Get rid of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ as national anthem.So, when 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 real intentions got overlooked, and it's become something that's dividing us, and I'm looking for a way to bring us back together," she said.
Huffman said that the protests led her to look at the lyrics of "The Star-Spangled Banner," especially the parts of the anthem Americans don't typically sing.
"It's racist," she said. "It doesn't represent our community. It's anti-black people."
Huffman is referring to the third stanza, which includes the lyric "no refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave."
She said some interpretations conclude that the lyrics celebrate the deaths of black American slaves fighting for freedom and the song should be replaced with something that supports all our values.
Patrons at a Veterans of Foreign Wars post in West Sacramento disagreed.
"That's an extreme way of doing things," said Kenneth Lu, a veteran living in Davis.
"I believe it is a slap across the face," said Sydney Lugo. "Whether there's some kind of little flaw in the context of what this is, I don't see it that way. I have to stick with our traditions and our values and what we represent."
How is that going to solve the problem?