A bunch of the “Make America Great Again” crew watched the Super Bowl on Sunday—and apparently did not approve of what unfolded on their television screens. I’ll let you guess what they took issue with.
The complaints started rolling in as Broadway legend and star of “Abbott Elementary,” Sheryl Lee Ralph, performed a rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a hymn widely referred to as the Black national anthem. The NFL first created space for the song in 2020 as a response to the George Floyd protests. But on Sunday, several of MAGA’s finest, including Rep. Lauren Boebert, registered their disappointment.
America only has ONE NATIONAL ANTHEM.
Why is the NFL trying to divide us by playing multiple!?
Do football, not wokeness.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) February 12, 2023
Boebert declined to specifically name Ralph’s performance. But she didn’t have to. I’m pretty sure I see what she means when she raged against “wokeness” at the game and declared that America only has one national anthem.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene registered a similar complaint, praising country singer Chris Stapleton for singing “the most beautiful national anthem.” But, according to the Georgia congresswoman, “we could have gone without the rest of the wokeness.” Considering Stapleton’s support for Black Lives Matter, it’s not clear what Greene’s qualifications for “wokeness” are. But something tells me it could have a lot to do with being Black.
Chris Stapleton just sang the most beautiful national anthem at the Super Bowl.
But we could have gone without the rest of the wokeness.
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) February 12, 2023
Of course, not to be outdone, MAGA king Donald Trump won the night with perhaps the most unhinged take on the evening’s most important performer, Rihanna. “EPIC FAIL,” he slammed in an all-caps post to Truth Social. The 76-year-old former president proceeded to declare Rihanna’s performance the “single worst Halftime Show in Super Bowl history.” He also accused the Fenty mogul of “insulting more than half our nation” with her “foul and nasty language.”
It’s not exactly surprising that Trump had such an outsized response. After all, Rihanna all but certainly hates him.
At this point, the rally against “wokeness” is the loudest political dog whistle to ever be blown. As my colleague Abigail Weinberg has written, woke has been a politically correct substitute for diversity (or anything else deemed “left-leaning”) for far-right politicians for quite some time. I wish they’d drop the theatrics. Save us all the trouble and just say that you don’t want Black people in white spaces.