|Enough blood's been shed for your freedom - stand up out of respect!|
Lately, however, a line from one of the unsung verses has been used as an excuse for sitting down during the playing of the anthem by Americans concerned with institutionalized (you guessed it) RACISM in America. Before you make assumptions about racism in our nation's anthem, you should perhaps read it for yourself. Here's the "offensive" verse.
TRIGGER WARNING: The Star Spangled Banner was written by a man with some education who used words and grammatical constructions suitable for reading by other educated folk - high school or maybe college level for our latest flocks of high school graduates more probably. So if you read at a fourth grade level, the only thing you are going to pick up in this verse of the anthem is that it uses the "S" word and will merrily jump to conclusions from there. I have added explanatory comments in italics for those of you from Rio Linda.
- And where is that band who so vauntingly swore, (he means the British Army)
- That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
- A home and a Country should leave us no more? (he means they want to defeat the USA)
- Their blood has wash'd out their foul footstep's pollution.(i.e. patriot blood has purified the stain on America's honor left by the British attacks)
- No refuge could save the hireling and slave (he's not talking about black people - see below)
- From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,(from getting their fuzzy butt's kicked)
- And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
- O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
IT IS NOT!
The slaves in question (and hirelings) that Francis Scott Key was referring to were not American negroes enslaved throughout the South. Key was talking about the mercenary and conscripted forces of the British Army who were conscripted out of their colonies and conquests. None of these "slaves" to the British were American Negroes nor can be understood as such. Scott never meant for the term "slaves" to be construed this way.
Don't you love the way progressives get all animated over trigger words like "slave" as though only black people can be slaves? I mean, how racist is it to assume that only black people can be slaves? This meaning was not inherent in how we used the word slaves back in Key's day. In the early days of the United States, anyone who was compelled to obey a tyrant, would be considered a slave no matter what color they were. The British Army often used conscripted troops, but to the American way of thinking, no one who served a tyrant, however willingly, could be consider any less than a slave.
The US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are not documents that allow much room for slavery anyway. Despite compromises within the Constitution over how to count slaves in apportioning congressional districts, there was such a disconnect between the high language of the preamble and the Bill of Rights that the abolition of slavery was an inevitability, built into the bones of the document itself.
In fact, years later at the outbreak of the Civil War, Confederate Vice-President Alexander Stephens in his famous "Cornerstone Speech", argued that secession was necessary to preserve the South's "peculiar institution" (slavery). Stephens argued that the US Constitution "rested upon the assumption of the equality of races". He claimed that because the Negro wasn't equal to the whites, the South must, therefore, secede or see slavery inevitably abolished. Yes, it took a while, but, in the end, the purpose of the Founders, equality of all men, was achieved. Though the principle of racial equality was established, again it took more bloodshed, and once again, the blood of patriots helped wash away the stain upon our national honor - or at least should have.
Once again, however, people in power wish to preserve the appearance of a gulf between Americans based on race as a way to keep a racial minority bound to the Democrat plantation. These "progressive" leaders attempt prove that there is such a gulf by claiming racism is so bad that black college students, for instance, should be segregated by skin color to protect them from having their feelings hurt.
Does anyone besides me hear the echoes of ancient bigotry in a policy like that. And we conservatives are faced with it on the extreme ends of our own political ideology. The alt/right Americans (many of whom support Donald Trump) who call decent Christian conservatives "cuckservatives" and race traitors are no better than their paternalistic elitist brethren on the left. They've swung so far to the right they have bumped butts with the racist Progressive left around on the far side of the Earth. That we listen to either of these groups with other than contempt and laughter worries me.
It tells me Jesus is not too far from making a second appearance to the squabbling children of Earth. And as to whether any of this stuff is going to get better or not, I don't think so. Just remember. The Second Coming is a rescue mission and not an occupation or conquest. We're going to leave it all behind to burn itself down. We'll be coming back later to replant and rebuild.
I'm really looking forward to that.
© 2016 by Tom King