Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Black National Anthem?

Well, technically, not, unless you’re part of the Separatist movement.

Short version: City of Denver arranges for a Ms. Rene Marie to sing the National Anthem before the Mayor’s “State of the City” speech. Ms. Marie didn’t sing the National Anthem, she substituted the song “Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing”, which some refer to as the “Black National Anthem”.

As a song, “Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing” is inoffensive enough. In terms of making a political statement, it’s a far more civilized protest than we’re used to seeing in the era of Code Pink.

But it is a political statement, as well as one designed be turned into cash and national celebrity at the Democratic National Convention this summer, if the Obama are clueless enough to highlight it.

It’s to be noted that the Mayor, John Hickenlooper’s defense of Ms. Marie plays straight to the citizen as stupid nitwit card:

“Hickenlooper's staff picked Marie to sing the national anthem. The mayor says he believes Marie did not intend to offend anyone or make a political statement.”

Okay, to a minimal extent, I’ll buy the “did not intend to offend” comment. Doesn’t quite ring true, but it’s not completely laughable.

However, don’t stand there and tell us that substituting what’s known as the “Black National Anthem” for “The Star Spangled Banner” wasn’t intended as a political statement.

To say that is to assume that Ms. Marie is too dimwitted to realize what she was doing.

As noted above, Ms. Marie had a point to make, and made it in a fairly civilized and sophisticated way.