California’s NAACP is pushing for state lawmakers to support a campaign to remove "The Star Spangled Banner" as the country’s national anthem.
In possibly the greatest 'virtue signal' yet, the organization last week began circulating among legislative offices two resolutions that passed at its state conference in October: one urging Congress to rescind “one of the most racist, pro-slavery, anti-black songs in the American lexicon” as the national anthem, and another in support of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
“We owe a lot of it to Kaepernick,” California NAACP President Alice Huffman said. “I think all this controversy about the knee will go away once the song is removed.”
The group says the song, which has been a point of controversy in the NFL, is “one of the most racist, pro-slavery, anti-black songs in the American lexicon,”
As The Sacramento Bee reports, the kneeling protests have drawn attention to an infrequently-sung third verse from “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which includes the passage:
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
Some interpretations of the lyrics conclude that they celebrate the deaths of black American slaves who joined British troops during the War of 1812 to gain their freedom. Francis Scott Key, who wrote the lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” was a slave owner and fierce opponent of abolition who may have sparked the first race riot in Washington, D.C.
Huffman also told CBS that the song is “racist” and that it “doesn’t represent our community. It’s anti-black people.”
Huffman said Congress, which adopted “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem in 1931, should find a replacement that is not “another song that disenfranchises part of the American population.”
The California NAACP demands have found at least one lawmaker to support them, as The Daily Caller reports, Illinois Democratic Rep. Danny Davis says he sees ‘nothing wrong’ with the California ACLU’s effort to ban the Star Spangled Banner as the country’s national anthem.
“Well, you know, one of the things about the Constitution that our forefathers wrote, and basically, there were none of our foremothers that were there. There were none of our fore-sisters there. There are changes that can take place and there is room to change,” he told TheDC Thursday.
Davis, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus went on to say, “Intellectually, if people continue to pursue this nation to become perfected, then I see nothing wrong with that. I mean it was designed, I think they said, to form a more perfect union.”
But, as SacBee notes, at least one lawmaker is already opposed...
“Our flag and national anthem unite us as Americans,” Assemblyman Travis Allen, a Huntington Beach Republican who is running for governor, said in a statement. “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.”