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This is why Drew Brees words hurt so much

  • By dmoody6017
  • On June 4, 2020
  • 28 Comments

An open letter to Drew Brees. Why your words hurt so much.

Dear Drew,

As I read your insensitive words about players kneeling and, you could never respect them because of your grandfathers serving in World War II. The kneeling was not about disrespecting the flag, it was to bring awareness to injustice and police brutality.

Your words brought to mind a story my dad didn’t tell me until I was about 40 years old. I am now 64 and the story he told me still breaks my heart to this day. 

My dad was born in 1932 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was the youngest of 8 children.

During World War II, his older brothers were serving in the Army and stationed in Europe, driving in what was called “The Red Ball Express.”

During the war, some of the (White) German prisoners of war were imprisoned in an Army base in Baton Rouge. However, German POWs were allowed to go to local all white-movie theaters while under guard-something that Black officers and enlisted men could never do in the segregated South.

German POWs during and after their release at the end of war had more constitutional rights in Baton Rouge than my dad’s brothers did when they came home from WW II.

Please understand what I am telling you. White German men who killed American servicemen and had been captured and kept in Baton Rouge had more rights than Black American citizens.

He said White enemy POWs having more rights than he did was a scar that never healed for him. He was so traumatized by it that he waited more than 40 years to discuss it with me.

My father was in ROTC in college and upon graduating in 1955, he became a second lieutenant, the first black officer to lead desegregated troops in Panama at Ft Davis. Dad was honorably discharged as a Captain in the US Army.

My father was an Army officer and had a degree in biology. Still, the only job he could get when he first got out the service was shoveling manure at a lab in Chicago, Illinois.

Dad went on to receive his PhD and became a vice provost at the University of Michigan. He passed away last year and your words would have hurt him deeply. 

The kneeling done by players was never to disrespect the flag nor the national anthem. It was to bring to the country’s attention to injustice and police brutality that is still taking place by a small number of police around the country who continue to torture and kill innocent black men and women.

Let me share with you an excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Letter from the Birmingham Jail:” “For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied…”

Drew, I believe your heart is in the right place, but your words were very hurtful to me and so many Americans, because we know the history and live with the trauma of racism. 

My dad, and many black men like him, served this country proudly. You words would have broken my dad’s heart.

Drew, one of the reasons I admired you was because of how people said all the negative things about you not having the tools and stature to be an NFL quarterback. But you proved them wrong by working hard, and I am happy for you. 

Your NFL experience is similar to what it is like being black. We are told what we can’t do because of the color of our skin and every day we do our best to prove the doubters wrong. 

As Americans, we are in this together. We can be better and listen more. We MUST do better! This country, our children and the world need us to lead the way!

Sincerely,

C.D. Moody, Jr

(Picture of my dad in the service, his 5 brothers who all served in the armed forces, my wife’s dad that is Native American served in the Air Force and my wife’s maternal uncle General William Henderson Air Michigan National Guard and Viet Nam Marine fighter pilot)

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Responses
Anthony
  • Jun 4 2020
Feeling is healing and we heal in a community! As always, thank you for sharing your heart felt wisdom! I will strive to do better. With love, respect, and admiration - Anthony
Marcus
  • Jun 4 2020
You always speak from the heart on social media and your words consistently reach me.
Michael Carroll
  • Jun 4 2020
All I can say is “Thank you!”
Maurice Woodard
  • Jun 4 2020
Absolutely amazing & inspiring. Thank you for sharing this. People need to understand that our grandfathers served in the military as well.
michaelhross
  • Jun 4 2020
Great tribute to your father...they don’t make them like that no more !
jeff rosensweig
  • Jun 4 2020
I hope that your profound words and thoughts inspire Drew to offer a public apology. Pretending that taking a knee for dignity and justice for our black fellow citizens, had to do with the flag, was itself an injustice.
david Rothberg
  • Jun 4 2020
David- Thank you for sharing this. It makes me pause, think, and cry. Importantly , it moves me to work harder to help heal the wounds, and heal the world.
Dr. Mark W. Thompson
  • Jun 5 2020
My father experienced the same injustice in and after the service as did yours. He too had to fight for that sacred, God-given space called human dignity. Drew unfortunately sees through a stained/clouded perspective; perhaps your truth will begin to cleanse his sight.
MARKUS BUTTS
  • Jun 5 2020
Bro. Moody, This was very timely and beautifully written. It should be read by Drew Brees and all white Americans who do not understand and or respect our experiences. Thanks for sharing. Markus Butts
Emelisa Callejas
  • Jun 5 2020
I just don’t understand human being. Nobody sees that this beautiful country has kept a boot on our small Central American countries. Nobody sees how hundreds of honduran are just having 2 choices die or migrate. All because we are caught between a South America that produces drugs and a North America that consumes drugs. Our small Honduras just happens to be exactly in the middle of the route where the vessels need fuel. We are caught between both the seller and the user. Does anybody care? They see us like disposable. We are only “Bad Hombres“. Pls USA stop buying drugs from other countries, produce them yourself.
Theodore Barnes
  • Jun 6 2020
Thank you for sharing your words, because I agree with them. Taking a knee is not about disrespecting the American flag. It about the police brutality and the injustice against the black man and the black woman of America and other nationalities.
Emelisa Callejas
  • Jun 7 2020
Sorry I got carried away by the injustice my people is living. I also want to thank you for letting us know the story of brave man like your father that are still living difficult and injustice times in the present. That should not be.
Howard Rundell
  • Jun 7 2020
Recently NASCAR driver and champion Jimmie Johnson said in response to comments made by fellow NASCAR driver "Bubba" Wallace, a young black man he "simply can't imagine" how it must feel to be judged simply on the color of one's skin. To me, that's an powerfully insightful comment and one for which I can't provide an answer. Having flown with General Henderson, knowing what a patriotic and brave individual he has proven to be by his actions throughout his lifetime, it's unimaginable he or anyone should be so judged. I simply can't imagine.We must do better.
Meagan
  • Jun 10 2020
Thank you for so eloquently telling your families story. It is facts that I was unaware of. The fact that POWs had more rights and freedoms than our veterans, our brave soldiers, our brother and sisters. It isn't taught. It isn't discussed. These facts are lost without you sharing your story.
Wayne Jones
  • Jun 15 2020
We all seek basic love, understanding and basic justice! Don't change brother! your our Tyler Perry? Drew is in a different reality!

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