Wednesday, July 2, 2008


DENVER - Mayor John Hickenlooper's annual State of the City address may get more attention for what wasn't included than what was.
At the start of the event Tuesday morning, City Council President Michael Hancock introduced singer Rene Marie to perform the national anthem.
Instead, she performed the song "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," which is also known as the "black national anthem."
When she finished, the audience responded with mild applause. The national anthem was never performed.

She says she wanted to express her love of her country by mixing the lyrics of "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" with the melody of 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.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Does culture trump nationalism? Does it even matter?
-Is the Star Spangled Banner (national anthem) outdated or culture specific?
-Is this unpatriotic?
-If you asked someone to sing the national anthem and they sang something other than, how would you react?
-Is what she did wrong?


Anonymous said...

As if this great nation (warts and all) had nothing to do with shaping this deluded woman's culture...

This post brings me back to the 4th Law of Thermodynamics: "Every other nation but America has a right to be patriotic". We all learned this at the proverbial knee of our college profs. (that is the ones who couldn't tell you what thermodynamics is)

Gotta love the double standard that implies that when Americans are patriotic it is nothing but a brutish, counterrevolutionary display of imperialism, capitalism and downright ugly Americanism.

When other nations are patriotic, it is beautiful display of cultural expression. What rubbish.

I wouldn't call what she did morally wrong, but it is somewhat deluded and betrays a lack of perspective, and has a pinch of disregard for social convention.

All that being said,
Mexicanos, al grito de guerra...

Craig said...

I view this as unpatriotic and deceitful. She did not tell them she was doing this. She was asked to sing the National Anthem and I would have stopped her.

The issue of the Star Spangled Banner being the National Anthem has been a topic of conversation for quite some time, especialy in the sports realm because it is sung before each game and some want to hear something else. I don't think it is outdated and it is very appropriate.

Happy 4th of July. (I won't wish a happy Juneteenth to Rene Marie)