Cancel culture has a new target: Francis Scott Key and the Star-Spangled Banner. They’d like to replace it with “Imagine” by John Lennon, which was described as “virtually the communist manifesto” by the singer himself.
What started with the toppling of some confederate statues has now morphed into an ISIS-like war on statues, targeting almost every pillar of iconic American history.
Christopher Columbus, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt, and more have all been targeted by angry vandals looking to make a statement.
An article appearing on Yahoo.com questioned the nation’s anthem and said the song seems to be “striking a wrong note” during this “antiracist era” of today. They wrote:
n an increasingly antiracist era when problematic iconography — ranging from Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben to even the Dukes of Hazzard General Lee car and country band Lady Antebellum’s name — is being reassessed, revised or retired, America’s national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” seems to be striking a wrong note.
After a lengthy discussion of the song’s history, they asked activist Activist and journalist Kevin Powell what would be a suitable replacement. He had a suggestion in mind:
“So, if “The Star-Spangled Banner” goes the way of the Confederate flag and Gone With the Wind, what should America’s new national anthem be? Whatever it is, Walker says there should be a formal “vetting process” to make sure the next anthem doesn’t have a terrible past; Powell, for his part, suggests John Lennon’s “Imagine,” which he says is “the most beautiful, unifying, all-people, all-backgrounds-together kind of song you could have.”
While melodically beautiful, “Imagine” is hardly a unifying message. As previously mentioned, Lennon described the song as the communist manifesto. It describes an atheist, secular, border-less, property-less, communist world. To suggest that song as “unifying” is startling. In 100 years, communism has left 100 million people dead according to David Satter. Executions, starvation, famine, forced labor are among the more common forms of death under various communist regimes.
But today, the prevailing wisdom seems to suggest that if someone said or did something racist during an era when slavery existed, we must delete them from society.
Key’s “bigoted background” is also criticized, arguing that he was “literally born into a wealthy, slave-holding family in Maryland.” They went on to explain that Key was a lawyer who prosecuted abolitionists and “didn’t believe in freedom for all people.”
Interestingly, those tearing down statues have also targeted multiple abolitionists themselves.
The song comes from a poem Key wrote while eyewitness to the war of 1812. Key certainly held racist views of the day and sought to uphold the law of the day, including slavery. But he also reportedly freed several slaves while also representing others seeking freedom and ensuring they had land. He spoke out against violence and cruelty against slaves. So, while Key is certainly not some clairvoyant figure in history who sought to end slavery, and indeed spent most of his life in court on the opposing side of abolitionists, his story doesn’t fit entirely snug into one narrative.
Yahoo’s article says if there’s “a tradition that hurts any part of society” it’s time to “just throw it away.”
Pray for our nation as we navigate this highly divisive and reactive moment.