Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the 49ers, has been refusing to stand for the national anthem in protest, saying, he was “not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” He expressed particular concern about police brutality. Conservatives have since lost their freaking minds, denouncing Kaepernick for disrespecting the military, the country, and the anthem itself.
However, Kaepernick’s protest takes on an even deeper meaning when you really take a good look the words of the Star Spangled Banner, specifically the third verse. Journalist Ben Swann just took on this topic in his “Reality Check,” and it will shatter everything you thought you knew about the national anthem.
Swann explains that it goes back to the war of 1812 when the United States was attempting to take Canada from the British. The U.S. lost this war because they underestimated the British army, which was able to successfully overrun Washington D.C. However, another reason for America’s loss in this war was that the British actively recruited slaves to fight on their side, promising them the freedom that American slave owners were so eager to deny.
Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner in 1814 after witnessing the Battle of Fort McHenry. The third verse that he penned for his patriotic masterpiece literally celebrates the murder of African American slaves.
“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.”
Swann points out that the “land of the free” most certainly did not include slaves and adds that “during the War of 1812, there actually was one group fighting for their freedom, and the Star Spangled Banner celebrates America’s triumph over them.”
Swann then played a clip of Kaepernick explaining that he was refusing to stand because “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” He then showed pictures of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and Philando Castille, and told how each unarmed man (or child) had been killed by those sworn to serve and protect them. Swann added that they are just a few among hundreds to suffer this horrific fate.
Swann closed his “Reality Check” with this question:
“If you feel outrage when you see this picture of Kaepernick sitting down,” Swann said while showing a picture of the quarterback sitting quietly on the sidelines while those around him stood as the national anthem was sung.
“And yet you do not feel any outrage when you see these images,” he continued, pointing to the pictures of the three murdered men, one who was actually only a 12-year-old child with a toy.
“Well, quite candidly, isn’t that part of the problem?”
Get a “Reality Check” on Kaepernick’s protest and the real history of the Star Spangled Banner, here:
Featured image via Modern Liberals