The Pledge of Allegiance: A Symbol of Institutionalized Injustice
By: Solomon Comissiong
Riddled throughout American society are innumerable institutionally ingrained symbols of America’s hypocritical and repugnant justifications of global injustice. These symbols are among the necessary instruments utilized by the empire to attempt to mold the next generation of plunderers, imperialists, and architects of injustice. The Pledge of Allegiance is merely one of the more hypocritical and duplicitous tools used.
Most US school children are required to begin their weekdays with the reciting of the “Pledge of Allegiance”. This shallow incantation goes, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands: one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” This pledge is done with their right hand crossed over onto their heart while facing the America flag. It is the kind of routine that would make any cult leader proud. Little discourse is ever spent analyzing the last four words of this pledge, ‘and justice for all’. Critical thought is not required nor is it promoted within most Social Studies or History focused courses throughout America. Those who ultimately control the rote curriculum, administered from one classroom to the next, know very well the probable social impact that comes from legions of kids who begin to understand America’s hidden, but true history, as well as its many contradictions. Many of those children would represent a seismic shifting away from the mass indoctrination that has occurred within American classrooms dating back to when amoral and disease infested Europeans illegally began creating colonies throughout the so-called Americas. The state sanctioned mass indoctrination of America’s youth, if uninterrupted, will insure the continued existence of domestic and global ‘American Injustice’.
For many, the notion of justice does not reside within the flawed landscape of America. It honestly never has. For people of color the notion of justice within the US is as mythological as the Tooth Fairy. It (justice) simply does not exist. Has there ever been justice for the indigenous peoples of America? Their land was stolen and plundered by incessant waves of inhumane Europeans who fled their own native land to escape varying levels of persecution. Any logical or morally sound person would assume that a collection of previously persecuted people would never carry out the heinous things that English “settlers” (thieves) did to Native Americans in the 1600s and well beyond. Despite the hospitality given to them by Native Americans, the villainous Europeans murdered scores of Natives, all the while stealing their land and plundering their natural resources. Have the original people of America ever seen the beacon of justice hundreds of years later? Not at all. They were awarded genocide and cast off into open air prisons, called reservations, within their own native lands.
Has there ever been justice for the tens of millions of Africans who were stolen from their homeland, enslaved and literally worked to death in order to fuel the industrial epoch for lethargic and malevolent Europeans? Godless Europeans systematically murdered tens of millions of Africans in the name of their routinely altered bible and white supremacy. They raped, murdered, and destroyed countless families without consulting with their moral faculties. In essence, they had no moral faculties. This inhumane and immoral suppression (chattel slavery) of Black people continued for close to 250 years. However, the subjugation of Black people did not stop with the so-called Emancipation Proclamation. Via the innately racist and oppressive Jim Crow Laws, black people continued to be treated like animals for another 100 plus years. They were lynched and prohibited from having civil or human rights; once again, all in the name of white supremacy. Where was their justice? Most whites in America were at the very least complicit with this treatment of black people. The terror unleashed upon Africans was justified in their world because they did not regard them as fully human. Many of these 20th century whites were infested with the same racist evil as their slothful ancestors who stole foreign lands and human beings for a living.
Where is the justice for the millions of American born Africans who, in 2010, are still suffering the residual affects of chattel slavery and Jim Crow? Scores of black men and women are methodically murdered by the state (police brutality) or fed into the jowls of the racially biased and capital driven prison industrial complex. This regularly occurs in 2010 under the auspices of institutional racism. Instead of being hung from a tree they are shot, unarmed, under racist based suspicion. Where is the justice for the black and brown skinned parents whose children were killed byway of the bullets or hands of racist cops? Much like the notion of democracy in America, justice is a mythological illusion for the poor and disenfranchised.
One of America’s greatest exports is that of injustice. In 2010, as in the past, America does not only serve inhumane treatment to its black and brown residents; it supplies foreign nations with large doses of injustice. Presently there are three illegal wars of aggression that the US is fighting: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. In Iraq, even conservative estimates place the loss of civilian life at over 600,000. However, the more accurate number places the Iraqi civilian loss of life at 1.3 million (www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq). This loss of life could have been avoided. However, because those who control the US government, as well as a largely apathetic populous, over a million Iraqi lives are gone forever. This mass murder was and is being done all in the name of US conquest, global domination and imperialism.
The US’s actions lucidly display that it values other people’s natural resources more than it does the lives of those very same people. Where is their justice? Where is the justice for the dozen Iraqis who were indiscriminately murdered by US military personnel (www.collateralmurder.com)? They were gunned down from an Apache helicopter by trigger-happy products of the US military “assembly line”.
Where is justice for the Iraqi civilians who were gunned down in cold blood by thugs from the US based “security” company, Black Water (Xe)? The people of Iraq tried to seek justice; however an amoral US judge threw out their case thus acquitting the Black Water murderers. Instead of justice, Black Water was rewarded with a contract in Afghanistan by the current Obama administration. The message: murder civilian Iraqis and you will be rewarded monetarily, all the while Iraqi families morn.
This kind of blatant injustice happens while the US government continues to carry out drone attacks that, without fail, eviscerate Pakistani and Afghani civilians at funerals, weddings, and as they sleep in their villages. This is done in the name of the tens of millions of indoctrinated Americans who continue to trust “their” government’s actions, somehow believing they are doing it to preserve their “liberties”. Ironically, this kind of injustice is now sponsored and publicly justified by a man of color who now happens to occupy the highest office in America. This brand of carnage and plunder has historically been mandated by rapacious white men with imperialistic wet dreams. The fact that a man of color is now sponsoring this kind of historically white supremacist destruction is indicative of what happens when alternative methods of teaching history, civics, and social studies are not employed. The egregiously flawed US values are now corrupting people of color whose ancestors were victims to the oppressive “whip” of American Injustice. Far too many African Americans have become complicit with their country’s militaristic ways simply because the “captain” is black. Justice will be evasive as long as the truth is absent from America’s classrooms. So long as peace and humanity are not taught, not only viable options, but the only options; justice will literally elude billions the world over.
Solomon Comissiong is an educator, community activist, author, public speaker and the host of the Your World News media collective (www.yourworldnews.org). Solomon is the author of A Hip Hop Activist Speaks Out on Social Issues. He can be reached at: email@example.com