Maybe they should just let the fans do it.
Only two days after a video went viral showing the crowd at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium belting out “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the solons at the National Football League went public with the news that the singer of the national anthem at this year’s Super Bowl would be a country crooner who scored one of her biggest hits with a song mocking the idea that America is the land of the free.
And there’s going to be more than one anthem to boot.
Adding another insult to years of injury to patriotic Americans, the NFL on Tuesday announced that Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles will be opened by a rendition of the so-called black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” as well as the Francis Scott Key classic most Americans are used to.
“The Star-Spangled Banner” will be sung by Mickey Guyton, the first black artist to be nominated for a Best Country Album Grammy, according to Variety. Kudos to Ms. Guyton, of course. She might well be a fine human being.
But it’s worth pointing out that the lyrics to Guyton’s “Black Like Me” are an ode to the apparently non-stop misery of African-Americans.
“It’s a hard life on Easy Street.
Just white painted picket fences far as you can see.
If you think we live in the land of the free,
You should try to be black like me.”
The song was released in June 2020 — the start of a long, violent summer of Black Lives Matter riots across the country. Days before that, Guyton published a tweet dedicating the refrain to George Floyd, the known drug user and suspected counterfeiter whose death in the custody of Minneapolis police was the catalyst for the riots.
— Mickey Guyton (@MickeyGuyton) May 28, 2020
All well and good, right? No honest person denies that there’s racism in contemporary American life — anti-white, anti-Semitic and anti-Asian as well as anti-black. And no one can dispute that slavery is a stain on the country’s history that can never be scrubbed away. Plenty of Americans of all races were outraged at Floyd’s death, and a police officer was convicted of murder in the case.
So maybe Guyton was just letting off some steam. She and her handlers were smart enough — and cynical enough — to cash in on a moment in popular culture when her song would have maximum appeal.
Maybe. And maybe Guyton buys into the current “systemic racism” hoax herself — the idea that the U.S. is irredeemably racist, policed by psychopaths in uniform with a criminal justice system designed to maximize incarceration based solely on melanin content in the skin.
A tweet she published in October 2020 leans in that direction.
I have to be honest when I found out I was having a son, there was instant fear. I’m having a black son. It’s heavy. I just pray we change this system so I never have to teach him what to do when he is pulled over by law enforcement. 🙏🏾
— Mickey Guyton (@MickeyGuyton) October 14, 2020
With all due respect, Guyton can teach her son the same thing every American mother and father should teach their children about dealing with police: Be polite, be respectful, be honest, have a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance on hand and, for God’s sake, don’t resist arrest or pull a weapon.
It’s really not that hard to understand.
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What’s a good deal harder to understand is why the NFL has chosen to politicize one of the biggest moments of its biggest event of the year.
This is the league, remember, whose big game helped kick off a poisonous time in race relations when it gave Beyonce the national stage for a Black Power-themed rendition of “Formation,” replete with imagery like the black berets worn by the cop-killing Black Panther movement.
It’s the league that, along with MLB and the NBA, has turned itself into a platform for progressive propaganda — and a continuous, deliberate attack on the sensibilities of the millions of Americans who love their sports, but have opposing politics.
The NFL didn’t have to go woke this year. Surely its commissioner, the gutless Roger Goodell, has genuflected enough before the Black Lives Matter fascists that one more public shaming of conservative America is simply superfluous.
But Goodell and his team of geniuses at NFL headquarters are so certain of the loyalty of American football fans that they can comfortably spit in the face of at least half their audience — half the country — on a day that’s become a national holiday.
They’ve put up with players disrespecting the anthem. They’ve tried to force the alternative down the country’s throat. Heck, teams have done everything but sign Colin Kaepernick as a starting QB. (That’s how you know he’s really washed up.)
Not only is the NFL tacitly diluting the fundamental position of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by forcing it — before the biggest game of the year — to share the limelight with a fake “black national anthem” that precious few Americans, even black Americans, have any allegiance to (if they’ve even heard it), but it has chosen a woman who apparently doesn’t believe one of the song’s most iconic lines to sing the only real anthem the country has.
There’s no telling what’s going to come out of it. With luck, and God’s grace, Guyton will perform the anthem as powerfully and respectfully as she can, and wow the country the way Whitney Houston did back in 1991.
That’s not a bet anyone would be smart to make, though.
For everyone’s sake, they really should just let the fans do it. At least they’ll know the words and mean them — even in LA.