So Say The Anthem..

Almost no one seems to be aware that even if the U.S. were a perfect country today, it would be bizarre to expect American players to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Why? Because it literally celebrates the murder of African-Americans.

Few people know this because we only ever sing the first verse. But read the end of the third verse and you’ll see why “The Star-Spangled Banner” is not just a musical atrocity, it’s an intellectual and moral one, too:

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.

“The Star-Spangled Banner,” Americans hazily remember, was written by Francis Scott Key about the Battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the War of 1812. But we don’t ever talk about how the War of 1812 was a war of aggression that began with an attempt by the U.S. to grab Canada from the British Empire.

However, we’d wildly overestimated the strength of the U.S. military. By the time of the Battle of Fort McHenry in 1814, the British had counterattacked and overrun Washington, D.C., setting fire to the White House.

And one of the key tactics behind the British military’s success was its active recruitment of American slaves. As a detailed 2014 article in Harper’sexplains, the orders given to the Royal Navy’s Admiral Sir George Cockburn read:

Let the landings you make be more for the protection of the desertion of the Black Population than with a view to any other advantage. … The great point to be attained is the cordial Support of the Black population. With them properly armed & backed with 20,000 British Troops, Mr. Madison will be hurled from his throne.

Whole families found their way to the ships of the British, who accepted everyone and pledged no one would be given back to their “owners.” Adult men were trained to create a regiment called the Colonial Marines, who participated in many of the most important battles, including the August 1814 raid on Washington.

Then on the night of September 13, 1814, the British bombarded Fort McHenry. Key, seeing the fort’s flag the next morning, was inspired to write the lyrics for “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

So when Key penned “No refuge could save the hireling and slave / From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,” he was taking great satisfaction in the death of slaves who’d freed themselves. His perspective may have been affected by the fact he owned several slaves himself.

With that in mind, think again about the next two lines: “And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave / O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

The reality is that there were human beings fighting for freedom with incredible bravery during the War of 1812. However, “The Star-Spangled Banner” glorifies America’s “triumph” over them — and then turns that reality completely upside down, transforming their killers into the courageous freedom fighters.

After the U.S. and the British signed a peace treaty at the end of 1814, the U.S. government demanded the return of American “property,” which by that point numbered about 6,000 people. The British refused. Most of the 6,000 eventually settled in Canada, with some going to Trinidad, where their descendants are still known as “Merikins.”

Furthermore, if those leading the backlash against Kaepernick need more inspiration, they can get it from Francis Scott Key’s later life.

By 1833, Key was a district attorney for Washington, D.C. As described in a book called Snowstorm in August by former Washington Post reporter Jefferson Morley, the police were notorious thieves, frequently stealing free blacks’ possessions with impunity. One night, one of the constables tried to attack a woman who escaped and ran away — until she fell off a bridge across the Potomac and drowned.

“There is neither mercy nor justice for colored people in this district,” an abolitionist paper wrote. “No fuss or stir was made about it. She was got out of the river, and was buried, and there the matter ended.”

Key was furious and indicted the newspaper for intending “to injure, oppress, aggrieve & vilify the good name, fame, credit & reputation of the Magistrates & constables of Washington County.”

You can decide for yourself whether there’s some connection between what happened 200 years ago and what Colin Kaepernick is angry about today. Maybe it’s all ancient, meaningless history. Or maybe it’s not, and Kaepernick is right, and we really need a new national anthem.

Credit to;

Jon Schwarz

Advertisements

Community Recap: Automattic’s Worldwide WordPress 5K — WordPress.com News

From September 19 to September 26, we invited members of the WordPress community to join us in one of our favorite yearly traditions: the Automattic Worldwide WordPress 5K (open to runners, walkers, cyclists, and hikers — and any other type of ambulation). Here are some of the stories and photos people shared from their corner…

via Community Recap: Automattic’s Worldwide WordPress 5K — WordPress.com News

Inhuman degradation’s that others had to endure to secure a right to vote

Tomorrow is a last day to register to vote on line in California.

With a government elected by its citizens and that effects every aspect of our lives from schools to health care to homeland security, voting is an important right in our society. By voting, you are making your voice heard and registering your opinion on how you think the government should operate.

Even if the candidate you loathe is destined to win in a landslide, you can make a dent in their margin of victory. That limits how much of a “mandate” they can claim once in office, encouraging them to promote more moderate policies so as not to jeopardize their re-election. Conversely, even if you know your preferred candidate will win, adding to her margin of victory can only help her advance her agenda in office.You still should vote in your election.

The writing is in a wall that might explain what other Nations had to go through just to secure a fundamental right to vote in contracts to our country, . To cite the importance of voting, we can rely on South African experience under Apartheid Regime.

Apartheid was “The system of racial segregation in South whitesonlyAfrica implemented and enforced by a large number of acts and other laws. This legislation served to institutionalize racial discrimination and the dominance by white people over people of other races”. To divide and conquer, this regime created so called Homelands, for the purpose of concentrating the members of designated ethnic groups, thus making each of those territories ethnically homogeneous as the basis for creating “autonomous” nation states for South Africa’s different black ethnic groups . Black populations were moved permanently to prevent them living in urban white South Africa. This spells “inviting someone to your house and years later he regulates and assigns to you a bathroom as your permanent housing.

The creations of Bantu

treatment
Ernest Cole captures the humiliating experience of South Africans being subjected to inspection and the crime here was being in so-called “white areas”.TextbooksEtrade.com

Homeland Citizenship Act, 1970 which changed the status of the inhabitants of the homelands (blacks) and were no longer citizens of South Africa, meaning even at birth, I did not have inherit citizenship rights.,

My formative years were spent living under what the regime referred to as “State of Emergency”. As the crack in a system began to form, there were of course with the added off spin of propagandists and sort of imagery that would scare the white populace into support of the Apartheid system policies. Extreme white Afrikaner supremacist Group (AWB) begin to exact their own kind of intimidation activities –emulating scenes akin to Nazi Germany by killing political prisoners.

It is only through time or distance that we are exposed to other realities that make us question the legitimacy of what was deemed “normal” by South Africa from 1652 to 1994. My thought was one of empathy, however, following a series of tense negotiations and years of liberation struggle, the first democratic election took place in a festive atmosphere, on the 27th April, 1994. This election changed the history of South Africa. It paved the way towards a new democratic dispensation and a new constitution for that country. For the first time all races in the country were going to the polls to vote for a government of their choice. Nineteen political parties participated and twenty-two million people voted.

The United States may be the world’s oldest continuous democracy, but experience does not equal enthusiasm. In its most recent national election, the U.S. had the ninth-lowest voting rate among the 35 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/reasons-to-vote-in-elections)

In Sum, citizens of many countries complain about the world around them, as South African since 1652 they didn’t  have option to change that world. However, you do. The youth of America have the power to make decisions that can affect the country. If you don’t like the way America is run, and yet you don’t vote in elections or make your opinions heard, then you, not the government is at fault.

I hope you don’t take your voting rights for granted and  realize the importance of voting: because with the power to choose what happens in this country, you make America stronger. You personally can make America a stronger country by making the electoral process better, and that means voting.