Janaye Ervin, a U.S. Navy Sailor, is under investigation after she refused to stand for the national anthem.
According to the International Business Times, Ervin, who is a reservist petty officer second-class with a rating of intelligence specialist, reportedly declined to stand during the national anthem while in uniform at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on September 19.
Ervin explained her actions in a public Facebook post, which has since been deleted, on Wednesday. Janaye also included a photo of herself wearing her Navy uniform. Read her full post below.
“I have been proudly serving in the US Navy Reserve Force since November 2008. I have pledged to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and to spread freedom and democracy around the world. I will never waver from that pledge.
“On September 19, 2016, while in uniform, I made the conscious decision to not stand for the Star Spangled Banner because I feel like a hypocrite, singing about “land of the free” when, I know that only applies to some Americans. I will gladly stand again, when ALL AMERICANS are afforded the same freedom.
“The Navy has decided to punish me for defending the Constitution and has taken away my equipment I need to do my Naval job. It was my pleasure serving my country, I love it dearly, that is why I must do this for you. I will keep you all posted on what happens next!”
Following her actions, Janaye said she lost her security clearance and was threatened with jail by the Navy. Troops who refuse to stand for the national anthem could face prosecution under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for violating Article 92- failure to obey a lawful general order or regulation, Fox News Insider reports.
Shaun King, an activist and reporter for the New York Daily News, took to Twitter to share Ervin’s story, and also created a petition on Change.org supporting her decision, and asking that she be kept out of jail. As of Monday, September 26, the petition had 59 supporters.
Please meet Janaye Ervin.
Navy Intelligence Specialist.
8 year veteran.
On Monday, she took a bold stand against injustice in America. pic.twitter.com/05fzxLy8UU
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) September 21, 2016
“A couple of days ago, she made the clear choice in full uniform to not stand while the Star Spangled Banner played,” King wrote. “After this, her security clearance was taken away & she is in grave danger of going to jail.”
“Now, we are standing with her during this time & needs your help if possible to not allow her go to jail along with receiving a dishonorable discharge. Intervene, if you will,” he continued. “She loves her country. On the other hand, she is a black woman who has to constantly see what her people go through in her country while she is in uniform.”
SusanSarandon : RT ShaunKing: On Monday, in uniform, Janaye Ervin made the decision to not… https://t.co/j0jlHCdfrW) pic.twitter.com/eYiavMtyeU
— Progressive Party (@actprogressive) September 22, 2016
According to Military.com, Ervin’s actions come just two weeks after another Navy sailor filmed herself refusing to stand for the national anthem. The sailor, who has not been publicly identified, is assigned to the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Pensacola, Florida. She shared the eight-and-a-half minute video on Facebook, and referenced San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who made headlines after he decided to take a knee during the national anthem in August. When questioned about his decision, Kaepernick said he refused to “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
What do you think about Janaye Ervin’s decision to not stand for the national anthem? Leave your comments below.
[Featured Image by Leonard Zhukovsky/ Shutterstock]