It's a sight almost too painful to watch. This weekend, rapper Lil Wayne trampled an American flag while filming a video in New Orleans. He starts off singing in front of a propped flag. Then it's allowed to fall to the ground, where he stops all over it. Meanwhile, his lyrics go, "My country 'tis of thee / Sweet land of kill 'em all and let 'em die / God bless Amerika / This ole' godless Amerika."
Wow, think maybe Lil Wayne is harboring some anger and resentment toward our country? Just a wee bit? He has to be feeling something intense to be pulling a stunt like this that's already alienating a lot of his fans. Of course, it's all perfectly legal, even if almost every U.S. citizen thinks it's deplorable. We're fortunate to live in a country that protects our right to express ourselves, even in such an ugly way.
I don't think this is just a careless bid for attention. I think what Lil Wayne is trying to say is that America has failed to live up to its promise for too many people. I don't like the way he's expressing that, but I can sort of see where he's coming from.
I wonder, though, if Lil Wayne would do the same thing if he had to look U.S. soldiers in the eyes at the same time. It's a fact that every service member has to face: When you sign up for military service, you're not just serving the honorable Americans. You're defending everyone, including people who rail against our country's symbols. They are America, too. They are the litmus test that proves our freedom.
But it pains me to think of people who have sacrificed limbs, family members, peace of mind, and even their lives seeing this video. I think it would make me feel hurt and angry. And of course, it would be within your right to criticize Lil Wayne passionately and condemn his acts.
What do you think of Lil Wayne's video?
Image via Volvodea1/YouTube