Open Letter to Airman who sat During Colors and Raised Her Fist:
This is a letter to the young black American woman who video-taped herself sitting during colors and then raised her fist at Naval Air Station, Pensacola: the Cradle of Naval Aviation. Her statement that bodies are lining the street and she’ll stand when America has her back followed her stance.
This letter is to her. As a young black American woman, she erroneously feels America owes her something, that America should have her back. Not only is her position steeped with lies, her position shows an utter lack of knowledge of history.
When a person, of any color, male or female, voluntarily – of their own accord – joins the United States military, they take an oath to uphold the Constitution and to defend America against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Nowhere in that oath are the words, “… only if America has my back.” The United States Navy is there to have America’s back, not the other way around.
She also stated, “I don’t not respect the men and women who serve — who I serve alongside.” My message to her is her respect – or lack of respect by her actions – is irrelevant because she was afforded respect long before she was borne.
Bigger than her egocentric ignorance is, regardless of the oath she took, this young woman – when she sat there and raised her fist – spat in my face and all the hundreds – thousands – of women – of all color – who served before her. Women who served in a time when women faced real discrimination, not perceived discrimination. Those women made it possible for me to serve, and as such for her to serve.
I served during a time of few women in a male dominated rate. During my first “A” school, I marched to class with the “I wish all the ladies… (repeated by the all) were pies on a shelf… (repeated by all) and I was a baker… (repeated by all) I’d eat’em all myself…” With other cadence lines of similar nature following.
During this same period, I was told by my first class instructor that if I didn’t sleep with him, he’d make my life hell. And hell he made my life because I did not sleep with him.
At one command, my LPO called me in his office and told me he wanted me to live with him and watch his daughter. I refused, and life was not easy at work.
At each command, I had to prove myself as a woman – not a sailor – but as a woman. Each command I was greeted with the mentality that I was like the “other” women, and if they happened to be the kind of sailor who whined or couldn’t pull their load, I was determined to be as such. I had to prove two things: that as a woman, I could work just as hard as the men, and that as a sailor, I was just as worthy to wear the uniform because I could – and did – carry my weight, and toolbox.
At my first command, I had the misfortune – and stupidity – of dating an abusive sailor. When I ended up at medical with a bruised face, I was asked what happened… I told the doctor what happened. The next day, I sat in front of my (female) Division Officer (LT) who said to me, “Well, you deserved what you got.” No action was taken against this sailor.
Yet through it all, I never thought America was bad or that I was owed anything. I succeeded, I worked hard, I did what I had to do… and I followed the UCMJ.
This is the history this young woman is missing. So when she sat there, videotaping herself sitting during morning colors, raising her fist – and then posting it online – she spat on my service, because it was my service and the women who served before and after me who made her service possible. I served before this young woman was even born.
The (female) Chief, who served as my Company Commander in boot camp, served well before this young woman’s parents even met. To have been a female United States Navy Chief in 1988 would have been no small feat, yet because of her, I could serve. Because I served, others could serve and as the years went by, the path became less filled with grenades, thorns and holes… for what? So this young woman could sit on a bench during colors with fist raised on a Naval Air Station in 2016.
Discrimination: she doesn’t have a clue.
As far as the bodies lining the streets: the majority of the bodies are put there by other people of like color, not the police. Oppression: she can’t begin to know the meaning of the word.
And the saddest part of all is the United States Navy has become so politically correct, this sailor will not be held accountable for her actions as she will be allowed to transfer to her next command… according to the PAO, they are more concerned with educating sailors about the perils of social media, not the UCMJ, and it will continue until the U.S. Navy gets tested and fails… and ships sunk… and lives – of all color – are killed because of the lack of leadership and accountability the U.S. Navy now holds as the standard.