HBO host Bill Maher decried the NFL’s so-called “Black National Anthem,” saying that America only needs one anthem. The National Football League opened its latest season with a game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys last Thursday. Prior to the kickoff, the league played two anthems. It played “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
NFL Announced It Will Play Lift Every Voice and Sing As Part of Its Social Justice Commitments
Prior to the season opener, the NFL already announced that the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing” will play a major part in all the league’s big events. Many refer to the song as the Black National Anthem.
As part of the social justice commitments, the NFL will perform the song in conjunction with The Star-Spangled Banner. During the Thursday opener, singer Alicia Keys performed the song on video. The US anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner” played shortly after.
The song “Lift Every Voice and Sing” is a hymn with lyrics penned by James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938). Johnson’s brother, J. Rosamond set the poem to music in time for the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday in 1900. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the NAACP later adopted the song as the official Negro National Anthem.
Bill Maher Going After The Left
During his HBO show “Real Time” last Friday, Maher called out the growing political activism in the country. He listed several examples of how college campuses are becoming “social justice factories”.
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Many teachers are resigning all over the country because they felt like “political activists” instead of educators. Maher said that one teacher even said that the movement is “pitting students against each other based on the color of their skin.”
As a result, Maher said he’s going after the Left because of things like these. “To me, when people say to me sometimes, like, ‘Boy, you really go after the left these days. Why?’ Because you’re embarrassing me,” he explained.
“That’s why I’m going after the left in a way you never did before. Because you’re inverting things that I- I’m not going to give up on being liberal! This is what these teachers are talking about. You’re taking children and making them hyper-aware of race in a way they wouldn’t otherwise be!” Maher added.
We Should Have One National Anthem
Maher highlighted the issue with the NFL’s decision to play the Black National Anthem. “I saw last night on the football game, Alicia Keys sang ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing,’ which now I hear is called the Black national anthem.
Now, maybe we should get rid of our national anthem, but I think we should have one national anthem. I think when you go down a road where you’re having two different national anthems, colleges sometimes now have … many of them have different graduation ceremonies for Black and White, separate dorms — this is what I mean! Segregation! You’ve inverted the idea. We’re going back to that under a different name.”
Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations
Maher also called out the University of Oregon for having lower graduation standards for “people of color”. Panelist George Will agreed with Maher. He said that this was an example of the “soft bigotry of low expectations”.
Meanwhile, panelist Christina Bellantoni showed more sympathy with the adjusted standards for minorities. She told Maher that it’s “important to understand” why these discussions are taking place.
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Do you agree that The United States should only have one national anthem played? Why do we even need a separate anthem for black people when we’re all Americans?
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