Friday, November 10, 2017

Move To Remove Our National Anthem

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Many of us knew it would come---well, it has.

The California chapter of the NAACP has come up with a solution to athletes disrespecting our country and our flag.

The group is formally urging Congress to abolish the National Anthem.

They passed a resolution at their recent convention describing our National Anthem as "one of the most racist, pro-slavery, anti-black songs in American lexicon."

Black abolition leader Fredrick Douglass doesn't agree with his brethren at all on the matter of the Star Spangled Banner.

The president of the group says she's certain the removal of the song will take care of the matter.

Sure it will.

All we need to do to solve the disrespect and sometimes hatred toward our country is to remove a song.

The NAACP also passed a second resolution in support of former San Francisco football player Colin Kaepernick who started the movement last year to disrespect and dishonor by kneeling during the anthem before the game.

President of the California NAACP, Alice Huffman, told CBS 13 in Sacramento, "It's racist. It doesn't represent our community. It's anti-black."

And she told the Sacramento Bee newspaper, "I think all this controversy about the knee will go away once the song is removed."

We were told the disrespectful kneeling, frowning, mocking, sitting, etc. was initially about the deaths of black men at the hands of the police---not the Star Spangled Banner.

Things, apparently, evolve---now it seems to be about any grievance, anyone happens to have.

I'm wondering if she is sure the anthem is "racist" and "anti-black?"

Critics like to note that "The Star Spangled Banner" did not become the National Anthem until 1931--- however, it had been recognized by the US Navy in 1889 and President Woodrow Wilson in 1916.

Marc Clague, a musicologist of the University of Michigan, argues that the song is not racist. He told the New York Times in 2016 that "The social context of the song comes from the age of slavery, but the song itself isn't about slavery, and it doesn't treat whites differently from blacks."

He says the reference to slaves in the little used 3rd verse---"No refuge could save the hireling and slave/ From the terror of flight or gloom of the grave"---is about the use and manipulation of black Americans to fight for the British, with the promise of freedom. The term "freemen," whose heroism is celebrated in the 4th stanza, would have encompassed both black and white.

But this is not what Ms. Huffman and some other activists want to hear.

Neither do they apparently want to hear from Frederick Douglass.

Douglass, as most know, was an escaped slave who played a critical role in the abolitionist movement in the mid-1800s.

He was a frequent critic of American policy and the existence of the "peculiar institution." However, he believed that the dearly held principles of the Declaration of Independence, and its unequivocal statement that all men are "created equal" would eventually lead to slavery's dissolution.

Douglass pulled no punches in criticizing slavery as a massive contradiction in American life but understood the evils of the system would be corrected by embracing our country's origins rather than rejecting them.

He encouraged black men to sign up and fight for the Union under the American flag during the Civil War. He encouraged blacks to embrace the United States as the vessel of freedom---the solution, not the problem.

This is why his statue stands among those of our nation's heroes in our Capitol Building.

Perhaps Ms. Huffman could also note that the Harvard University Press says Douglass often played the Star Spangled Banner on violin for his grandchildren in the years after the war.

And in a speech Douglass gave at Arlington National Cemetery in 1871, he concluded with this:

"If the star spangled banner floats only over free American citizens in every quarter of the land, and our country has before it a long and glorious career of justice, liberty, and civilization, we are indebted to the unselfish devotion of the whole army."

I am certain Ms. Huffman and a disgusting group of overpaid, under informed football players could learn much at the feet of Fredrick Douglass.

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful Always. Be Blessed.