Why NAACP Demands The National Anthem Be Banned Right Now
NAACP Is Ruffling Some Feathers
In November 2017, the California chapter of the National Association For the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sent out a resolution to support the removal of the “Star Spangled Banner” as the U.S.’ national anthem, noting the racist language in parts of the song not commonly sung. They want the anthem replaced with a different song.
Here’s What They Said
"This song is wrong … It should never have been there, and just like we didn't have it until 1931, it won't kill us if it goes away." - NAACP California chapter president Alice Huffman.
Here’s What The Anthem Says
In the third stanza, the lyrics read: "no refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave."
Some scholars have interpreted this line as a reference to the enslaved Black people who fled slavery during the war of 1812 to fight against America alongside the British, who promised freedom if they won the war. Some believe the author of the Star Spangled Banner, Francis Scott Key, included these lyrics to mock those Blacks who fought for their freedom.
Here’s Why It Matters
When former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began protesting during the national Anthem in 2016, he made it clear that he was protesting police brutality and racial injustice. Although he was not protesting the anthem itself, his actions caused people to pay attention to what the song was actually saying.
Now, more people are realizing the contradictory nature of what America claims to stand for and the words of the national anthem. Many agree that it is quite disturbing for crowds of people to sing a song that celebrates the deaths of Black slaves who fought to escape the horrendous conditions imposed on them by America.
The NAACP is currently seeking legislative sponsors in Congress to support the resolution.
For more on the racist history of the national anthem, check out PushBlack’s article “Did You Know The Word Slave Was In The National Anthem?”