Is The National Anthem Racist?

✩ OUR ✩ NATIONAL ✩ ANTHEM ✩

(Above video description: The original file can be found here in full — BUT, the audio was horrible. I tried to raise the DBs but couldn’t get rid of the hiss… but it is a must watch!)

A friend asked a question about a challenge via “The Root” about the National Anthem. This is the “verse” said to be “racist”

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.

It is said our (yes, OUR) anthem glories in black slaves dying. Here is how it is encapsulated in the NEW YORK TIMES:

The journalist Jon Schwarz, writing in The Intercept, argued yes, denouncing the lyrics, written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812, as “a celebration of slavery.” How could black players, Mr. Schwarz asked, be expected to stand for a song whose rarely sung third stanza — which includes the lines “No refuge could save the hireling and slave/From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave” — “literally celebrates the murder of African-Americans”?

Here is another sport figure’s comments on the flag:

  • “And stop trying to sweep it under the rug. But, see, as long as you paint that narrative, oh, it’s the Anthem, I can’t — no — anybody that does something to the Anthem — well, we know what the anthem was originally written for and who it was written by, okay? The flag, okay? We understand what the flag? What does it represent? — SHANNON SHARPE

Here, the SMITHSONIAN helps set the scene for us and how the Anthem came to be:

…A week earlier, Francis Scott Key, a 35-year-old American lawyer, had boarded the flagship of the British fleet on the Chesapeake Bay in hopes of persuading the British to release a friend who had recently been arrested. Key’s tactics were successful, but because he and his companions had gained knowledge of the impending attack on Baltimore, the British did not let them go. They allowed the Americans to return to their own vessel but continued guarding them. Under their scrutiny, Key watched on September 13 as the barrage of Fort McHenry began eight miles away.

“It seemed as though mother earth had opened and was vomiting shot and shell in a sheet of fire and brimstone,” Key wrote later. But when darkness arrived, Key saw only red erupting in the night sky. Given the scale of the attack, he was certain the British would win. The hours passed slowly, but in the clearing smoke of “the dawn’s early light” on September 14, he saw the American flag—not the British Union Jack—flying over the fort, announcing an American victory.

Key put his thoughts on paper while still on board the ship, setting his words to the tune of a popular English song. His brother-in-law, commander of a militia at Fort McHenry, read Key’s work and had it distributed under the name “Defence of Fort M’Henry.” The Baltimore Patriot newspaper soon printed it, and within weeks, Key’s poem, now called “The Star-Spangled Banner,” appeared in print across the country, immortalizing his words—and forever naming the flag it celebrated….

THE DAILY CALLER notes (and so does SNOPES) that this verse was in reference to slaves and mercenaries that fought on the British side:

Francis Scott Key wrote the song the morning after the British bombarded Fort McHenry toward the end of the War of 1812, when he saw the American flag still waving. In these lines of the third verse he’s celebrating the death of slaves and mercenaries who opted to fight for the British in exchange for their freedom following the war. 

INDEPENDENT JOURNAL REVIEW puts the idea to bullet points:

✦ The Star Spangled Banner lyrics “the hireling ” refers to the British use of Mercenaries (German Hessians) in the American War of Independence
✦ The Star Spangled Banner lyrics “…and slave” is a direct reference to the British practice of Impressment (kidnapping American seamen and forcing them into service on British man-of war ships). This was a Important cause of the War of 1812
✦ Francis Scott Key then describes the Star Spangled Banner as a symbol of triumph over all adversity

The U.S. CAPITAL HISTORICAL SOCIETY also comments on the added “fifth verse” by Oliver Wendell Holmes at the start of the Civil War:

Fifty years later, in 1861, poet Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. would write a fifth verse to the National Anthem, reflecting the nation’s strife and looking toward a more peaceable future:

When our land is illum’d with Liberty’s smile,

If a foe from within strike a blow at her glory,

Down, down, with the traitor that dares to defile

The flag of her stars and the page of her story!

By the millions unchain’d who our birthright have gained

We will keep her bright blazon forever unstained!

And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave

While the land of the free is the home of the brave.

Here, Wendell, unlike Key, foresaw not only the inevitable emancipation of the nation’s slaves, but also the freed African Americans gaining full citizen rights and ensuring the country’s preservation. Today, this verse is not considered an official part of the National Anthem, but during the Civil War, it was printed in song books throughout the northern United States as an extension of Key’s lyrics. In this way, Francis Scott Key and the War of 1812 bequeathed to the nation not just a song, but a step toward the perpetuating of liberty—just as the Revolutionary War and Civil War did.

Again, the Left views complex history through the lens of a historical Marxist view. Something that Howard Zinn tried to do as well, but did so by rewriting history… as the Modern Left still does.

Francis Scott Key, like many during that time, had a varied history on slavery. He fought for slaves to be free in court – pro bono. But, he also fought to return runaway slaves to owners at some point in his life – probably for money. So he was an opportunistic lawyer to pay bills… nothing has changed. WIKI continues with this:

Key publicly criticized slavery’s cruelties, so much that after his death a newspaper editorial stated “So actively hostile was he to the peculiar institution that he was called ‘The Nigger Lawyer’ …. because he often volunteered to defend the downtrodden sons and daughters of Africa. Mr. Key convinced me that slavery was wrong—radically wrong.” In June 1842, Key attended the funeral of William Costin, a free, mixed race resident who had challenged Washington’s surety bond laws.

The SMITHSONIAN again notes that Key was a founding member and active leader of the American Colonization, of which the primary goal was to send free African-Americans back to Africa. Keys, even though he abhorred slavery, and fought to free slaves at times, was removed from the board in 1833 as its policies shifted toward abolitionist. The mood of the nation as a whole was shifting. While Keys couldn’t envision a multi-ethnic nation, others could. But Keys position wasn’t necessarily “racist,” as some ex-slaves wanted the same. To recall a portion of the above quote from the Capital Historical Society, “…Wendell, unlike Key, foresaw not only the inevitable emancipation of the nation’s slaves, but also the freed African Americans gaining full citizen rights and ensuring the country’s preservation.”

YOU SEE, people change… as do nations (because they, like corporations, are made up of people). I make  this point in my post on AUGUSTINE, who is often used to support old-earth positions… but little know that later in his life he rejected the old-earth view and wrote quite a bit on the young earth (creationist) viewpoint.

A man needs to be judged by his life’s journey. As do nations.

Likewise, conservatives believe that Robert Byrd may have sincerely changed his formerly racist beliefs. But when Democrats accuse Republicans of racism because they went to Strom Thurmond’s (one of the only major Dixiecrats to change to Republican – watch here and here) funeral and gave him praise, even though he changed his views on race/racism. All we point out is that if praising an ex Dixiecrat at a funeral makes one racist… then what does lauding a KKK Grand Kleagle at his funeral make Democrats?

A man needs to be judged by his life’s journey.

So does a nation.

Here is the rest of the SMITHSONIAN piece I wish to excerpt:

A religious man, Key believed slavery sinful; he campaigned for suppression of the slave trade. “Where else, except in slavery,” he asked, “was ever such a bed of torture prepared?” Yet the same man, who coined the expression “the land of the free,” was himself an owner of slaves who defended in court slaveholders’ rights to own human property.

Key believed that the best solution was for African-Americans to “return” to Africa—although by then most had been born in the United States. He was a founding member of the American Colonization Society, the organization dedicated to that objective; its efforts led to the creation of an independent Liberia on the west coast of Africa in 1847. Although the society’s efforts were directed at the small percentage of free blacks, Key believed that the great majority of slaves would eventually join the exodus. That assumption, of course, proved to be a delusion. “Ultimately,” says historian Egerton, “the proponents of colonization represent a failure of imagination. They simply cannot envision a multiracial society. The concept of moving people around as a solution was widespread and being applied to Indians as well.”

You see, Americans’ belief then was “not merely in themselves [shocker to millennials] but also in their future . . . lying just beyond the western horizon” (ibid). And that is key. As Paul Johnson rightly notes in his history book on America:

“…can a nation rise above the injustices of its origins and, by its moral purpose and performance, atone for them? All nations are born in war, conquest, and crime, usually concealed by the obscurity of a distant past. The United States, from its earliest colonial times, won its title-deeds in the full blaze of recorded history, and the stains on them are there for all to see and censure: the dispossession of a indigenous people, and the securing of self-sufficiency through the sweat and pain of an enslaved race. In the judgmental scales of history, such grievous wrongs must be balanced by the erection of a society dedicated to justice and fairness.”

Paul Johnson, A History of the American People (New York, NY: Harper Perenial, 1997), 3.

South African Violence and Agricultural Shifts (Updated)

THE NEW OBSERVER, has some stories about the issue:

At least ten White South African farmers have already abandoned their home country in the face of offers of land and ultimate citizenship of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, one of their largest farmers’ unions has announced.

The Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa (TAU-SA) confirmed in a statement that their memorandum of understanding, signed with the previous Georgian government in August 2010, would still be honored by the newly-elected government in Tbilisi.

[….]

Earlier, one of the first Boer farmers to move to Georgia under the scheme, 66-year-old Piet Kemp, was quoted as saying that “I have a new life here,” he explained.

“I try to make friends with all the people in Georgia, learning their culture. I have been here since 3rd of March, and I have not heard of one murder in Georgia in this time. I didn’t hear about any bank robbery. I didn’t hear about any one hijacking.”

“There is no security of land, absolutely no security of land in South Africa,” he stressed.

Kemp said that over the last decade he successfully helped hundreds of white farmers hold on to their farmland in face of legal challenges from black farm workers and squatters.  But now, he says white farmers face threats of farm seizures.

“They have done exceptionally great job over the years in South Africa, and to give them an opportunity to do the same thing here and for Georgian farmers to learn from the experience they will receive from their new neighbors, from the South African farmers,” said Georgia’s Canada-educated Economy Minister, Vera Kobalia.

Kobalia praises Sandra Roelofs, the Dutch-born wife of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, for promoting the program.  Dutch is the mother language of Afrikaans.

“It helped in terms of making them feel more secure in Georgia,” Kobalia noted.  “There is definitely that connection, the Holland connection in Georgia.”

[….]

“I do not want to live in constant fear,” the 67-year-old said emotionally as he recalled the widespread killings of other white farmers in South Africa. “We tried to defend our rights, but we lost this war.”

Amid the violence, Kemp said that he felt he had no choice but to leave.

“In Georgia there is no violence, the crime rate is extremely low. So I will never go back,” Kemp declared, comparing the situation here to the high violent crime rates back home, which include some 46 murders a day.

He sold his farm in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province, was given Georgian citizenship in 2011 and in March that year rented 700 hectares (1,730 acres) of land in the village of Sartichala, where he now cultivates maize and wheat.

“I moved to Georgia because I see tremendous opportunities here — there is a good climate, fertile soil and a good market,” he said.

Some of the recent radicalism is linked with communist/Marxist groups held in check by Mandela (as a leader among them). This restraining influence is gone now, and what many worry about may come true more-so than it has as of late.

An amazing story via LIBERTARIAN REPUBLICAN (<<<now defunct — which is too bad, it was a great site), take note that in the video seen at LR’s website the shirt being worn is that of Nelson Mandela:

No hyperbole. No exaggeration. This really happened.

Note – it’s not being covered at all in any of the American media. Only here at Libertarian Republican.

From Arutz7, “South African BDS Protesters: ‘Shoot the Jew’ — A South African protest against an Israeli musician quickly deteriorated into a call for the murder of Jews”:

Anti-Israel students and activists showed their “true colors” last Wednesday night, Jewish students at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa said.

Moving quickly from “anti-Zionism” to classic anti-Semitism, a melange of students and BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) activists began screaming “Shoot the Jews” at a concert featuring religious Jewish jazz saxophonist Daniel Zamir.

[….]

Of course, the South African blacks were urged on by Muslims in the crowd. 

Continuing:

Dozens of South African Muslims and BDS supporters gathered outside Wits’ Great Hall, with security personnel keeping them outside. Several scuffles were reported, and concert-goers were subject to a great deal of verbal abuse. 

At that point, said witnesses, the protesters broke into a sing-song chant of “kill the Jews,” (“Dubula e Juda” in Zulu), a take-off on a protest song sung in the 80s against whites. When questioned, Muhammed Desai, coordinator of the protest and leader of “BDS South Africa,” said that the protesters did not mean the term “kill the Jews” literally. (Emphasis added.)

Note – this “Kill Whites” song has been sung at political rallies by numerous political leaders in the South African left, including Nelson Mandela.

FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE noted this about the revival of this song and why many farmers/ranchers are on the move:

For decades, the country of South Africa was the focus of an international rallying cry against the injustices of apartheid. On June 17, 1991, South Africa’s Parliament abolished the legal framework for the practice of racial persecution. In 1994, Nelson Mandela and his Marxist African National Congress (ANC) assumed the reins of power. The international community looked away, satisfied that justice had prevailed. They continue to look away, even as South Africa has degenerated into another racist pit, best described by an Afrikaner farm owner: “It’s politically correct to kill whites these days.”

In July of 2012, Dr. Gregory Stanton, head of the nonprofit group Genocide Watch, conducted a fact-finding mission in South Africa. He concluded that there is a coordinated campaign of genocide being conducted against white farmers, known as Boers. “The farm murders, we have become convinced, are not accidental,” Stanton contended. “It was very clear that the massacres were not common crimes,” he added — especially because of the absolute barbarity used against the victims. “We don’t know exactly who is planning them yet, but what we are calling for is an international investigation,” he added.

The number of farm murders, or “plaasmoorde” as it is called in Afrikaans, is staggering. Over the last decade, it is estimated that at least 3000 Boers have been killed. Estimating the number of murders is necessary because the ANC has banned crime statistics from being compiled, claiming they scare off foreign investment.

[…..]

The ANC, whose leader Jacob Zuma was reelected with over 75 per cent of the total voting delegates at the ANC National Conference held in Bloemfontein last December, denies that genocide is occurring, insisting that such attacks are part of the larger crime problem. Yet a report filed by the South African Institute of Race Relations notes that while crime has ostensibly declined between 1994 and 2011, “substantial numbers” of police stations have manipulated their crime statistics. The report sub-headline underscores the corrupt nature of crime statistics in the country: “Is this a true reflection of the crime statistics in South Africa? Who knows!” it states.

What is known is that the ANC celebrated in 100th year anniversary with a song led by President Zuma himself. “Dubula iBhunu” or “Shoot the Boer” was a line in the lyrics of an apartheid-era song, “Ayesaba Amagwala” (“the cowards are scared”) that violates the South Africa constitution prohibiting the “advocacy of hatred that is based on race … and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.”  Yet Zuma apparently felt no compunction to refrain from singing it, because the ANC considers it an integral part of the anti-apartheid movement that is part of their heritage.

In 2010, Julius Malema, then leader of the ANC Youth League, revived the practice of singing the song after many years. After the South Africa High Court ruled it was hate speech, the ANC appealed. Last October, the ANC and AfriForum, a lobby group that wanted the song banned from public performance, reached an out-of-court settlement.

Dr. Stanton concluded that Malema’s revival of a song advocating murder moved South Africa from the fifth stage on his genocidal scale to stage six. When the South African judiciary ruled it to be unlawful hate speech, Genocide Watch put South Africa back at stage five. When President Zuma was caught on tape January 2012 singing, “We are going to shoot them with the machine gun, they are going to run/You are a Boer, we are going to hit them, and you are going to run/shoot the Boer…” South Africa was raised to stage six once again.

Stage six is known as Preparation: “Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity. Death lists are drawn up. Members of victim groups are forced to wear identifying symbols. Their property is expropriated. They are often segregated into ghettoes, deported into concentration camps, or confined to a famine-struck region and starved.”

The sixth stage is followed by stage seven: Extermination….

[….]

Embedded in that platform is the idea that making peace with white South Africans following the end of apartheid has “hampered” the transfer of wealth to black South Africans. Thus, a “second transition,” was proposed, which even the see-no-progressive-evil New York Times was forced to concede represents a “sharp leftward shift for the A.N.C., which despite its roots has largely backed a free-market economy with minimal state intervention.”

Stanton sees a bigger picture. In a speech in Pretoria, organized by the Transvaal Agricultural Union, Stanton claimed the ANC was demonizing white farmers, who have been in South Africa since the 1600s, by calling them “settlers.” A Genocide Watch reports reveals the strategy behind those efforts. “High-ranking ANC government officials who continuously refer to Whites as ‘settlers’ and ‘colonialists of a special type’ are using racial epithets in a campaign of state-sponsored dehumanization of the White population as a whole,” it stated. “They sanction gang-organized hate crimes against Whites, with the goal of terrorizing Whites through fear of genocidal annihilation.”

ANC President Jacob Zuma continues to fan the flames of racial division. Last December, he admonished black South Africans for being dog owners, saying that doing so amounts to copying white culture. Zuma’s office contended the message was aimed at “the need to decolonize the African mind post-liberation.”….

Mandela sings song about killing whites!

The Lonely Conservative has a good commentary that one should read in full on his site… here is a teaser:

I don’t like to speak ill of the dead, especially when they still haven’t even been buried. (I also don’t like to speak ill of the Pope, although I’ve been tempted to at least speak ill of his ideology.) But I do think it’s important to add some perspective to the legacy of Nelson Mandela that you aren’t going to get from the media.

Those who escaped Cuba, and those who are still there, probably aren’t shedding too many tears this morning over the passing of Nelson Mandela, who seemed to have no problem with the ruthless ways of the Castro regime. Fellow travelers and all.

From JTF.ORG:

….Mandela also was always an enthusiastic supporter of Ugandan Muslim dictator Idi Amin, and Mandela met with his fellow terrorist Yasser Arafat in the 1970s to publicly deplore Israel’s “barbaric” rescue of innocent Jews who were taken hostage by PLO-Fatah airplane hijackers in 1976 and then flown to Uganda’s Entebbe Airport where Amin and Arafat planned to murder them.

To this day, Mandela strongly supports other “progressive” Third World dictators like Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Hafez el-Assad of Syria and Moammar Khadafi of Libya.

In South Africa itself, since Mandela and other savages seized power from the white minority, the country now has more than five times the homicide rate of Washington, DC, the murder capital of the United States….

…read more…

Some more commentary by Joel Pollak who offers a more fair-and-balanced [conservative] approach to Mandela’s legacy. And while Mandela was not anti-Israel… many in his own party and those he had as fellow contemporaries were. All that being said, we must remember Jerusalem’s Post commentary that Mandela was no Martin Luther King Jr., but more like a BILL AYERS type:

Imagine a person who planned acts of sabotage and incited violence, resulting in the deaths of innocent civilians and damage to public property. A man who embraced brutal dictators throughout the Third World, such as Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and Cuba’s Fidel Castro, singing their praises and defending them publicly even as they trampled on the rights and lives of their own people. A person who hugged Yasser Arafat at the height of the intifada, hailed Puerto Rican terrorists who shot US Congressmen, and penned a book entitled, How to be a good Communist.

Picture all this and, believe it or not, you will be staring at a portrait of Nelson Mandela….

(JERUSALEM POST)