Yes, It’s Ungrateful to Turn Your Back on the National Anthem

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This week, heretofore nearly anonymous hammer thrower Gwen Berry made international headlines when, during the podium ceremony for winning bronze in an Olympic trial, she turned away from the United States flag as the national anthem played. The anthem wasn’t played for her, or for the other competitors in the hammer throw; every day during the trials, a pre-scheduled anthem went out over the sound system.

Berry turned 90 degrees from the flag, stood with her hand on her hip, and glared directly into the camera. It was a deliberate provocation and a deliberate attempt to raise her own profile. “I feel like it was a setup,” she later complained, “and they did it on purpose.”

Actually, Berry just saw an opportunity to maximize her profile, and she seized it with alacrity. In the United States, there’s far more money to be made and fame to be achieved by spurning the American flag and the national anthem than by embracing it: Colin Kaepernick makes millions because he failed as a quarterback but succeeded as a self-aggrandizing symbol of supposed racial bravery.

Meanwhile, the thousands of athletes with track records superior to either Kaepernick’s or Berry’s who stand for the national anthem remain anonymous.

That’s because America currently rewards an entitled sense of grievance. Most Americans know little about foreign countries; they somehow believe that the United States is inferior, or that the prosperity, health and free lifestyle to which they have become accustomed is the global and historic norm.

It most assuredly is not.

While Berry was protesting the national anthem, the Chinese government was busy arresting the editor of the pro-democracy Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily. That arrest came on the heels of the arrest of one of Apple Daily's columnists for "conspiring to collude with foreign countries or foreign forces to endanger national security."

While Berry was protesting the national anthem, the Taliban was busy spreading like a metastasizing cancer over Afghanistan, preparing its new subjects for the tender mercies of brutal Islamist rule. While Berry was protesting the national anthem during an event at which she threw heavy objects for sport, billions of people were living in absolute privation the world over.

None of this means that the shortcomings of America should be ignored. But to protest the flag or the national anthem as particular symbols of grievance is to demonstrate full-scale your own ignorance and ingratitude.

"I'm here to represent those who died due to systemic racism," Berry said. But she herself is an excellent indicator of just how much promise America holds for its citizens. She grew up in the home of her grandmother, with 13 people in the house; she had a baby out of wedlock at 15 and then earned a college scholarship. She got two jobs and helped support her extended family.

Now, she's going to the Olympics. And presumably, there, she will turn her back on the flag and the national anthem if she makes it to the podium.

In doing so, she'll become a hero to millions. She'll get richer; she'll get more famous. Perhaps, like pseudo-Marxist Patrisse Cullors of Black Lives Matter, she'll buy herself a few houses; maybe, like Kaepernick, she'll make the cover of Sports Illustrated. Like self-declared Marxist Cullors, who currently owns three separate houses worth over $1.5 million each, Berry is in it for the attention and the profit.

Yesterday, nobody had heard of her. Today, everybody has. It's that simple.

One thing is certain, however: Those who spend their days championing their own ingratitude at a society that gives them extraordinary opportunities -- opportunities unavailable to nearly all humans for nearly all of human history, and unavailable to most people on the planet right now -- aren't likely to live happier lives. And they're unlikely to make their nations better, either.

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30 thoughts on “Yes, It’s Ungrateful to Turn Your Back on the National Anthem”

  1. We need to protest not in words but action. Why is she going to the Olympics? The committee doesn’t have the backbone to eliminate her for her actions. We need to protest not just her but those in positions of authority who have allowed her to get away with this disgrace. If BLM or the Radical Dems were opposed they would act and not only speak.

    1. We need to protest not only in words but action. Why is she allowed to go to the Olympics? The committee doesn’t have the backbone to eliminate her for her actions. We silent majority need to Protest not just her but those in positions of authority who have allowed her to get away with this disgrace. If BLM or the Radical Dems were opposed, they would Act and Not only Speak.

  2. Typical self centered nigger…no disrespt to the black community but this ” thing ” is not one of you….kick her to the street and off the Olympic team..THANK YOU TO THE REST OF THE CONTENDERS THAT RESPECTED OUR ANTHEM…OUR FLAG…AND OUR COUNTRY!!!!

    1. May I add that most niggers that I’ve encountered in live were very much WHITE. These white assholes don’t stop finding ways to hate people. Why in the very names of Abraham, Jesus, Mahammad and Buddha, would any individual judge another by anything other than their character. The actual immortal souls of every being are what defines who and what we are, not our physical traits, faiths, nationalities, languages, gender, transgender and sexual preferences. We all share the same space and time in this universe. We are all unreplaceable. GOD IS BECAUSE WE ARE !!! Something to think about….

  3. Remove her from the team, revoke her citizenship, and drop her off in China and see how brave she is then. Someone of course not brain dead Biden will not do that since she has free speech because she is black. If a white male did that he would be dumped fast and rightfully so.

  4. Well written…..well said. But…….we all know by watching Hollywood that….”controversy sells..!”

  5. Stop publicizing her, please. Media is to blame, including articles like this that name her. Yes, you want to make a point but you can without naming her. Say an athlete or an african American female athlete. By putting her name you’ve given her those lovely 15 mins that she asked for. Now google her name and see all the different articles about her. Do not give her not one more min by naming her, please.

  6. She’s just mad because she didn’t get first place, thought she deserved it because she’s black. Why is she so mad about not being respected as a black person, funny, if she wasn’t respected as a black person, why did she get on the Olympic team to start with? Just so she could protest, it’s a thought.

  7. So well stated! Whether “Set up” as she proposed or scheduled as documented….Berry did THE UNTHINKABLE to not only athletes viewing for the Olympics, but to our Armed Forces currently serving and those who have left the Forces and life, in some cases….and to ALL AMERICANS. The flag is the visual that unites Americans as One Under God….with the demeanor that we have always had of strength in the line of fire. I can only hope that her actions and her dumb reaction TO them will take her out of the running and the limelight…here today, gone tomorrow!

    1. I propose for her to go live in Iran under gender apartheid and hijab and become the property of men and no right to to talk. or better, she should go live in China and feel what racial discrimination really is and how they will treat a black woman. I know, because that is why I took refuge to the free and just United States of America. Shame on her.

  8. Berry showed her ignorance and her ungratefulness! Her sponsors should immediately drop her and any future
    achievements this ungrateful unAmerican receives should go unacknowledged by the world. She doesn’t get how
    fortunate she is to be able to represent the country that helped her to become a free, educated athletic that was chosen
    to represent this great country called America! She should be ashamed and apologize!

  9. Great Article!!! Thanks for an excellent description of this kind of contempt for the land that has given her so much. We should not live in the past, but continually press on to make things better.

  10. I will not watch as Gwen Berry dishonors my country or my country’s flag. Don’t let her participate as a US representative. She is ignorant.

  11. She did this on our soil. If she is not willing to stand proud with her hand over her heart at the sound of our national anthem and raise her eyes to our flag on a foreign soil then she disqualifies herself to represent ALL of America.

  12. I’m sick and tired of all this racial oppression. There are people here that immigrated to the U.S. from all over the world. They worked hard and lived the American dream and prospered!! The government has bowed down to these disrespectful bunch long enough, cut all welfare to these lazy no-goods and make them work for what they get like every other race in the U.S. Look at Ben Carson , Clarence Thomas and so many other blacks who have dug in and lived the American Dream. Why is it that 13% of the country is black and 95% of crime they commit. The police would not be shooting them if they obeyed the law!! I have what is called Blackness Fatigue!! I can see it in the future of the rest of Americans are going to say enough is enough and civil war is inevitable.

  13. She should never be allowed to represent the United States in any competition. She must be a very ungrateful and unhappy person.

  14. She is a fly on the wall. She will be spit on and ridiculed. She brought it upon herself looking for fame and money. Isn’t that why all of them do this?

    She may think she won but she will be in for a BIG surprise very soon!

    She is a disgrace to her race!

  15. I don’t much like the word nigger used even when I AGREE shes a black woman who is a disgrace to here people and country get her kicked off the team but don’t give her any more attention than that because that’s what she wants

  16. Right on. What a sorry soul she is in my opinion. She should experience living outside our blessed United States for just a short time to realize what a wonderful country she’s turning her back to.

  17. She’s a very disrespectful person! Kick her ass out of the Olimpics. Makes me sick! I’m not alone. Should not even show her on tv at all! Not a real American! Just a piece of crap!