“Kneeling during the National Anthem isn’t about the anthem,” liberals claimed, “it’s about police brutality. Of course we support the Star Spangled Banner.”
That spin didn’t fly during the National Football League controversy, and now apparently some liberals have decided to drop the pretense entirely.
Fox News reports that the California chapter of the NAACP has endorsed a campaign to strip “The Star Spangled Banner” of its status as the United States’ official National Anthem.
Why? Why else — it’s “one of the most racist, pro-slavery, anti-black songs in the American lexicon.”
The NAACP’s California chapter last week reportedly sent out two resolutions, which had been passed at the organizations state conference last month.
One of the resolutions was to support removal of the anthem, while the other is an effort to get the NFL to fit former player Colin Kaepernick onto a team […]
The U.S. Congress should adopt a new national anthem that’s not “another song that disenfranchises part of the American population,” [California NAACP President Alice] Huffman said.
“The Star-Spangled Banner” has been the nation’s anthem since 1931, when President Herbert Hoover signed a congressional act making it the song of the United States.
Boy, sure is funny how nobody in either party noticed the song’s racism for the better part of a century, but the moment race-obsessed lunatics decide it’s racist we’re suddenly supposed to take their claims seriously.
In September, the Cato Institute’s Walter Olson took a look at this question in detail, in response to the defacing of a Baltimore statue of the anthem’s lyricist, Francis Scott Key. At issue is the following verse, which uses the word “slave”:
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Case closed? Hardly, as Olson explains:
At the time Key was writing, the word “slave” (we’ll get to “hireling” in a minute) had long functioned in English as a wide-ranging epithet, hurled at persons of any and all colors, nationalities, and conditions of servitude or otherwise.
Shakespeare, who barely mentioned America in his writings, used the word more than 180 times in his works. Fewer than a third of those references are in the plays set in Roman and Greek times, in which characters in the drama might be literal slaves. More often, Shakespeare’s characters — including Macbeth, Lear, and many of the kings in the history plays — use “slave” as an insult […]
To Americans, while “slave” was both a common descriptive word and an epithet, “hireling” — especially in contexts of poetry and literature — ordinarily carried derogatory connotations. It meant someone such as a soldier, official, or laborer who served for money rather than from some more durable loyalty such as to family or nation.
There are any number of potential explanations for Key’s use of the term — snubbing the Corps of Colonial Marines Key fought against in the War of 1812, or perhaps simply fitting a rhyme scheme (that’s kind of important when writing music) — and Key didn’t leave behind written elaboration of his reasoning.
In any event, it’s more than a bit of a reach to read the above verse — which isn’t even commonly sung today — as some sort of glorification of the subjugation of blacks.
But then, since when has the NAACP let common sense get in the way of promoting their cottage industry?