The original Star-Spangled Banner, in the Smithsonian Institution
One would think that the availability of the internet would increase the general truthfulness of human discourse. When it’s so easy to check our facts, our facts ought to be more… factual.
The actual effect, as far as I can see, has been to simply facilitate the spread of misinformation. Which ought to prove the doctrine of Original Sin beyond all dispute, it seems to me.
The misinformation I have in mind today is the urban legend, popularized in the wake of the recent controversy over a football player (who shall remain nameless here, because he doesn’t need the publicity) who refused to stand for the national anthem. The urban legend says that all black people should refuse to stand for the song, because it was written by a slave owner for the purpose of glorifying slavery.
This is hogwash. Francis Scott Key was a slaveholder, and a supporter of slavery, in common with most of his family and neighbors. But the song has nothing to do with that.
The offending lines, which are quoted as proof that the Star-Spangled Banner is a celebration of the institution of slavery are these: Continue reading No, the national anthem is not about slavery