Jefferson Morley, a staff writer for Salon, recently declared that the National Anthem, war memorials, and holidays that honor veterans are in fact “Neo-Confederate symbols” in disguise.
In a Sunday article, Morley slammed America’s beloved “The Star Spangled Banner” as emblematic of America’s sins, juxtaposing it with America’s history of “legalized slavery,” “Jim Crow laws and legalized lynchings,” and derided the “militaristic and racist overtones” in the song’s lyrics:
Memorial Day and singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” are uncontroversial patriotic gestures, yet there is no disputing that neo-Confederates developed these rituals.
He added that the National Anthem was initially popularized as a political prop to honor the “southern slaveowners’ rebellion”:
In the decades following the Civil War, the defeated South strove to establish rituals such as Memorial Day, which honored the veterans of northern and southern armies equally, implying equality of respect for their causes.
Further, Morley claimed that the “Confederate flag … was also a star-spangled banner,” citing Etta Holloway, a woman who dedicated her life to making “The Star Spangled Banner” America’s national anthem.
While Morley deflected rebuke by claiming he doesn’t want the National Anthem banned per se, his sentiments are not unique among the Left. As I’ve noted before, in the wake of the recent political climate, Left-wing pundits, professors, and essayists are clamoring to decry common symbols of our nation’s history.
Take the American flag, for example: Cynthia Enloe, a research professor at Clark University, wasn’t too happy when she saw the flag at a recent Red Sox game. Enloe penned an essay for the University of California Press to wax poetic about how she “cringed when a mammoth stars and stripes was unfurled in the outfield.”
Patriotism, especially militarized, masculinity-heroicizing patriotism, is escalating at American sporting events.
Not only did Enloe cringe upon seeing the American flag, she also wrote that she was perturbed when a war veteran was honored during the game. While everyone in the stadium erupted into applause, Enloe refused; she instead “sat stingily on my hands, still saying nothing.”
Enloe’s scorn for American traditions comes from her hatred of “militarized patriotism,” she told Campus Reform in an interview. She questioned whether “active duty soldiers or war veterans are the most appropriate to carry the flag onto the field.”
Instead of honoring veterans, Enloe proposed that women should be honored instead:
Why not battered women’s shelter volunteers? Or ER nurses? Or kindergarten teachers?
Honoring men is part of America’s tradition of “militarized patriotism,” she lamented.
Enloe isn’t the only professor with scorn for America’s veterans. Two women’s studies professors at Texas A&M, Tasha Dubriwny and Kristan Poirot, argued in an academic article earlier this summer that U.S. war memorials perpetuate “white heterosexual male supremacy, class hierarchies, and systemic violence,” and that they “promote historical narratives that are inherently conservative.”
Further, they lamented that most statues are of “a white heterosexual cisgendered male,” which Dubriwny and Poirot argue serves to reaffirm “the ‘great man’ perspective that dominated American historiography for too long.”
If you think these sentiments are confined to academia, you’re wrong. Simply Google “the problem with the American flag” or “arguments against patriotism,” and you’re bound to find dozens of articles railing against America.
Loving one’s own country is now so taboo in Left-wing America that citizens can’t even hear “The Star Spangled Banner” without a trigger warning, or wear a Make America Great Again cap without almost being pummeled to death. Jefferson Morley, who nitpicked the National Anthem to write an anti-American op-ed for Salon, is just one of many Leftists contributing to growing anti-American animus.
Why dredge up what people said more than 100 years ago just to disparage America? There’s plenty of ongoing catastrophes, like the fallout from Hurricane Harvey and thousands of homeless youth and veterans, we should be focusing on instead.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen