Blacks Enslaved When Star-Spangled Banner Was Written


“According to the historian Robin Blackburn, the words ‘the hireling and slave’ allude to the fact that the British attackers had many ex-slaves in their ranks, who had been promised liberty and demanded to be placed in the battle…’where they might expect to meet their former masters.'”

I extracted this from an explanation of the Star-Spangled Banner on Wikipedia. Apparently, while Francis Scott Key and John Stuart Skinner were being held captive on HMS Tonnant until after the inspiring battle at Fort McHenry. What this means is that a battle against the no-doubt opportunistic English for having freed slaves, celebrates a freedom for White Americans.

It was not until January 31, 1865, and ratified on December 6, 1865, that the 13th amendment abolished slavery in the United States. 53 years later was slavery abolished; but of course it lingers.

The point I am trying to make is that having a White man tell a Black man why he should or should not stand for the National Anthem, adopted as the national anthem of the United States of America on March 4, 1931, another 66 years later, forgets that the national anthem at the time of its inspiration represented an army that had not denounced slavery.

We have institutionalized racism. I know it because I am a racist at heart. I have to fight it everyday. Some Black people, in my eyes, are not like me, commit faux paus that I would never commit, which of course is to view a Black person through my eyes and to project my impressions upon he/she, which is wrong, especially where I have no business, in the context of the Declaration of Independence, which states that all men are created equal, even though I have heard allusions to “Only rich White men could vote, and they agreed that when the census takers were counting the population of each state, a Black man would count as only three-fifths as much as a White man.”

So, if we are talking about The Star-Spangled Banner as demanding that a Black man stand up and honor it, this is a bit of a laughing stock. And if you are saying that in doing so, we honor our previous and present soldiers, who defend our country, I might remind that the contributions slaves made to our country is a bit like the sacrifices members of the military have made for the security and safety of our country, but many soldiers did so by choice.

Blacks are at war with our perceptions of them as different. We apply our point of view. And I speak for myself. Until I no longer house any sense of superiority, I remain outside of that futuristic concept of all men being equal. I have the audacity to think that I am better than a Black person, whom for centuries of control, have been contorted by the very thoughts that I house, and because I and people like me may represent a majority, where the majority rules, and where the Black person has clearly felt and been affected by that control. This is why a White man telling a Black man that he must stand and put his right hand over his heart and his left hand behind his back (and not move and not look down) is offensive to me. 

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