the national anthem is anti-black and should have never been respected in the first place

September 25, 2017
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Oh say can you see…

…The bullshit that is even having a conversation considering whether or not the national anthem should be protested?

Besides the fact that America and what it stands for is rooted in anti-Blackness, genocide and colonization, and therefore its national anthem, its flag, and any of its other symbols are rooted in this as well, the national anthem is literally anti-Black. I’m not talking about it’s symbolism. Literally.

Most Americans only know the first stanza of the national anthem. There are actually four, and in one in particular, “Star-Spangled Banner” writer Francis Scott Key’s well-established pro-slavery stance shines through. But first, some backstory:

Key, who thought Black people were mentally inferior and proposed sending free Black people to Africa and, had just been defeated by a battalion of runaway slaves who were fighting with the British weeks before he famously found himself on a British ship and observed the battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore that the song describes.

The story goes that he was a captive on the shit, but he was actually begging for the release of one of his friends. America lost, but their gallant effort inspired what became the national anthem a century later, including its third stanza about former slaves fighting for the British army in exchange for their freedom:

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
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,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Still reeling from his earlier loss at the hands of the Black battalion, Key’s song was a bitter response to what he saw as the formerly enslaved’s betrayal (which was really their yearning for freedom), and cheered that “no refuge” would be able to save them in the face of America’s triumph.

Can you see the bullshit now?



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