Last week, the Left took a first symbolic step toward erasing the memory of Francis Scott Key by toppling his statue in San Francisco. Now they are turning their attention to the national anthem itself, which has Key’s fingerprints all over it. A battle is underway to find a replacement. What are some of the contenders?
Yahoo Entertainment asked author and activist Kevin Powell, who prefaced his recommendations with a brief history of Key and his lyrics that also includes a gratuitous dig at Donald Trump:
The Star-Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key, who was literally born into a wealthy, slave-holding family in Maryland. He was a very well-to-do lawyer in Washington, D.C., and eventually became very close to President Andrew Jackson, who was the Donald Trump of his time, which means that there was a lot of hate and violence and division.
I grew up in hip-hop, and I remember how people would criticize hip-hop for being violent. Yet ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ is riddled with violence. How are you criticizing a rap song for being violent, but when we get to kindergarten, we are literally teaching children violence through song? I said, “I can’t participate anymore.” So I stopped a long time ago.
With all due respect to Powell, the couplet “the rockets’ red glare/bombs bursting in air” doesn’t quite stoop to the level of violence in the lyric “Punk police are afraid of me!/Huh, a young n*gga on the warpath/And when I’m finished, it’s gonna be a bloodbath/Of cops, dyin’ in L.A.” Even the little-known third verse of Key’s poem, which the Left has argued — unconvincingly — to be an endorsement of slavery, pales in malevolence.
So what does Powell suggest as a replacement for the national anthem? One possibility he names is John Lennon’s “Imagine,” a song he claims to be “the most beautiful, unifying, all-people, all-backgrounds-together kind of song you could have.” Apart from the song’s envisionment of a socialist paradise, it contains a lyric that may be troubling to many Americans, not to mention all grammarians: “And no religion too.”
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
The Star-Spangled Banner, which was originally titled “The Defence of Fort McHenry,” does allude to a higher being in its fourth and seldom-performed verse, which follows:
O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto — “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
What else does Powell think might be a suitable replacement for all this “flag waving”?
The song “Lift Every Voice and Sing” based on a poem by the black poet James Weldon Johnson published in 1900. In 1919, The NAACP dubbed the tone”the Negro national hymn.” Any more questions?