Anthem speaks to who we are
By Vanessa Primer - Guest Commentary
Many people of color like myself, do feel included by the national anthem.
Frederick Douglass believed in embracing our origins and loved our national anthem.
New York Giants Rashad Jennings told New York Daily News, "It's nice to know that we live in a country where sitting down during the anthem won't land you in jail or worse."
He is proud to stand and supports the values in the anthem.
He points out the four verses end "the land of the free and the home of the brave" not "land of the free, home of the slave."
Francis Scott Key was not a man of his time – he was progressive, paid by slave owners, yet taking cases pro bono for slaves, Supreme Court arguments that slavery was wrong, and buying slaves to set free with the American Colonization Society; Key was surprisingly inclusive and worked to hasten change.
As to the anthem itself, the third verse was not likely to have been about escaped slaves, nor probable that it referenced the Colonial Marines; it is most likely to have been about enslavement of people by the monarchy.
The anthem is about the battle of Fort McHenry, and the Colonial Marines did not fight at all in this battle.
Rather than referencing people that were not present, our anthem taken in context is wholly a creation of its time and refers to all people under a monarchy as enslaved, including our citizens pressganged by the British – one of the reasons for this war.
The French national anthem also written in that era referenced slaves, people being owned by a monarchy, and they were not referencing black slaves in America.
The only blacks at this battle were fighting for the U.S., liberty, and freedom.
Verse 4 refers to "freemen", and is grateful for our survival as a country with the forward thinking promise of freedom for all people.
The national anthem is not about slavery.
It celebrates the heroism of military heroes without regard of race.
Saying our anthem celebrates white victory over escaped slaves is at best an oversimplification of complex history and a dishonesty at worst.
I am baffled by the conflicting ideas that we have the freedom to protest and stand up for things that are wrong… but that the very anthem celebrating this freedom we enjoy is racist.
Baltimore/Fort McHenry was defended by both black and white against an invader that press-ganged people into slavery; every time we sing this song we take this anthem for us, something to live up to.
Savio Pham spoke at the forum on being a refugee, experiencing lack of liberty and freedom, and on what he feels as an American that truly represents the American ideal.
Like him, I want the anthem at my graduation.
I want to ask the question the anthem asks.
As we exit school and enter the world with our degrees in hand… Are we brave? Are we free? Divisiveness is splitting our Nation, one founded on freedom - are we winning this battle for freedom?
Is the type of liberty and opportunity for which America proudly stands worth fighting for? Ideas should be defended, especially audacious ones like American liberty.
Our symbols need to live up to what we have become but we also need to live up to what our symbols deserve.
America is not a perfect nation. No nation is without flaws and failings.
However, our anthem communicates our values... those of liberty, democracy, and independence from tyrannical governments.
This is an anthem worth keeping. I want to have this song at my graduation.
Student passes out in North Parking Lot
An older student was found unconscious in the North Parking Lot on April 13 by Public Safety. Reports were that the individual tripped and fell, hitting their head on the pavement.
The student was then transported to a nearby hospital for further treatment.
A 1997 Honda Civic was stolen in the South Lot on April 13 at 1:20 p.m. Des Moines Police showed up on scene and took a report. It is unknown if the vehicle was ever found.
Public Safety advises students with a 1990 to early 2000 Honda Civic or Accord models to purchase a wheel lock because those cars are easy money makers for thieves.
Some Honda models have few universal keys, making those cars very accessible too.
An epic epi-flub
A nursing student accidently injected himself at 9:10 a.m. on April 14 with a real epi-pen in class when he intended to use a prop.
A medical call was placed and the student was checked out by medics. The individual did not suffer from any complications and made a full recovery, according to Public Safety.
Way too buzzed
An intoxicated male was found by Public Safety locked out of his vehicle in the South Lot on April 14 at 6 a.m. Des Moines Police responded and the man cooperated with authorities. The man said he was having a dispute with a roommate and he was trying to get away. Des Moines Police offered to drive the man home, but he declined and a friend of the man picked him up. The man was not indicted by police.
A person was caught stealing from multiple backpacks in the Library on Saturday, April 15 at noon. The thief was arrested by Des Moines Police and banned from Highline campus because he was not a registered student at Highline.
Write with power and precision
The Writing Center wants to help you learn how to write in your own way effectively.
Today is their last workshop of the week, it will be from 11 a.m. to noon. The event will have hands-on activities and one-on-one time with tutors to explore the writing process.
The Writing Center will also offer sign-up sheets for future tutoring sessions with one of their tutors along with information with up and coming workshops.
Young poets comes to speak
Highline hosts an open mic event followed by a poetry reading from Angel Gardener, Seattle Youth Poet Laureate.
Gardener has written poetry based off of her life and life events. Being in the foster care system since the age of five and moving from more than 30 placement homes she has much to tell. At the age of nineteen Gardener is representing Seattle as the city’s Youth Poet Laureate.
The open mic will be from 11:30 a.m. to noon and then Gardener will read and answer questions from noon to 1 p.m. in the Inter-Cultural Center, Building 8 Room 204.
Professors explain special numbers
Mathematics professors Wainwright Joseph and Dusty Wilson will be hosting a Science Seminar on what a Fibonacci number looks like.
A Fibonacci number is an omnipresent number but identifying them can be difficult for some. The seminar will cover the basic principles of identifying these special numbers and defining them and their possible uses.
The seminar will take place tomorrow from 1:30 p.m. to 2:35 p.m. in Building 3, room 102.
Then the week after Highline faculty takes on the subject of fake news and how to stop it.
Next Friday, the Reference Librarians Karleigh Knorr and Deb Moore will talk about where fake news comes from, how to identify it and how to stop it.
Fake news has been a common subject in the past.
The location and time of next week’s Science Seminar is is Building 3, room 102.