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Professor: Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem Glosses Over ‘Racist History’

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Professor Gerald Horne, Chair of History and African-American studies at the University of Houston, has claimed that because Americans continue to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the National Anthem, the country as a whole must therefore be in denial of its “racist history.”

Speaking to The Real News Network, Horne argued that the Pledge was instituted as a form of “glue” to help bind “disparate elements” in the “artificially-constructed, former slaveholder’s republic” together, after the turmoil of the Civil War in the mid-19th Century. When it was formerly adopted by the Federal government in 1942, during the Second World War, the issue of national unity was once again in play, noted Horne.

He went on to say that “a substantial percentage of the citizenry, particularly those of African descent, were subjected to routine atrocities, and it was felt that they would not necessarily be enthusiastic about shedding their blood and making the ultimate sacrifice for this so-called Republic.” Therefore, the Pledge of Allegiance was introduced into public schools as a form of indoctrination.

Horne also took issue with the lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner as well. In the third stanza of the anthem, Francis Scott-Key, the author of the poem that was eventually set to music and adopted as the National Anthem, Horne suggested that Scott-Key “denounces the black population of the United States.”

The third stanza is critical of slaves who sided with the British in the War of 1812, “reprimanding, reproving, and denouncing black people for not standing alongside the star-spangled banner, but instead aligning, as the black population tended to do, with the real and imagined enemies of the United States of America.” – READ MORE

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