Tuesday, January 16, 2018

New Mayor Of Major City Calls Anthem "Ode To Slavery"

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The Washington Post says, "A newly sworn-in mayor of one of the heartland's largest metro area revived a criticism of the national anthem ..."

At his swearing in, Melvin Carter III, St Paul's (Minn) first black mayor spoke of our nation's founders as "a noble group of rich, white, straight, male landowners"...and our national anthem as an "Ode To Slavery."

The mayor is not only full of hatred but terribly misinformed historically.

The Washington Post quotes new Mayor Carter---"We cannot ignore the painful reminder, written into our third verse, of just how deeply injustice is rooted in the American tradition...Our national anthem is an ode to slavery."

What has been the plague of professional football, has now apparently come to mayor's offices.

Carter, in his swearing-in speech, said, "This is the American paradox, passed from generation to generation, dating back to the noble group of rich, white, straight, male landowners who embedded into our founding principles a yearning for a set of God-given rights they sought to secure for only themselves."

This is offensive on many fronts.

I'm certain the 620,000 families whose loved one died fighting the Civil War would feel differently. I do.

And I suspect the family of President Abraham Lincoln, whose life was also lost on behalf of justice for blacks, would also disagree.

Carter's problem is with the 3rd verse of the Star Spangled Banner which reads in part, but is seldom sung:

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

The Post quotes Jason Johnson, political editor of the Root, an online news magazine that addresses issues related to black Americans.

Johnson says, "It is one of the most racist, pro-slavery, anti-black songs in the American lexicon..."

Johnson says the lyrics of the 3rd verse references the Colonial Marines, a group of run-a-way slaves who fought against the Americans in the British Royal Army with the hope of emancipation.

He says, "That group of black soldiers defeated the troops of 'Star Spangled Banner' writer Francis Scott Key"...and Key was mindful of that defeat "when he wrote the now popular song."

Johnson says Key was still bitter over the fact that "the black soldiers got the best of him a few weeks earlier"---concludes that "the Star Spangled Banner is a diss track to black people who had the audacity to fight for their freedom."

"That's why it took nearly a hundred years for the song to become the national anthem," he says.

Mayor Carter and a number of pro-football players and others have bought into this notion. And the hatred.

Carter, the multi-millionaire football players and others are not only driven by their own hatred but are also terribly misinformed.

Many historians believe Key's use of the word "slave" in his lyrics is not referring to black people enslaved in America, rather a wide range of people of all races, colors and nationalities who were in places of servitude.

Blacks and whites were captured into servitude by the British during the Revolutionary War and forced to fight against the colonies.

Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, wrote in the National Review: "Was Key pursuing a grudge by describing, or misdescribing, the Corps of Colonial Marines or slaves? Or did he have the (predominately white) conscripts in mind?

Olson says "at the time Key was writing, the word 'slave' 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"---noting that "Shakespeare commonly used the word as an epithet."

Yesterday we observed a federal holiday set aside to honor Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday.

A survey, published yesterday by Rasmussen, reveals that race relations did not improve with a black president.

In fact, they found that voters believe race relations have improved while Trump has been in office.

Rasmussen found that 38% of voters believed that race relations in this country were poor last June. Their latest survey, out yesterday, shows that number has dropped. Now, after the Obama era, only 28% believe race relations are poor.

Rasmussen has also found that 60% say race relations have gotten worse since Obama's election.

Not surprising in light of the fact that there was a measurable shift in how blacks voted last November with more blacks voting for Trump than for Romney, and considerably fewer blacks voting for Hillary---who promised an extension of Obama's presidency--- than voted for Obama.

More than most years, 2018 will be a year when MLK will be often referenced because it marks the 50th anniversary of his assassination.

Peter C. Meyers, professor of politics and science at the University of Wisconsin, in his book, "The Limits and Dangers of Civil Disobedience: The Case for Martin Luther King, Jr.," describes King as "restrained in civil disobedience---and personally responsible for the freedoms we have.

That is a virtue that seems to be lost on this generation of activists.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Prayerful.