The black thing versus the American thing

Singer Rene Marie was picked to perform the National Anthem preceding Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s annual state of the city address. Instead, on her own, she sang “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” which is also known as the “black national anthem.”

Marie told 9NEWS she kept her plans to switch songs quiet until the very last moment. She says only she, her husband and a friend knew she was going to sing something other than the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

“When I decided to sing my version, what was going on in my head was: ‘I want to express how I feel about living in the United States, as a black woman, as a black person,’” said Marie. [Right. Not as an American.]

When asked if he was offended, [Mayor] Hickenlooper said, “You know I was more confused and I think I was more—what I was, was disappointed and confused and that’s why I wanted to talk to her.”

Just as Muslims can’t help asserting their desire to spread and subject the world to sharia, because as Muslims they are supposed to do that, blacks just can’t help asserting their blackness in public settings that are supposed to be non-racial, because that is what the entire black culture (e.g., Trinity United Church of Christ) is constantly telling them to do. And the more they do it, the more they lose any moral claim on white America’s respect, concern, solicitude, or guilt.

So I say to black America: Go on, make our day.

I am, of course, not speaking of all black Americans as individuals, but of black America as a self-conscious community expressing itself as a community. If blacks want to organize themselves around blackness as their highest political loyalty, then they’re not loyal to America, and we owe them nothing.

It’s the classic Atlas Shrugged situation, as applied to race. Whites don’t need blacks in order to live in a decent prosperous society, but blacks need whites in order to live in a decent prosperous society. They need us. We don’t need them. As soon as whites understand this fundamental fact of life, the white guilt and the black thing will both collapse, opening the possibility of returning to a racially sane society—or, as I put it recently, of setting American race relations back by two generations.

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Adela G. writes:

I’d like to play “Dixie” on a continuous loop outside that uppity female’s house.

This is typical of the liberal single standard (which I once thought of as a double standard, until you informed me otherwise). “I have the right knowingly to offend you. But you do not have the right to say you are offended.”

Coincidentally, while watching a travelogue last night, I said to my husband, “I’d like to live in Colorado.” He said, “You wouldn’t like the kind of people who live there.” Naturally, not being a terminally politicized liberal, I’d been thinking of Colorado in terms of majestic mountains and the rustle of aspen leaves in the breeze. But his comment reminded me of my long-ago visits to Aspen and Boulder and I realized he was right. Now, again, I realize he was right.

By the way, even a relatively responsible black American doesn’t necessarily feel any loyalty to the country of his birth. In the recent profile of Bill Cosby by Ta-Nahesi Coates, in The Atlantic, “This Is How We Lost To The White Man,” the author writes that the message he’d like to give his son is “That the ultimate fate of black people lies in their own hands, not in the hands of their antagonists. That as an African American, he has a duty to his family, his community, and his ancestors.”

Despite living in a country whose white majority has done so much to try to help its black citizenry, Coates sets up whites as the “antagonists.” And in the list of duties that African Americans have, he does not mention duty to America herself.

Leave them to Heaven.

LA replies:

Right. Therefore the first thing that’s needed is for white people to recognize these realities about black attitudes and have some NORMAL SELF-RESPECT AND INDIGNATION toward the blacks who say these things. So that the next time they hear blacks making victimological claims on whites, the whites reply: “Hey, you don’t even believe in this country, and you openly regard us as your enemies and antagonists. So what do we owe you? Nothing.”

Just imagine the once-again morally sane society we’d be living in if whites began to talk that way to angry, complaining, anti-American blacks.

Irv P. writes:

I taught in the N.Y.C. schools for 35 years. Every school I worked in was overwhelmingly populated by black youngsters. Every principal I was subordinate to was black. In each situation, at every assembly program I ever attended, the “black national anthem” was sung, usually in the absense of the Star Spangled Banner. Huh—what dat?

I was the only teacher who ever complained about these practices. In each case, the powers that were, gave in to my demands about paying respects to the real national anthem, but word would soon get around, and I was always labeled a racist who could not be trusted or respected. This was going on in 1970! It still goes on today.

It’s all part of the indoctrination process that has been going on for as long as I can remember. Every part of the black “experience” is put in a separatist mode. It’s probably similar in many ways to the “education ” that takes place in Palestinian schools, but with a different villian to be hated.

LA replies:

I’m embarrassed to say that I did not know this.

Rachael S. writes:

A version of the Star-Spangled Banner sung straight.

Some of the ball players seem respectful, but many of them are fidgeting around, probably trying to keep their muscles warmed up. Oddly, some in the audience seem to be booing David Cook at the beginning of the clip.

This is the best version of the Anthem I have heard in a long time. :) I used to think the Whitney Houston version was the best one, but after watching it again I decided there is too much joy and individualism in her version, and no reverence. David Cook gets it almost perfect.

Adela G. writes:

Here’s something positive to offset the negative impression we whites sometimes have that black Americans generally feel little or no loyalty to America and to the Western culture of which it is a part.

It is a clip of the black American opera diva, Jessye Norman, singing Strauss’s “Beim schlafengehen.” I have heard recordings of half a dozen white soprani singing this and in my opinion, only the incomparable Miss Norman does this sublime song full justice. I particularly like how she herself seems nearly overcome by the beauty of the words and music.

Unforgivably, this clip omits the first 20 seconds, with the orchestral introduction but it has the best sound quality of any recording of her singing available on YouTube.

Gintas writes:

Rachel S. noted: “A version of the Star-Spangled Banner sung straight.”

I saw that, and I was telling my children right away that that was a great rendition of the National Anthem. He sang it straight, as though he respected it.

In basketball parlance when you do flashy things on the court, it’s called hotdogging, and Disrespecting The Game (because The Game is bigger than you). You play the game right, because you honor The Game. You play it straight.

Funny, then, how all the National Anthem singers hotdog it by doing all their showy embellishments. It’s to show off their own virtuosity, I suppose, not to do honor to the country.

On a related note, there was a basketball player named Chris Jackson (LSU) who converted to Islam and changed his name to Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf. He got embroiled in some controversy because he would not stand during the National Anthem.

Abdul-Rauf is perhaps best known for the controversy created when he refused to stand for “the Star-Spangled Banner” before games, stating that the flag was a “symbol of oppression” and that the United States had a long “history of tyranny.” He said that standing to the National Anthem would therefore conflict with his Islamic beliefs. On March 12, 1996 the NBA suspended Abdul-Rauf for his refusal to stand, but the suspension lasted only one game. Two days later, the league was able to work out a compromise with him, whereby he would stand during the playing of the National Anthem but could close his eyes and look downward. He usually silently recited a Muslim prayer during this time.

Kidist Paulos Asrat writes from Canada:

Here is the video of the woman singing her rendition. She sings throughout the commentary. It is really creepy, like some parallel universe, because there appears to be some part of the National Anthem melody she has incorporated.

There is one poor fellow standing with his hand on his heart throughout.

But no one pulled the microphone out of her hands, or switched off the power? What will happen next time? Forewarned is forearmed?

But, it fits the general trend of “Black Power,” here in Canada too. I just watched a panel debate last night about Canada’s Fathers of Confederation, and one black writer on the panel saying that that kind of history doesn’t interest him. My theory is that if Obama gets elected, blacks here will get even more difficult to live with.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 02, 2008 12:26 PM | Send

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