Patriotism is under siege in America. The protests Colin Kaepernick began in the NFL, is turning into something far more dangerous. You can see evidence of that danger, in the solution, the California chapter of the NAACP is proposing to end the protests.
They want Congress to remove The Star-Spangled Banner as the national anthem.
President Herbert Hoover made The Star-Spangled Banner the official anthem of the United States in 1931. Writing the lyrics was a 35-year old lawyer and amateur poet, Francis Scott Key. Key’s inspiration came from seeing “Old Glory” flying triumphantly above Fort McHenry, after an American victory over the British during the Revolutionary War.
However, the NAACP doesn’t see anything triumphant or patriotic about the anthem. The organization last week began circulating among legislative offices two resolutions that passed at its state conference in October. The first urges Congress to rescind “one of the most racist, pro-slavery, anti-black songs in the American lexicon” as the national anthem.
The second resolution is an effort to force the NFL to place Kaepernick on a team. Chapter President, Alice Huffman, credits the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback with drawing attention to the anthem. “We owe a lot of it to Kaepernick,” Huffman said. “I think all this controversy about the knee will go away once the song is removed.”
Interestingly, it is this lesser-known third verse to the song that is stirring outrage:
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave
Those lines are rarely if ever, sung by anyone. Yet, subjective interpretations of the passage have led groups like the NAACP to conclude that the anthem celebrates the deaths of black American slaves. Therefore, says Huffman, Congress should find a replacement that is not “another song that disenfranchises part of the American population.”
Nevertheless, a least one California lawmaker is opposing the preposterous resolution.
“Our flag and national anthem unite us as Americans,” said Assemblyman Travis Allen, a Huntington Beach Republican who is running for governor. “Protesting our flag and national anthem sows division and disrespects the diverse Americans who have proudly fought and died for our country. Real social change can only happen if we work together as Americans first.”
There is no word on when they’ll have Margaret Sanger declared a symbol of racism.