One thing that hasn’t changed: The Star-Spangled Banner is still racist.
Initially titled “Defence of Fort M’Henry,” the anthem was written in 1814 by a white dude named Francis Scott Key—a man who owned slaves and thought that they were an “inferior race of people,” who were untrustworthy and indolent.
As a lieutenant in the Battle of Bladensburg, Key and his men, got their behinds whooped on the battlefield by the Colonial Marines—runaway American slaves, who fought as sailors and soldiers for the British in return for their freedom. And in the little-known third stanza of the Star-Spangled Banner, Francis Scott Key clapped-back at the black soldiers.
In his article, “Star-Spangled Bigotry: The Hidden Racist History of the National Anthem,” Jason Johnson, political editor at The Root, reintroduced this story to the nation’s memory.
“Anyone who tries to reformat, and reboot, and reconstitute and play linguistic gymnastics, and view this stanza as something other than what it was, is trying to put their 2018 attitudes as a way to rationalize and justify what was endemic white supremacy, white nationalism and bigotry on the part of a man who lived to create what is supposed to be one of the most patriotic songs in American history,” said Johnson.
See the entire video above.