Wednesday, September 21, 2016

that third verse

in the wake of the kaepernick firestorm (look it up yourself if you need to) a lot of people are talking about that third verse of the star-spangled banner.

imma save you some trouble.

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. 

ok, so let's talk about this. teh twittrz was all upset about this "they glorify slavery RIGHT IN THE NATIONAL ANTHEM!"


they do not.

it IS racist, but not for the reasons you're seeing on the internet.

this is a lyric that was famously penned during the war of 1812, when it was common for  white men of the ruling class to complain bitterly about their treatment first under british colonial rule and then in the early days of the nation to complain about treatment by the former colonizers in language that compared them to slaves, and compared the loyalists and soldiers to the king to "hirelings and slaves".

this is WHITE MEN outraged at their treatment BY OTHER WHITE MEN. they are complaining in terms that compare themselves to actual slaves. they are outraged to be treated AS SLAVES (which they are, by the way, not.) and they also make the comparison that white men still loyal to the king ARE SLAVES. it is meant as an insult. it is a taunt built on the concept that the worst thing you could say about a WHITE MAN OF PRIVILEGE is to liken him to the everyday status of slaves, who are at this time in this place, black people.

if you look at the lists of grievances that led to the war of 1812, many of the documents include the problem of respect, in which our founding fathers likened their treatment by england to that of slaves.

that they could apply this comparison to themselves and not give a second thought to their systematic ownership of black people is deeply, offensively racist, but no. the national anthem does not have a hidden verse that glorifies slavery.

it has a little-known third verse that shows the founding fathers to be whinypants complainy everyday racists elevating themselves in their perceived Natural Order Of Things.

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