Calls to replace ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ as America’s national anthem have caused controversy. Picture: Maya Alleruzzo/AP
Calls to replace ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ as America’s national anthem have caused controversy. Picture: Maya Alleruzzo/AP

Calls to change ‘racist’ US anthem

As monuments, statues and other symbols with ties to slavery are pulled down across the United States, a new question has emerged - should America change its national anthem?

Activists, historians and journalists are leading the charge to replace The Star Spangled Banner as the national anthem because it was written by slave owner Francis Scott Key. John Lennon's Imagine is currently the frontrunner to replace it.

Historian Daniel E. Walker and activist and journalist Kevin Powell made the remarks in an article written by Yahoo Music Editor Lyndsey Parker.

A statue of the songwriter has already been toppled by protesters in San Francisco during demonstrations against racial injustice.

The argument is the song was written by a white slave owner who made overtly racist remarks, penning lyrics that no longer speak to the nation in a time of cultural reckoning and upheaval over systemic racism.

Powell described Lennon's Imagine as the "most beautiful, unifying, all-people, all-backgrounds-together kind of song you could have".

Twitter users took to the platform to share their outrage, calling this just another example of the Black Lives Matter movement being used to "erase American history".

 

Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner. Picture: Supplied.
Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner. Picture: Supplied.


Racial tensions in America exploded after the death of George Floyd in May in Minneapolis after police knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes while he pleaded that he couldn't breathe.

It sparked global protests and an ongoing debate about police brutality and racism.

Originally published as Calls to change 'racist' US anthem



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