Hope Hodge Seck, Military.com, September 7, 2016
A sailor who filmed herself refusing to stand for morning colors is now facing administrative action, Military.com has learned.
Lt. Cmdr. Kate Meadows, a spokeswoman for Naval Education and Training Command, said actions were ongoing regarding the sailor, but declined to specify what they were.
The sailor, who has not been publicly identified, is assigned to Naval Air Technical Training Center in Pensacola, Florida, Meadows confirmed, and is expected to be allowed to continue training.
At issue is an eight-and-a-half minute video posted to Facebook in which the sailor sat through morning colors in protest of the now-defunct third stanza of the National Anthem, which she described as racist.
The sailor referred to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who made headlines in August when he opted to take a knee for the anthem, saying he was not going to “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
“[The stanza] basically says land of the free, home of the brave, except for hirelings and slaves and I just can’t support anything like that,” the sailor said. “I think Colin had a really good point when he said we had bodies in the streets.”
Military regulations require troops to stop in place, stand and salute during the brief ceremony.
While the anthem is played, the sailor sits on a picnic bench with a raised fist, a symbol of solidarity in the Black Power movement. When the anthem concludes, she expresses relief and pride in her protest.
“Today I actually did something, and it was small but significant for me,” she said. “Until this country shows they’ve got my back as a black woman . . . I can’t, and I won’t and I won’t be forced to [stand].”
While Kaepernick’s flag protest was provocative, the sailor’s is also against military regulations.