SACRAMENTO (CNN) — The California NAACP wants the “Star Spangled Banner” replaced.
The civil rights group says the national anthem (written by lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key in 1814) is racist. The song’s third stanza (which is never sung) refers to slaves being conquered in the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812.
The group’s president, Alice Huffman, said she was prompted to listen to the entire anthem in light of the NFL player’s protest.
Deep in the verse, the lyric goes, “No refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.”
Huffman believes that lyric celebrates the deaths of slaves who were fighting along with the British to try to win their freedom from American slaveholders.
“It’s racist. It doesn’t represent our community. It’s anti-black people,” Huffman said.
Huffman supports replacing the anthem with a new song that she says should support all of our values.
The “Star Spangled Banner” officially became the national anthem in 1931.
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