Daily News Columnist Sides With Colin Kaepernick

Shaun King explains why he will also no longer stand for the national anthem.

In this day and social-media age when many people form an opinion based strictly on a tweeted news article’s headline, today’s second dispatch by New York Daily News social justice columnist Shaun King is trouble. The headline for the Aug. 29 op-ed reads: “Why I’ll Never Stand Again for ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’.”

King begins with a rather strained culinary analogy. But once you get past that, his argument is straightforward, picking up on a July 4 article published by The Root. The 1814 poem by Francis Scott Key upon which the anthem is based (“Defence of Fort M’Henry”) was written during the days of American slavery and contained a subsequently omitted third stanza that celebrates the death of slaves engaged as troops. Writes King:

While San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has refused to stand for the national anthem because of the overflowing abundance of modern day injustice in America, he has helped bring to light the fact that this song and its author are deeply rooted in violent white supremacy.

I will never stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” another day in my damn life. I don’t care where I am or who’s watching… Like Kaepernick, I’ve had enough of injustice in America and I’ve had enough of anthems written by bigots. Colin Kaepernick has provided a spark.

King provides other historical background about Key’s bigotry. He suggests that like the Confederate flag in the U.S. South and a statue of Cecil Rhodes removed last year in South Africa, the anthem needs to be replaced. King also published a piece on Saturday in which he stated his initial agreement with Kaepernick’s protest stance.

Image by: Carl Lindberg