Denver’s Black National Anthem Mistake

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Apparently, some jazz singer decided to hijack a political event in Denver and sing the Negro National Anthem instead of, you know, the American one. The one she’d been asked (though for no pay) to sing.

Rene Marie specifically tied her act of supposed civil disobedience to Obama’s upcoming August visit. If she thought he’d be pleased, she was just as wrong as when her tiny brain suggested she ‘go there’ in the first place. What is up with folks like her and Rev. Wright?

Wright was more or less minding his own business before those YouTube clips surfaced and, thankfully, he kept his silence at first. Thankfully, not because he “should” have been supporting Obama, but because there was no way or him to defend himself, and the black prophetic tradition, without affecting the election.

Let’s put the GOP vs. the Dems on trial, not Frederick Douglass vs. Jesse Helms. There’ll be sufficient time after the election to have that much needed discussion about black discontent; it’s not like it’s going away.

Does a black person older than about 20 have a legitimate beef with the powers that be? No doubt. But is Denver’s State of the City address the correct venue and time to address that beef? No. A la Wright, Marie’s just limelight stealing—the hell with the community for which she claims to be speaking.

Bowed heads and raised fists at the 1968 Olympics, neither of these pathetic episodes were.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate