Activists, journalists, and historians say The Star-Spangled Banner should no longer be the national anthem as it was written by a white slave owner, Francis Scott Key. They are suggesting that it should be replaced with Imagine by John Lennon.
Activist and journalist Kevin Powell and historian Daniel E. Walker made the suggestions in an article titled ‘Why it might be time to finally replace The Star-Spangled Banner with a new national anthem’ written by Yahoo Music Editor Lyndsey Parker.
The activists say the song is no longer appropriate because it was written by Francis Scott Key, who made racist remarks and was a slave owner. Powell also said that John Lennon’s Imagine would be a good replacement, saying it the ‘most beautiful, unifying, all-people, all-backgrounds-together kind of song you could have.’
Outraged people say the interview is just an example of how the Black Lives Matter movement is being used to ‘erase American history.’
“The 53-year-old in me says, we can’t change things that have existed forever,” Walker said in the Yahoo interview. “But then there are these young people who say that America needs to live up to its real creed.
“And so, I do side with the people who say that we should rethink this as the national anthem, because this is about the deep-seated legacy of slavery and white supremacy in America, where we do things over and over and over again that are a slap in the face of people of color and women.
“We do it first because we knew what we were doing and we wanted to be sexist and racist. And now we do it under the guise of “legacy.”
Powell also said: “The Star-Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key, who was literally born into a wealthy, slave-holding family in Maryland.
“He was a very well-to-do lawyer in Washington, D.C., and eventually became very close to President Andrew Jackson, who was the Donald Trump of his time, which means that there was a lot of hate and violence and division.
“At that time, there were attacks on Native Americans and Black folks — both free Black folks and folks who were slaves — and Francis Scott Key was very much a part of that.
‘He was also the brother-in-law of someone who became a Supreme Court justice, Roger Taney, who also had a very hardcore policy around slavery. And so, all of that is problematic. And the fact that Key, when he was a lawyer, also prosecuted abolitionists, both white and Black folks who wanted slavery to end, says that this is someone who really did not believe in freedom for all people.
“And yet, we celebrate him with this national anthem, every time we sing it.
“Francis Scott Key, he was a big-time guy in terms of the American colonization of society. This was not just a person who just lived in the time period. This is a person who helped define the time period.”
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