the article says it took him 20 years of "studying" the song to conclude that it doesn't directly reference black people. 20 years of study?It took me 20 seconds to channel my inner Frederick Douglass and ask:
- What to black folks is the "Star-Spangled Banner"???
There are no references to any particular race and, yes, in an ahistorical, decontextualized and intellectually vacuous and dishonest manner (or a conscious decision to forgive past transgressions), a person who was/is not White can view the Star-Spangled Banner as a song that applies to them, as their national anthem.
I know Crispus Attucks was the first to go in the Revolutionary War but it wasn't freedom from the British (alone) that Attucks, a runaway slave, struck a revolutionary pose against. Had he lived through the Revolution, the red, white and blue would have rivaled the stars and bars, in that time, because those who sang in that period about the rocket's red glare and bombs bursting in air and the "proof through the night that OUR flag was still there" continued to hold people like Attucks under the yoke of slavery well after the British retreated.
So, go ahead (and make this non-issue out of "Lift Every Voice and Sing"... go there and see where it gets you.