is due – who do you think created this earth; filled it with water, every green plant, herb, and resources for mankind to survive and thrive? Was it our forefathers? Our ancestors? The Pilgrims or the Native Americans? Did you know that the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it (Psalm 24:1)? We bicker and dispute over things that won’t last, and if it all were to fade away right now, the only thing we will say is, “a reward in heaven is surely greater than any reward on earth (Luke 6:20-26).” If any race is the enemy to the black culture, then the people of that race were only footstools black people needed to be most creative and effective in lack of resources the privileged culture had. All things work together (Romans 8:28). We need each other. The pilgrims needed the Native Americans to avoid starvation in the cold winter, just as much as the Native Americans needed the Pilgrims in order to be a blessing (Acts 20:35). There is so much information out there, knowledge can easily be misconstrued. Will we truly die one day, look back and say, ‘look at all I or my people did for the world?’ Will it even matter (Isaiah 64:6) after it all fades away (Isaiah 40:8)? What’s up with all of this pride? We seek peace by arguing with a man without consulting the God who created all men. True peace comes from the Lord (Isaiah 26:3). What if we held on to the peace that the Lord gives in the way we love to grip pride, bitterness, and spitefulness (Exodus 14:14, John 14:27, John 16:33, Philippians 4:6-8, Romans 12:17-21)?

If we’d stand together, we’d be stronger people (Blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians, Mexicans, etc.); Not a color or race for its own kind and against the other color and race. I urge us all to wake up and move forward! We all bleed red. We’re all in this together. No one is in any moral position to say another person is too corrupt to deserve love, life or forgiveness (Romans 3:10). No human point of view or emotional stance can supersede or negate God’s Word, which abides forever (1 Peter 1:24-25). Evil knows no race, gender, or color (Ephesians 6:12). Don’t allow pride, hate or racial divisions, and unforgiveness lead to civil war. Where there is pride, afterward comes destruction (Proverbs 16:18). Where there is hate there is conflict (Proverbs 10:12). Where there is unforgiveness there is separation from God (John 9:31). God’s ways and standards are so much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9); So much higher than ours He considers pride to be an abomination (Proverbs 16:5), and hate to be murder (1 John 3:15), and unforgiveness to be a hindrance (Matthew 5:23-24) – which leads to strife. Where there is strife there are all kinds of confusion which leads to ungodliness – hate, violence, murder, etc. (James 3:16). There is a thief (John 10:10) with no skin color, out to steal, kill and destroy, through deception and delusions (Romans 8:6), what God intended for mankind to be and have. The rejection of God’s Holy presence in almost all of America is killing America. The increase of pride, hatred, murder, idolatry, blasphemy, and apostasy in America is killing the heart of America, and one day we will all have to answer to God for what’s inside of our hearts.

We live in a nation where we say, “one nation under God”, but we’re divided by stubborn, rebellious, disobedient, lukewarm, and unrighteous walls, which hardens our hearts to the voice of God Almighty. We pledge allegiance to a flag in stadiums as one, but leave divided. We send our children to godless schools, to learn godless knowledge, then they go home to live in godless homes, to watch godless television, then parents send them to godless church’s – How do we ever expect to live Godly lives (2 Chronicles 7:14)? Colin Kaepernick, an American football quarterback, took a knee during the national anthem in 2016 fighting for injustice. For this reason, Colin was condemned along with like-minded NFL players. How is it that our leaders attack peaceful protests which are not in their favor, then ignore the white Nazi, violent protests as if it is okay? So, do I stand during the national anthem? Do I pledge allegiance to the flag? Is it considered mandatory in the constitution? What if I wanted to exercise my first amendment rights by kneeling to raise awareness to a situation we all seem to ignore, over and over and over? Yes, we must respect our leader in authority (Romans 13:1-7), and we must also continue to disassociate with the fruitless deeds of darkness, and expose them (Ephesians 5:11). Regardless, I follow God, not men (Acts 5:29). I only kneel to God and in the end, everyone on earth will as well (Romans 14:11).

“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”Proverbs 14:34

“I pledge allegiance to Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, by grace through faith, is why I stand, one love, one mind, one purpose with liberty and justice for all.”

#PledgeOrKneel

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