The California chapter of the NAACP is pushing for the removal of “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem, blaming it for much of controversy surrounding NFL players’ decision to kneel during the singing of it, The Sacramento Bee reports.
The group also plans on doing what they can to get Colin Kaepernick hired by another NFL team.
“We owe a lot of it to Kaepernick,” said NAACP California chapter president Alice Huffman. “I think all this controversy about the knee will go away once the song is removed.”
Huffman called the national anthem “racist” and “anti-black,” citing the lyrics of the third stanza during an interview with a local CBS station.
“We are not anti-flag,” she told Bustle. “However, when ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ was written it did not include us African Americans. Most Americans only know the first part of the song but [the song’s author] added a third stanza to the song right after America lost the battle in 1815 decrying the former slaves who were now working for the British army.”
The lines of the third stanza read: “Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution/No refuge could save the hireling and slave/From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.”
Kaepernick first knelt during the national anthem last season. He has said he is not protesting the American flag nor the national anthem. His protest is against police brutality in this country.
The California NAACP is planning to seek support from lawmakers for these initiatives in the new year.