3rd Book: What so Proud We Hailed

For my third book of the New Year 2017, I decided to change it up a little and read about an important person in our nation history. The book called, What so Proud We Hailed by Marc Leepson.   A biography about the life of Francis Scott Key.  Key is the founder who wrote our national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner.  He wrote the song from his observation during the battle at Fort McHenry or known as the Battle of Baltimore.

I wanted to read a book about Francis Scott Key from recent event in 2016 the dealt with our national anthem.  Pro athletes deciding to knee during the national anthem, people calling it racist and that Key was a racist himself because he came from a family who owned slaved and owned a few himself.

There a lot of history discuss in this book.  What I got out of it personally was the Francis Scott Key wasn’t a racist. Yes, he was born in a family that had slave, he marry his wife whose family owned large plantation fields and owned many slaves.  Keys owned only a few himself, but from the historical context, that how life was.  It was the norm for that time, where today we know its wrong.  Key represented many black slaves in court who were legally free, but wrongfully taken across states line to states where slavery was legal.  Francis Scott Key did a lot for slaves whether you agree with it or not.  At the same time he also prosecute slaves accordingly to the law.

There a lot more that you can judge the man’s character from, but you can’t deny that he did a lot for slaves and had an important role in the early years of the United States.

National Anthem

I was born and raised in the United States.  I grew up during the age before the social media and the internet took over the world.  Growing up, it was a normal thing to stand up and say the pledge of allegiance in school and to stand during the National Anthem.  It was just a normal thing, just like you brushing your teeth every morning.

The past few days and weeks we have heard about NFL players not wanting to stand during the National Anthem.  During a NFL game on the 15th anniversary of September 11, players knee during the national anthem, awhile other raised their fist high in the air.  Why?  This is their way of protesting the injustices in this country.  There are many racial issues that need to be address by our society. I totally agree with that and I agree that they have the right to exercise their right to protest and freedom of speech.  I do believe that they are disrespecting the men and women who fought for this country for them to have those freedom and liberties.  In my opinion it show that they don’t appreciate the freedom that they have.  The freedom to play for a pro-NFL team and make million of dollars. The freedoms that we all enjoy living in this country.  It not a perfect country and our laws are not perfect. Their actions are not harming anyone, but I believe that they are having a negative effect on the younger generation.

The Younger generation with the help of social media are now seeing what these NFL players are doing and think it okay, it cool.  Some are now following their actions, not standing during the national anthem and some deciding not to say the pledge of allegiance in school. What really upsetting about all this is the reasons why they are doing it.  Beside protesting the injustices they are also doing it because national anthem is racist because it was written by a slave owner.  I believe the most student don’t really know the history of our flag, national anthem and Francis Scott Key.  Comparing the context of today world to that of the world when our National Anthem was written.   A time when it was a norm for people to own slaves. Of course in today world we know it wrong, but back then that was just the way life was.  I would not be surprise during that time slaves were being using in other parts of the world.

Am no historian or expert on our national anthem, but if you do some research Francis Scott Key was a lawyer and a writter.  He was dispatch to negotiate the release of a prisoner being held by the British fleet on a ship out in sea.  During this time the British was planning an assault from sea on Fort McHenry.  Awhile, Scott Key was on board on one of the British ship, they refuse to let him return to the mainland until the British fleet bombardment of Fort McHenry was complete. It was not until morning when the hazed cleared that he along with rest of the British fleet were able to see the United States flag waving in the air from Fort McHenry.  It was this event that Francis Scott Key observation that he wrote what would be our National Anthem.

Some of us probably never heard and read the whole national anthem that Francis Scott Key wrote. There one line that all of sudden now people are attacking and calling the national anthem racist.  Here the line:

No refuge could save the hireling and slave

From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,

Now I don’t know how people can all of sudden say that racist, because he used the word slave. None of us lived during that time, so how do you know that the word “slave” he referring to black people?  Slave could have a different meaning. Again it was a different time period and it wrong to compare it to the context of today world. But then there are people who are looking for a scapegoat to justify their racial agenda. If you want to change don’t cry for it or demand that we remove important historical events, symbols from our history that merge with the period of slavery. You want change, be part of the change, hold yourself to the same standards that you demand others to change.