People of color still feel excluded by song
By Jessica Strand - Staff Reporter
The national anthem is exclusionary to people of color because at the time it was written it was talking primarily about whites, a professor on racial justice said.
"There is the line that says 'land of the free and home of the brave,'" said Dr. Robin DiAngelo, a professor who teaches Racial and Social Justice. "I can remember as a professor being at graduation and listening to the national anthem and listening to that line being sung and asking myself 'when was that written?'"
The anthem was written in 1814 when the land of the free wasn't really the land of the free because the south was filled with plantations full of enslaved African-Americans, Dr. DiAngelo said.
"While it's not intentional, it is a slap in the face to people who were enslaved," she said. "For us to be singing this as representing our country when it really only represented those who were categorized as white."
Recognizing that the anthem isn't inclusive to everyone isn't to malign America, but it recognize that there is a deep history that many Americans have ignored, Dr. DiAngelo said.
"We have denied that and there has been consequences of that denial," she said.