The misguided displays of protesting oppression have finally resulted in the defacing of a monument dedicated to our national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner. The latest victim of leftist anti-American hate is none other than the cenotaph in Baltimore dedicated to Francis Scott Key.
Scrawled across the Eutaw Place memorial marker in Baltimore was “racist anthem” and “slave owner.” Vandals also included the third stanza of Key’s poem, which was later set to music. The third stanza in part reads, “No refuge could save the hireling and slave/ from the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave.”
It is that short verse which now fuels the leftist mob. Fortunately, it also highlights the absolute ignorance perpetuated by liberals, in the storied history and origin of the poem. The racist, anti-white media platform, The Root, opined:
“In the case of our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” perhaps not knowing the full lyrics is a good thing. It is one of the most racist, pro-slavery, anti-black songs in the American lexicon, and you would be wise to cut it from your Fourth of July playlist.”
And they cite the third stanza as evidence of their erroneous and ridiculous accusation.
Ask the Expert
Enter Mark Clague, Ph.D. (University of Michigan), with the curricula vitae that will put to rest any possible notions of anti-black sentiments in the Star-Spangled Banner. Dr. Clague is a musicologist and professor of music history, American culture, African and Afro-American studies, and entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). He also founded the Star-Spangled Music Foundation, which covers in great detail, every little tidbit of the anthem’s history. In short; he is the guy to ask about stanza three.
The protests sparked by ex-football player, Colin Kaepernick, inspired Clague to write a detailed opinion piece that CNN published. He discredited the notion with facts and analysis of the historic event that inspired Key to produce the patriotic prose, the Battle of Baltimore which took place in 1814. Clague writes:
“The Star-Spangled Banner” in no way glorifies or celebrates slavery. The middle two verses of Key’s lyric vilify the British enemy in the War of 1812, what Key refers to in Verse 3 as “hirelings and slaves.” This enemy included both whites and blacks, largely British professional soldiers (hirelings) but also the Corps of Colonial Marines (slaves). The Colonial Marines were escaped black American slaves who joined British forces because of the promise of freedom in return for fighting their former masters.”
In 1814 Key’s lyric honored American soldiers both black and white. “The Star-Spangled Banner” celebrates the heroes who defended Fort McHenry in the face of almost certain defeat against the most powerful gunships of the era.
An interesting side note, before becoming the national anthem in 1931, as Clague stated, “The graphic language of Key’s denunciation of this British enemy led to the removal of Verse 3 in sheet music editions of the song in World War I, when the United States and Britain became staunch allies.”
Desperate Times for Liberals
The myth of the anti-black, pro-slavery anthem debunked, where do the angry left go next? Meet Jefferson Morley, a correspondent for Alternet DC. Morley appeared on Fox News with Tucker Carlson, claiming a neo-confederate group pushed the song into becoming the national anthem in 1931 to send a message of hate. Morley argues that the parade in Baltimore to celebrate the new national anthem was led by people hoisting two flags; the Stars and Stripes and the Confederate flag. No white hoods, no lynching, no violence; just the two flags.
And that is the basis of his entire argument, which you can watch here.
As the destruction of our United States’ history rages across the land, perpetrated by uneducated and angry leftist factions, a movement to erase our past is coming close to fruition. As government leaders stand idly by, afraid of losing favor with the self-proclaimed oppressed masses, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh (D) has vowed to restore the Francis Scott Key monument. The City’s executive director of Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation, Eric Holcomb, welcomes the task at hand, stating, “It’s so counterproductive, what they’re doing. History’s messy. It’s nuanced. It’s something to talk about, not something to erase.”