Activists Say US National Anthem Is Racist — Should Be Replaced With Communist Beatles' Song

Anti-racism activists are coming for the U.S. national anthem, and one prominent liberal journalist has suggested a “beautiful” replacement. 

Kevin Powell said in an interview last week with Yahoo News that the anthem is "problematic" because it was written by a slaveholder and originally contained a possibly racist verse. 

Powell, a black activist and Washington Post Magazine contributor, proposed America’s new official song be John’s Lennon's secular globalist ballad “Imagine.”
  • According to Powell, the song is "the most beautiful, unifying, all-people, all-backgrounds-together kind of song you could have."
“The Star Spangled Banner” has come under increasing fire from the left amid a national reckoning with racism in American history and culture.

The reaction: Some conservatives, including former Fox News anchor Megn Kelly, saw Powell’s comments as the latest overreach by emboldened activists.
 
Others suggested “Imagine” was a bizarre choice for a national anthem given that Lennon was British and the song pines for a world with “no countries,” “no possessions” “and no religion too.”
 
But Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro said it was “the national anthem we deserve. Because we are a fallen people and fall further from God's grace each day. We must be punished with this final indignity.”
 
Lennon, Beatles' frontman, once described “Imagine" as "virtually the Communist Manifesto.” 
  • Hollywood celebrities in March performed a version of the song in a widely mocked attempt to rally Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. 
A cultural revolution: In the Yahoo News interview, Powell echoed other critics who have noted Francis Scott Key, the author of “The Star Spangled Banner,” owned slaves and held some racist views.
  • In a verse whose meaning has long been debated by historians, the song referred to "the hireling and slave” fleeing and dying during the American Revolutionary War. 
Key and the anthem, which he wrote as a poem in 1814 and which was adopted by the United States in 1931, have already been “cancelled” in some places
  • Protesters tore down a statue of Key in San Francisco on June 19 because of his slave ownership.
Athletes and others have been kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice in the United States. 

Other American symbols have also been the targets of anti-racism fervor. 

As President Donald Trump predicted back in 2017, statue-toppling activists outraged by America’s legacy of racism have moved on from Confederate leaders to American founders, like George Washington,Thomas Jefferson and even Mount Rushmore
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