The California Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) would like Congress to abolish the The Star-Spangled Banner as the American National Anthem because they say it is “one of the most racist, pro-slavery, anti-black songs in the American lexicon.”
The NAACP have two new resolutions. One urges Congress to rescind the national anthem, and another is in support of former quarterback Colin Kaepernick who started “take a knee” protests in the NFL by refusing to stand when the anthem was played before games.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said.
“We owe a lot of it to Kaepernick,” NAACP President Alice Huffman said. “I think all this controversy about the knee will go away once the song is removed.”
One problem the NAACP has with the “The Star-Spangled Banner” is a third verse that many people have never heard:
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
The NAACP believe these words are a celebration of slavery, but many historians say this refers to the British Navy’s practice of impressing American sailors into serving the Crown, essentially making them slaves to the British Navy.
“That practice, known at the time as impressment, was one of the main causes of the War of 1812, the war that inspired the writing of the song,” Warner Todd Huston of Breitbart explained. “But, regardless of what the original third verse meant or didn’t mean, a further point tends to debunk the ‘slavery’ claim about the national anthem. The version of the song that was officially enshrined as our national anthem does not even contain the purportedly offensive verse. The verse had been written out of the song over the decades following the Civil War, and up to the time, it became our official anthem in 1931.”
According to Alexei Hoseff of The Sacramento Bee, Alice Huffman drafted the NAACP’s resolutions after President Trump suggested NFL owners should fire any “son of a bitch” who doesn’t stand for the anthem. Huffman believes Congress should find a replacement that is not “another song that disenfranchises part of the American population.”
The California NAACP is seeking legislative sponsors to rescind the status of the National Anthem, and according to Hoseff, Chris Holden, a Pasadena Democrat who chairs the California Legislative Black Caucus, did not respond to a request to discuss the measures. Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen, however, responded in a statement that “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.”