New National Anthem! Lean on Me!

An op-ed from The Los Angeles Times raised eyebrows for calling on “The Star-Spangled Banner” to be canceled as the national anthem.

Contributing writer Jody Rosen began his column by slamming a San Franciso monument of Francis Scott Key, who famously wrote the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner,” as “imposing and fussy.”

After noting that the Key statue had been taken down by rioters, Rosen appeared to offer a justification for the vandalism as he, too, was a slaveowner

“The wave of reckoning and revisionism that is sweeping the country may have to come for the national anthem,” Rosen wrote, pointing to viral claims that “The Star-Spangled Banner” is a “racist song” that stems from Key’s poem “Defence of Fort M’Henry,” which invokes slaves.

Rosen listed several songs that have been floated around to become the next national anthem, including John Lennon’s “Imagine,” James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” as well as other iconic American tunes like “God Bless America,” “America the Beautiful,” and “This Land is Your Land.”

“Nope, none of these songs will do,” Rosen argued. “At a moment when the United States is in the grip of multiple crises — convulsed by debates over racism and injustice, ravaged by a pandemic, with a crumbling economy and a faltering democracy — the very idea of a national anthem, a hymn to the glory of country, feels like a crude relic, another monument that may warrant tearing down. But if we must have an anthem, it should be far different than the one we’ve got now, positing another kind of patriotism, an alternative idea of America and Americanness. It would also be neat if it was, you know, a decent song, which a citizen could sing without crashing into an o’er or a thee, or being asked to pole vault across octaves.”

Read the rest at: New Anthem


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