To our new national anthem. But not the one they think.
In an increasingly anti-racist era when problematic iconography — ranging from Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben to even the Dukes of Hazzard General Lee car and country band Lady Antebellum’s name — is being reassessed, revised or retired, America’s national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” seems to be striking a wrong note.
Last week, protesters in San Francisco toppled a statue of the song’s composer, Francis Scott Key, a known slaveholder who once said that African Americans were “a distinct and inferior race of people, which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that afflicts a community.” This week, Liana Morales, an Afro-Latinx student at New York’s Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts, refused to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at her virtual graduation ceremony, explaining to the Wall Street Journal, “With everything that’s happening, if I stand there and sing it, I’m being complicit to a system that has oppressed people of color.” Instead, Morales performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a hymn widely considered to be the “Black national anthem.”
So, if “The Star-Spangled Banner” goes the way of the Confederate flag and Gone With the Wind, what should America’s new national anthem be? Whatever it is, Walker says there should be a formal “vetting process” to make sure the next anthem doesn’t have a terrible past; Powell, for his part, suggests John Lennon’s “Imagine,” which he says is “the most beautiful, unifying, all-people, all-backgrounds-together kind of song you could have.”
But what about “Lift Every Voice and Sing”? That song, written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson in 1900, set to music by his brother J. Rosamond Johnson in 1905, and first publicly performed as part of a celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday by Johnson’s brother John, was dubbed “the Negro national hymn” by the NAACP in 1919. In more recent years, it has been referenced in Maya Angelou’s 1969 autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Spike Lee’s 1989 film Do the Right Thing; it was also performed in 1972 by Kim Weston as the opening number for the Wattstax festival and by Beyoncé during her celebrated 2018 Coachella set.
Okay, so the Star Spangled Banner, clearly, is out, just another victim of the Left’s ongoing campaign to destroy every last bit of American history, culture, and tradition on the altar of political correctness. And clearly, we will be required to instate something Nee-grow approved in its place. So I have a few suggestions.
WARNING: the videos embedded below the fold are EXTREMELY NSFW. In fact, if rough language and overt sexual suggestiveness and perversion are problematic for you, you’ll probably want to forego clicking the “More” link entirely.
Entirely too raw for a national anthem, you say, and horribly sexist to boot? Okay, try this one on for size, then. A little more spare and bare-bones, being an a capella performance, but it might still suit.
STILL too much oomph? Okay, okay, let’s just dial back the prurience a wee mite.
Now if THAT don’t fill the bill, well, I just don’t know what more I can say.
Set Kipling’s “The Wrath of the Awakened Saxon” to music. That would be a fine national anthem, even more belligerent than La Marseillaise.
Fits the present times rather well. Things like “The Saxons” are just set to Kipling’s work.