Welcome to the weekend refrigerator surprise, where everything goes even if it smells a little funky.
Some students at San Ramon’s California High School got quite an education this week — the kind you can’t get in the classroom.
Student leadership decided last month to discontinue playing the national anthem at rallies on campus. A local decision at a local school, right?
Not on your twilight’s last gleaming.
The students, according to the school newspaper, were responding to the objection of the NAACP over lyrics in the third verse.
You didn’t know there was a third verse of the anthem, did you? I did, but only because I was a Warriors fan in the early 1970s when a gentleman named Forrest Pritchett, a friend of team owner Franklin Mieuli, sang the fourth (and final) verse before home games. Pritchett’s delivery was quite dramatic, and I came to like the fourth verse better than the first. But I digress.
In the third verse lies the lyric: “No refuge could save the hireling and slave, from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.” It is interpreted as the pursuit and killing of slaves.
Let’s start the discussion with a nod to the well-intentioned students who decided a song with a racist passage has no place on public school grounds. At a time when adolescents are beginning to develop a world view, the Cal High student leadership is putting its conviction into action.
Here is the hard lesson they are learning. One, there are some talking points that are sure to draw ire from all sides. The national anthem is a sure-fire gum-bumper. Not only has the decision to pull the anthem from rallies drawn criticism from the Cal High community, the story has been picked up by local television and regional newspapers, Snopes.com and something called ammoland.com. Of course, no partisan pie fight is complete without a take from Fox News, which suffixed its headline with “What the heck?” and charged that the anthem is under attack from a “rampaging mob of politically correct inclusivists.”
As a sportswriter, I heard hundreds of renditions of the anthem. It was not always taken seriously (a 49ers player compared one discordant anthem, sung by a so-called recording star, to “cats fighting”). Funny how that’s preferable to not playing the anthem at all.
To the Cal High student leaders, I would say this: Perhaps your decision might have played better if you had …read more
Source:: East Bay – Business