Big media lie: National anthem verse used to defend Kaepernick does not ‘celebrate slavery’

In order to come to the support of the virulently anti-American blather disgorged by San Francisco 49ers player Colin Kaepernick, some in the media are claiming that the National Anthem has a verse supporting slavery. This, though, is just another big media lie.

Last week Kaepernick caused outrage when he refused to stand at attention for the playing of our national anthem at the beginning of a game with Green Bay.

Kaepernick later explained that he sees no reason to stand to honor a country that is evil and racist and “oppresses” black people.


Since his very public tantrum many in the media have rushed to his support even claiming that “The Star Spangled Banner” celebrates slavery in one of its verses. In particular was an article written in The Intercept by Jon Schwarz entitled, “Colin Kaepernick Is Righter Than You Know: The National Anthem Is a Celebration of Slavery.”

Here is the verse Schwarz cites:

And where are the foes that so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war & the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save–the hireling & 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 & the home of the brave.

But the claim that this verse is a celebration of slavery is all BS, IJReview notes.

Firstly historians say the term “hireling & slave” was meant as a swipe at the British practice of shanghaiing sailors off the high seas and impressing them into service in the British Navy. It apparently had nothing to do with America’s “Peculiar Institution” of chattel slavery.

But even that aside, this verse cited by Schwarz as proof that the national anthem is racist doesn’t even appear in the official government-sponsored anthem!

You see, this verse was written by the creator of the song, Francis Scott Key, back in 1812 but the song didn’t become the official national anthem until 1931 and by that time the verse with the term “hireling & slave” in it had been eliminated from the popular version then codified as our national theme song.

So, what we have here is the media whipping up a frenzy about lyrics, the history of which they know nothing about, and then claiming the lyrics in question are in the song when they aren’t.

Just more media lies debunked.


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