- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 30, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The worst part of this whole NFL fiasco is that the Star Spangled Banner is supposed to unify, not divide, but that anger has crept onto the fields and stolen even this small show of national peace.

What a sad commentary on the state of modern America when even the national anthem can’t be sung without controversy.

The notion of unity — “national” — is in its very name.

Yes, there has always been an element of American society that’s resisted the anthem as racist. That line of logic goes, as Jason Johnson wrote in “The Hidden Racist History of the National Anthem” for the Root last year: Francis Scott Key, the song’s writer, “was an aristocrat and city prosecutor in Washington, D.C., [and] was, like most enlightened men at the time, not against slavery; he just thought that since blacks were mentally inferior, masters should treat them with more Christian kindness.”

In other words — if Key was racist, then the song he penned that became America’s national anthem had to be racist, as well.

But that’s a left-of-left way of thinking. That’s a very dark and negative way of looking at life. It’s also the line of crap that’s being sold as reason to rebel against the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence — the one that says since some of the writers of America’s founding documents were slave owners, well then, the entire compass of America’s government must be racist, too.

Radical — and ridiculous.

So are these ongoing football field expressions of anti-patriotism, though.

Standing for the anthem used to be automatic. It was like being a kid at school and standing for the Pledge of Allegiance — you just did it. There was nothing controversial about it; you just did.

But nowadays, like the flag, the anthem’s become a political wedge — just another tool for the left, for the anti-President Donald Trumpers, for the disgruntled and perennially offended, for all these progressive forces to band together and showcase their anger. And they’ve managed now to turn a display of peace, togetherness and pride in nation into a tool of hate and division.

The national anthem, played for decades before sporting events, has served as a reminder that Americans, no matter their color, creed, physical condition, or political belief — no matter what team they played for and sided with — were, in the end, all Americans, all fighting for the same cause of freedom.

Some things should be sacrosanct.

But what was good has been twisted into bad. The national anthem has been supplanted by a national anger. And why?

The words couldn’t be more unifying: “Oh say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.”

So how to defeat all this angry politicking that’s taken to America’s football fields in recent times?

By resisting the resisters. These anti-anthem rebels aren’t making a valid argument. They’re simply agitating and fueling anger to score political points, or further personal agendas based on arguments and narratives that don’t stand up to fact-based scrutiny.

And remember: Anger absent a righteous argument won’t, in the end, win. Peace, when opposed by the unrighteous, will ultimately prevail.

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