I’ve been slacking on the morning cuppa, this week. But, I haven’t had a real day off in five years and knowing that I was going to have real time off I have been letting some things slide.But, the following topic caught my attention and it’s really been bugging me for a couple of days: (Follow the links to learn more)
As Denver dignitaries gathered Tuesday for Mayor John Hickenlooper’s State of the City address, City Council president Michael Hancock introduced singer Rene Marie to perform the national anthem.
But that’s not what she did.
Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper is changing his tune.
Initially, Hickenlooper soft-pedaled the surprise performance of the “Black National Anthem” by a popular jazz singer who had been tapped to sing The Star-Spangled Banner at his annual State of the City address Tuesday.
But by Wednesday, the mayor belted out some harsh words for the chanteuse.
The woman whose parents had once detonated tumult within the status quo by daring to eat at a segregated lunch counter stood before the microphone, nervous, resolute and about to detonate some tumult of her own.
And although she had a pretty good idea that when she was done there would be “some eyebrows raised,” what Rene Marie didn’t know was that when you start making substitutions for “bombs bursting in air,” you just might ignite a firestorm all your own.
Which is why the heralded 52-year-old Denver jazz singer’s decision on Tuesday to blend the words of Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing – the “Black National Anthem” – to the music of The Star-Spangled Banner has landed her at ground zero of a controversy in which her patriotism and love of country are being questioned.
Basically, what happened was, a black female singer was invited to sing the “National Anthem” and instead of THE “National Anthem”, “The Star-Spangled Banner”, she sang what’s known as “The Black National Anthem”, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” and essentially embarrassed the white mayor and the other surrounding politicians during the State of the City meeting.
The first thought I had when I heard this was, “Ooh, a little show of civil disobedience! At least it wasn’t a ‘wardrobe malfunction’!”
But, in my blog-surfing I came across some very different reactions and those reactions were hardly civil, at all.
On Clipmarks, one Clipper had this to say:
I guarantee you that this is what all America can expect if Obama is elected President. It’s just the beginning. Vote for him if you will. We still have the freedom to vote and choose. The radicals have been waiting a long time to receive/give reparations and the Presidency may be the ultimate payback. I could so easily have voted for an American who was black….but this one carries waaay too much baggage and hangers-on with an ax to grind.
I have actually been losing sleep and wracking my brain over this comment. I mean, what do you say to that? How do you respond to something so hateful that it makes you want to throw things and even question whether you are even welcome in this country when there are people who would say some silly crap like that?
Do you ignore it? Do you let it slide?
I mean, people like the above commenter have probably thought such things for years and a response from little ol’ me is not going to change this idiot’s way of thinking.
Truthfully, I don’t know what the heck to say and anything that I would say would probably end up sounding just as racist as this guy’s rant. And, my anger is at him, personally, not an entire race. Instead of this person addressing what this woman did, he took his paintbrush and swiped down an entire race, putting Barack Obama squarely in the middle and then basically stating that “you” (um…I’m pretty sure that doesn’t mean Asians, nor Mexicans, but “white” people) need to be afraid of all those uppity black people who will suddenly feel empowered by an Obama presidency.
I guess the only thing to do is brace myself for more nonsense like that for the next four months.
More, if Obama wins…
Then, again, I’m kind of grateful people like this are coming out of the woodwork. For years, we have been dealing with “political correctness” and so people who in the old days didn’t have a problem with calling a black man, “boy”, or telling a “black joke” in mixed company, or disparaging a black co-worker to his face without fear of repercussions, had to stifle their nature in order to “prove” that they were tolerant of everyone and that they could get along, even with people they despised; namely, black people.
Now, they are admitting that they are “afraid” of a black man gaining the White House, although, they are not really saying that. They are trying to scare other people into thinking that once a black man becomes the leader of the “free” world, white people will no longer have any rights. Of course, on it’s face, it’s totally ridiculous. But, other racists, and even people who may not even realize that they are racist will eat this up, wanting an excuse NOT to vote for Obama, based on the fallacious idea that “the negroes will take over the plantation!”. Some of these people have been raised to believe that they really are the “masters” of black people (and other people of color) and they are honestly afraid (or they want other people to be honestly afraid) that the descendants of former slaves long for the day when they can turn the tables on the descendants of their former masters.
The above singers act of civil disobedience, blogger changing their “names” to “Hussein” in solidarity with Obama, other black people finding their voice and finding their strength…all of this is going to bring the racists out of the dark.
I guess there is one good thing that might come out of an Obama presidency and that may be that people who have long felt oppressed by white people might actually feel like they can stand up for themselves rather than taking any more crap from racists because there has never been anyone at the top who could understand their plight.
“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing”, indeed!
Here’s the infamous video that triggered today’s morning cuppa: