Helena Andrews, Washington Post reporter seen using her cellphone during the national anthem at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner April 25, 2015.
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A Washington Post journalist is currently under fire after being caught on camera texting during the national anthem while attending Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. As people stood and the band played the anthem, Helena Andrews was caught texting on her phone by a CNN camera. The camera intently zoomed in on Andrews for a few seconds, and shortly after, Andrews was criticized on Twitter for her lack of “patriotism.”

The white tears flowed out of Andrews’ mentions, which blasted her for not respecting the country as well as not appreciating the people who “died” for her:

https://twitter.com/GrantCardone/status/592121419602989056https://twitter.com/DangerGirl6/status/592127109696360448https://twitter.com/HRH_Elle/status/592143033266794497https://twitter.com/Kenshousewifey/status/592160631312273408https://twitter.com/AnnFeinstein01/status/592124840716435456

After Andrews figured out she was caught on “candid camera,” she offered an explanation on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/helena_andrews/status/592139096555945985

But that drew even more criticism:

https://twitter.com/bringpinkback/status/592145567528157184https://twitter.com/Rightmow/status/592161919148158977https://twitter.com/JavierVasquez85/status/592183325025927168https://twitter.com/Phibear94/status/592191775302811648

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I find it interesting that not one avatar in the slew of Andrews’ mentions who criticized her was a person of color. It seems as though white people take their patriotism quite seriously, especially when it offers them a chance to attack a black person online.

Should Andrews have stopped whatever she was doing on the phone while the anthem was playing? Maybe. Maybe not. It all depends on how much you actually respect the anthem. Not everyone has a heart bleeding with patriotism, but that doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t “respect” the country he or she is in, or that he or she is deserving of being called names and harassed on social media. But what I do know is that I was never forced to sing the national anthem or cite the Pledge of Allegiance.