California NAACP pushes to remove Star-Spangled Banner as national anthem

MADERA, Calif. - Our National Anthem may soon change, if the NAACP has anything to say about it.

The California chapter is urging state lawmakers to support their push, to completely remove The Star-Spangled Banner.

Members say one verse encourages racism but not everyone agrees.

The local NAACP president YourCentralValley spoke with says the NFL kneeling protest led the organization to take a closer look at the lyrics and they're now calling the song racist.

It's a song heard at the beginning of most local and national events, from sports to public functions.

As most sing this song to pay tribute to America, it's suddenly the topic of controversy.

For lyrics, Gloria Brown, president of the Madera NAACP, said do not include all Americans.

"The words of the song disrespect our ancestry and our right," Gloria Brown, president of Madera NAACP branch 10-84, said.

This comes on the heels of former 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick's NFL protest to kneel during the national anthem.

Brown said the offensive verse is in the third stanza of the song. The lyrics say "no refuge could save the hireling and slave".

"To see those lyrics that I was never aware of, it was never brought up to us in school, we sang it," Brown said. "We all are African-Americans have history of slavery in our families."

This is why Brown said California's NAACP president went to state legislators pushing to do away with the song.

"It has nothing to do with patriotism, it has to do with what Francis Scott Key wrote," Brown said.

But not all are on board for the change.

"It's been what it is, nobody's thrown a gripe about it until we get one or two people start the gripe, start something going then everyone gets on the bandwagon," Phillip Allen, U.S. Army Veteran, said.

Allen said the NAACP's push to get rid of the song makes him feel like he and other service members fought for nothing.

"It's like slapping them in the face," Allen said.

California's NAACP president said they will lobby California state lawmakers to pass a resolution to rescind the national anthem once legislature reconvenes in January.


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