On August 26, 2016, San Francisco 49’ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the National Anthem, which is a prelude to all NFL games.
The embattled player said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Irony was quickly found in the ill-mannered display when
it was pointed out that Kapernick’s biological mother was a teenager when she gave birth to her son. She did not have enough money to support the baby after the father declined to take responsibility. In turn, the mother decided to place the baby for adoption. Rick and Theresa Kaepernick (a white couple) took him in and raised him since he was still just five weeks old.
This week, the argument in defense of Kaepernick’s actions transformed in an unexpected way. The left is now calling the quarterback’s actions justified because, the Star Spangled Banner is a racist song.
Many media outlets have begun pointing to the 3rd verse of the National Anthem as an ode to slavery.
“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 washed out their foul footsteps’ 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!”
The Intercept has argued that sentence about the hireling and slave is a reference to British recruitment of American slaves to fight in the Colonial Marines of the British Army. In this regard, the left is painting the British as the just freer of American slaves; referring to the promise that the British would not return slaves to their owners, should they win the war of 1812.
Here’s the problem, Britain passed the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833 and after a period of 5 years of forced apprenticeship, British slaves became free in 1838. Slavery was alive and well in 1812 Britain.
The true meaning of the line, referred to by the left is: The Star Spangled Banner lyrics “the hireling” refers to the British use of Mercenaries (German Hessians) in the American War of Independence. “…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 an important cause of the War of 1812.
If you think there is no reason to worry about the left’s futile effort to change the National Anthem, you should know there is precedent in the modern world. In June of this year, Canadian lawmakers voted to change the country’s national anthem to make the lyrics gender neutral, a move that comes as the new Liberal government focuses on being more inclusive. The words changed in one verse from ‘in all thy sons command’ to ‘in all of us …’