Denver’s Black National Anthem Mistake

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Apparently, some jazz singer decided to hijack a political event in Denver and sing the Negro National Anthem instead of, you know, the American one. The one she’d been asked (though for no pay) to sing.

Rene Marie specifically tied her act of supposed civil disobedience to Obama’s upcoming August visit. If she thought he’d be pleased, she was just as wrong as when her tiny brain suggested she ‘go there’ in the first place. What is up with folks like her and Rev. Wright?

Wright was more or less minding his own business before those YouTube clips surfaced and, thankfully, he kept his silence at first. Thankfully, not because he “should” have been supporting Obama, but because there was no way or him to defend himself, and the black prophetic tradition, without affecting the election.

Let’s put the GOP vs. the Dems on trial, not Frederick Douglass vs. Jesse Helms. There’ll be sufficient time after the election to have that much needed discussion about black discontent; it’s not like it’s going away.

Does a black person older than about 20 have a legitimate beef with the powers that be? No doubt. But is Denver’s State of the City address the correct venue and time to address that beef? No. A la Wright, Marie’s just limelight stealing—the hell with the community for which she claims to be speaking.

Bowed heads and raised fists at the 1968 Olympics, neither of these pathetic episodes were.

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If you're new to Mother Jones or aren't yet sold on supporting our nonprofit reporting, please take a moment to read Monika Bauerlein's post about our priorities after these chaotic several years, and why this relatively quiet moment is also an urgent one for our democracy and Mother Jones’ bottom line—and if you find it compelling, please join us.

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