Columns
Premium

Why Can't the Left Let Go of Slavery?

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Don’t Want to Be Your Grudge Slave

The British brought slavery to the New World and Americans ended it roughly 230 years later. Every black person descended from slaves owes a debt to their ancestors’ struggles. The abomination of slavery is the reason most black people are here, in the greatest country in the world. I’m guessing almost every black American lives a better life than their counterparts in the modern-day Ivory Coast, where many slaves came from, and where today almost 50% of the country lives in poverty (African poverty, not American iPhone poverty) and the life expectancy for men and women is under 60 years. The poverty rate in Liberia, settled by liberated slaves, is even worse.

Yet some people just can’t let slavery go. Olympic hammer-tosser/headline-hustler Gwen Berry was “pissed” when the National Anthem was played after she won the bronze medal and made it to the Olympic team, even narcissistically suggesting it was a “setup” against her. Why else would they play the National Anthem at an Olympic American sports event other than to piss off an athlete no one has ever heard of in a sport no one knew was a sport?

In the video above, Berry says her complaint about the National Anthem is in the never-used third verse, which mentions the word “slave,” or, as she so eloquently states, “our blood being slain, and piltered [sic] all over the floor.” “Our” blood? Was Gwen a slave, and was her blood “piltered” all over the floor? What does piltered mean, Gwen? Just for fun, read that last part again while doing an impression of Jerry Seinfeld.

This is the ghastly third verse of the National Anthem:

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution!
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Berry suggested the line mentioning slaves “doesn’t represent black people.” She’s probably right. It likely has nothing to do with black slaves in America.

Berry states, “If you know your history, you know the full song of the national anthem. The third paragraph speaks to slaves in America, our blood being slain.”

No, YOU’RE History

Actual historians have debated the meaning of the line. Some suggest the author, Francis Scott Key, who wrote the poem turned song after the battle of Fort McHenry, is mentioning the former slaves who fought for the British in return for freedom. Some believe Key is taking a dig at the British for hiring mercenaries (hirelings) and kidnapping American sailors (slaves) and forcing them to fight for the British navy. Any way you slice it, it’s not about slaying slaves’ blood and “piltering” it all over the floor. Berry is either as smart as the hammer she throws or a genius trying to finagle a “woke” deal with Nike, which, ironically, is accused of using slave labor in China. Take a knee for that, Kaepernick.

Why do mediocre athletes like Kaepernick and Berry care more about slaves than the black people slaughtered every day in places like Chicago, where 1,996 people, mostly black, have been shot this year as of 4:40 a.m. Chicago time (shot by mostly other black people)? Perhaps because Nike doesn’t throw deals to people who care about today’s wholesale butchery that is black-on-black crime. Maybe it’s because slavery is, to the left, the ultimate get-out-of-responsibility-free card. How DARE you blame a 6th-generation descendant of slavery for the wildly out-of-proportion black crime rate. To some, victimhood can be very comfortable.