"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Jun 25, 2020

Please don't take my Star Spangled Memories

I was just reading about Francis Scott Key and what an awful guy he was, so we're not going to be able to sing The Star Spangled Banner in public much longer, at least not unless you want to be ridiculed or beaten up.

I'm all for equality, but each dawn's early light bears witness to additional cases of how terrible we White people are, or have been, or will CONTINUE TO BE unless every vestige of slavery is wiped off the face of our history.

Is that possible? Didn't Ramses try that with Moses?  That's a subject best left for the scholars.

Greenpoint, Brooklyn, c. 1958

My grandparents didn't immigrate until the early 1900's so I don't feel responsible for slavery in America.  Don't get me wrong...it was despicable in every sense and should never have been allowed to happen, but it did.  My point is Grandpa was fleeing his own oppression in Poland, and once in America was discriminated against by who?  The Irish? Italians? Norwegians? Somebody, surely; they all were at first.

I
mmigrants of all persuasions helped to build this nation; and to suggest one group's efforts were of any less value than another is a slap in the face not only to their memories but to their descendants, including moi.

So until my twilight's last gleaming I will continue to sing the Star Spangled Banner, not because I approve of Key's past or the mores of our society at the time; but because it gives me a patriotic feeling, which is the only way it's ever been expressed to me, until now.  Let's just add a second anthem at spectacles in the name of compromise, shall we?  How difficult is that?

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