Opinion by John Caynon
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Litchfield Mirror, LCTV, LCM, the Town of Litchfield or it’s elected officials.
Things that make you say hmmm…… When people state that the National Anthem is a racist song, because the 3rd Stanza which has:
‘ 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 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, And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
When you look a little deeper at that stanza, it makes you say hmmm….. Keep in mind that during both the Revolutionary and War of 1812, the British offered freedom to black slaves who escaped and would fight on the British side. People referred to them as traitors, but remember, blacks didn’t become citizens until AFTER the Civil War. During the Battle of Bladensburg, where Key was an officer, they were routed by a the British and a cadre of Royal Marines made up of local blacks who were recently freed. after the routing of Bladensburg, Washington DC was burned. So when Fort McHenry withstood the bombardment a month later, Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner. Although he never specifically said why he wrote what he wrote, it isn’t such a stretch to remember that he lost to black marines a month before and many of those were killed during the fighting and was gloating at their demise. And others were also hired by the British to fight, so even though blacks who were on the “US” side had no rights, citizenship, were considered property, and had no other alternatives. In 1916, one of the most racist Presidents, Woodrow Wilson used a Presidential Proclamation to make the Star Spangled Banner the National Anthem. (He segregated the Civil Service, and premiered the “Birth of a Nation” film from the White House) Congress voted to make it the National Anthem in 1931. Now that it is the National Anthem, it applies to all Americans.