Back when Shaun “Talcum X” King insisted every column he wrote for the New York Daily News was one of the most important things he’d written in his entire life, he tried to cancel “The Star-Spangled Banner” by blowing the lid of its racist third verse, which included the line, “No refuge could save the hireling and slave.” Plenty of people stepped up, though, and explained that “slave” in that context referred to the kidnapping of American seamen who were then forced into service on British ships. Not too much later, a statue of Francis Scott Key in Cincinnatti was splattered with red paint and vandalized with the words, “Racist anthem.”
Oh, and the California chapter of the NAACP passed a resolution at its state conference in 2017 pushing for the removal of “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem, calling it “one of the most racist, pro-slavery, anti-black songs in the American lexicon.”
And one more thing: The NFL has said it will play the black national anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” before “The Star-Spangled Banner” before games the first week of the season.
We’ve already heard John Lennon’s communist manifesto set to music, aka “Imagine,” suggested as a replacement for the national anthem, but Jody Rosen has another idea: Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me.”
It's time to cancel 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' Here's what should replace it https://t.co/O0TsooIBIU
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) July 14, 2020
So what’s wrong with “The Star-Spangled Banner,” besides it being racist? Rosen writes:
… there are also arguments against “The Star-Spangled Banner” on aesthetic grounds, criticisms that have dogged the anthem for decades. For one thing, it’s not an especially American song. Its lyrics are ornate and Anglophile, with syntax that frustrates the efforts of normal human Americans to follow along — to deduce who or what, exactly, is gleaming and streaming.
A song with words few people understand, which fewer can sing, whose sound and spirit bear no relation to our catchy, witty, unpretentious homegrown musical forms: Is this really what we want to hear when we “rise to honor America”?
Yes. And saying it has lyrics “few people understand” really is as condescending as you can get. So why “Lean on Me” and not “Imagine”? “It is a song that holds its gaze steady at the level of everyday life. It says: What’s important is the stuff happening down here. The dramatis personae are you, me, all of us. We the people,” Rosen writes.
“Imagine” is definitely out of the question, and “Lean on Me?” Just no.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) July 14, 2020
Or…how about we cancel our @latimes subscriptions instead?
— Andrew Follett (@AndrewCFollett) July 14, 2020
"Siri, show me why newspapers are failing and why I struggle more and more every day to feel bad about it"
— Kevin Dalton (@NextLAMayor) July 14, 2020
Morons. And you wonder why the waves of media layoffs keep coming, & why we cheer them?
Faster, please. The sooner these miscreants are unemployed, the better for America.
— Boris_Badenoff (@Boris_Badenoff) July 14, 2020
I have a better idea. Why don't we cancel fake news outlets such as yours and replace it with an honest reporting outlet.
— Tonecop45 (@tonecop45) July 14, 2020
You really and truly are the enemy of the people.
— Real Jose Galvan (@Jose_Galvan) July 14, 2020
It's time to take headlines that begin 'It's time' and stick them up your ass.
— CLA (@ConservativeLA) July 14, 2020
— Duchess of Broken Hearts AnnaD (@AnnaDsays) July 14, 2020
That gif is getting a lot of work in the last few months.
— Jay Dubb (@JayDubbTX) July 14, 2020
— Text Trump to 88022 ✝️🇺🇸⭐⭐⭐ 🇺🇸 (@K1erry) July 14, 2020
Shovel faster, manure mongers.
— D.W.Robinson (@_DWRobinson) July 14, 2020
Cancel your subscription to the LA Times, then block their click bait twitter account so their trash doesn't end up in your feed again.
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) July 14, 2020
It’s time for you to GFY.
— 100 Proof (@ChampionCapua) July 14, 2020
It’s never enough
— tom (@tomd44) July 14, 2020
No, progressives only want statues of Confederates taken down. That’s it. OK, and maybe Mount Rushmore.
It’s poorly-written leftist dreck like this that is the cause of the @latimes failing so spectacularly.
I wonder how much money it will take owner Patrick Soon-Shiong losing on this failing pile of garbage before he realizes he made a huge mistake?
— BKactual (@BravoKiloActual) July 14, 2020
Whatever happened to the meaning behind lyrics? Look at what the words mean to convey. The reason you look up to see if the flag is still there is because it meant that brave Americans refused to give up despite living through hell. Seems pretty all encompassing of America to me
— Shane Burton (@ShaneBurtonSD) July 14, 2020
But of course, cancel culture isn't a real thing, right?
— Aldous Huxley's Ghost™ (@AF632) July 14, 2020
I'm fairly certain I was told cancel culture didn't exist. Yet here we are, with a major metro paper trying to cancel the national anthem. And so the gaslighting continues.
— David Key (@LvOverRide) July 14, 2020
Wait, hasn’t the LA Times published numerous columns over the past few days saying “cancel culture” isn’t real? Now you are leading the charge to “cancel” the National anthem?
Can’t you make up your mind already?
— ModernMaccabi (@ModernMaccabi) July 14, 2020
Let's take everything that is historical and traditional about America and just wreck it, is that the point? Hard pass here. I like the current anthem just fine. Put that in your soy latte and stir it.
— All school (@allschool) July 14, 2020
It's time to cancel the LA Times. Here's what should replace it: pic.twitter.com/6zY1DxolBs
— Jay Dubb (@JayDubbTX) July 14, 2020
Goddamn is this getting hella ratioed
— 𝔼𝕎 AWARDS ACE (@ErickWeber) July 14, 2020
R.I.P. 'Star-Spangled Banner,' 1814-2020??? https://t.co/bOEWTC2cs5
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) June 25, 2020