On “the” National Anthem

A certain libertarian white rich man on HBO thinks there should only be one National Anthem. He’s okay with getting rid of the current one, but we all have to agree on the replacement.

The idea of one National Anthem, included in his argument, is founded on the idea that there is one USA.

Except there isn’t. This is a variation of the passive white argument that the ideal is racial colorblindness, except while the white folks have a ready MLK quote to take out of context for that one, they can’t even rely on cherry picked MLK quotes for there only being one USA.

Because MLK literally titled a speech “The Other America“. “And I use this title because there are literally two Americas.”

If that certain libertarian white rich man on HBO, or anyone else in a position of power like that, wants us to coalesce as a nation united around a single anthem, he should be first working to make sure that there’s a single nation to be united. He should be working to break down the barriers that King and so many others have spoken of, instead of sneering at the very idea that they still exist.

When King spoke of his children being judged for their character, he did not mean that race was irrelevant, and he most absolutely certainly didn’t mean that we achieved that end goal by fiat alone. There is work to be done, serious work to dismantle intricate systems, systems rooted not just in racial injustice but also class injustice, gender injustice, and more.

But rather than doing the work, that HBO individual wants us to join hands and sing kumbaya and ignore the blood that continues to be spilled.

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