California NAACP wants to remove ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ as national anthem

From the San Luis Obispo Tribune: 

When California lawmakers return to the Capitol in January, the state chapter of the NAACP will be seeking their support for a campaign to remove “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem.

The organization last week began circulating among legislative offices two resolutions that passed at its state conference in October: one urging Congress to rescind “one of the most racist, pro-slavery, anti-black songs in the American lexicon” as the national anthem, and another in support of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who launched a protest movement against police brutality among professional athletes by kneeling when “The Star-Spangled Banner” was played before games.

“We owe a lot of it to Kaepernick,” California NAACP President Alice Huffman said. “I think all this controversy about the knee will go away once the song is removed.”

The kneeling protests have drawn attention to an infrequently-sung third verse from “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which includes the passage:

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

Some interpretations of the lyrics conclude that they celebrate the deaths of black American slaves who joined British troops during the War of 1812 to gain their freedom. Francis Scott Key, who wrote the lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” was a slave owner and fierce opponent of abolition who may have sparked the first race riot in Washington, D.C. …

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