The decision by the NFL to play “Lift Every Voice and Sing” along with “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the start of every football game is a good one that will benefit our nation in many ways, including our position and role in the new world order of the 21st century.

Soft power always beats hard power, as proven in the way water can wear a groove in the hardest of rocks. So it was the Soviet Union collapsed even though their military machine was a match for ours because we had the advantage in such basics as cheap wheat, hard currency, and good rock-and-roll.

I saw the strength of American soft power in my years in the Middle East post-9/11 when I observed that the fiery sermons of religious fanatics could make no headway with Arab youth infatuated with Hannah Montana. The face of Helen of Troy may have launched a thousand ships but that's nothing compared to the innocent beauty of teenage Miley Cyrus that deterred 100,000 potential suicide bombers.

So it is that the NFL decision will resonate with Black populations everywhere as well as provide guidance to our increasingly multiracial and multicultural world. As always, American moral leadership-by-example is of great strategic value and I wish more people understood this.


Paul Zerzan is a resident of Barrigada.

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