As a long time fan of Steve Harvey’s comedic talent on television and in stand-up it pains me to have to write this letter.  I was listening to your morning show on Aug. 31, 2016 as I do every morning for the laughs, prank call, and Strawberry Letter.  After the letter segment, you all commenced on a conversation about Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during the national anthem.  You sir, spoke the words “it is not the time to do that.”

Well Mr. Harvey, I have a question, when is the right time?  You are a man over 50 and have seen and probably experienced racism at its finest, especially in your profession.  You have always been frank, candid, and spoken the truth.  So I can’t help but keep it real with you.

I believe with your new found fame, you have become what we call ‘brand new’ on issues that truly affect black America.  Seems to me that you are no longer on the uphill trek as an average black man, your struggles aren’t that of the average black man’s so I guess your relation to black men in general is no longer that relevant.  If that is not true then I think you would be a little less critical of Mr. Kaepernick.

I also think your statements were said in order to not offend and turn away your newfound ‘white’ audience.  You know, since you are such a household name now.  That being said, do you know the words to the entire National Anthem?  Here they are, pay close attention to the 3rd verse.

words to the national anthem –

  1. O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
    What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
    Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
    O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
    And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
    Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
    O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

    On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
    Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
    What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
    As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
    Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
    In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
    ‘Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
    That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
    A home and a country, should leave us no more?
    Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
    No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
    Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.
    Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
    Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

A short version as to the history of the song, in 1814 there was a war going on in America between America and the British because the British were mad America was taking over their land .  British offered slaves to not be returned to their masters if they fought on their side. America won, end of story.  The song didn’t become our National Anthem until 1931.  It’s a reason we do not sing the entire song.  Seeing as though this is a song of celebration, and the slaves were not free one can easily interpret the meaning of the following lines of the song:

“No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave”

They were celebrating the death to the workers they hired to do menial work and the slaves, who both sought refuge with the British in hopes of being freed. Kinda makes you rethink the song now, maybe?

You  also said you didn’t agree with him not standing because it was disrespectful to the veterans, but aren’t the soldiers in our military fighting for our freedoms and not a flag or song?  Soldiers get a flag when they die, and the National Anthem is not sang.  The Military fights to protect the Freedom of Speech and the Freedom to peacefully protest.  On his particular platform, which is football, Colin felt the need to take a stand (well not literally) on what he believes in.

Being an uplifter of black youth and young men, I expected you to at least commend him on doing something when so many people in his position are saying and doing NOTHING.  “If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.”  Whatever happened to that saying?  He is only a football player with an opinion and right, at the end of the day, and respectfully speaking your influence is more powerful.  Though I respect your opinion, I think you rubbed quite a few people wrong that morning, or maybe just me.

When it comes to black relationship advice, we come to you.  When the topic is Trump or politics, lately you have spoken your mind,  and made us laugh and agree with you.  You have inspired us, myself included.  So why on this subject, would you abandon us and not support brother Colin?  I do have another question Mr. Harvey. Of the many young black men you have mentored, if one of them were to refuse to stand for the song, would you carry the same sentiment?

I really am not trying to be rude nor disrespectful, but this topic and your response didn’t rest well with me.  I am a fan, I took your advice and jumped; right into a writing career.  I heard the show and it bothered me until I am now writing this letter on my blog in hopes that it finds you.  Never thought I would be writing to you on such a matter, and I don’t know if you will ever read it; but if you do, I hope you understand and reconsider your stance.

Keep up the great work, and keep making me laugh!


Your fan,

Letoya “Penz4Lipz” Williams


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