NAACP Chapter Wants 'The Star-Spangled Banner' Replaced

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The California chapter of the NAACP wants "The Star-Spangled Banner" replaced as the national anthem song.

According to California NAACP President Alice Huffman, some of the song -- written by slave owner Francis Scott Key -- is racist, reports KOVR-TV .

Protests following former quarterback for the NFL's San Francisco 49ers, Colin Kaepernick's, decision to kneel during the national anthem inspired Huffman to look into the matter more deeply.

She was disturbed by what she found: "Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave," reads the third stanza of the song.

While most Americans don't usually sing that line, Huffman found it problematic.

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"It's racist," she said. "It doesn't represent our community. It's anti-black people."

"This song is wrong," she added. "It should never have been there, and just like we didn't have it until 1931, it won't kill us if it goes away."

To Huffman, the lyrics are also worrying as some argue they celebrate the deaths of black American slaves fighting for freedom.

"I believe that any individual that hears the song, that believes in the song should take the time to understand what the song is really saying," chimed in NAACP Regional Director Ronald Hasson, reports KABC.

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"If we're going to talk about a song that's supposed to represent all people, let's really be serious about what we're talking about, or what is being sung," Hasson added.

By replacing the national anthem, she hopes to accomplish what Kaepernick originally wanted before the "distracting" flag debate: racial equality and justice.

"The real intentions got overlooked, and it's become something that's dividing us, and I'm looking for a way to bring us back together," she said.

"This is not about the flag," she added. "We love the flag. This is about a song that should never have been the national anthem. This country is a country that has shared values, and the more we respect each other, the better off we’ll be as a country."

The chapter says it plans to lobby legislators in January 2018 to replace "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Not everyone agrees with Huffman.

"That’s an extreme way of doing things," Kenneth Lu, a veteran at the VFW in West Sacramento told KOVR-TV.

"I believe it’s a slap across the face, whether there’s a flaw in the context, I don’t see it that way," added Sydney Lugo. "I have to stick with our traditions and our values and what we represent."

"It won’t solve any problem," commented veteran John Cox.

Sources: KOVR-TV, KABC / Featured Image: Jeff Egnaczyk/Flickr /Embedded Images: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

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