Gwen Berry: ‘Disrespectful' National Anthem 'Doesn’t Speak for Black Americans'
'If you know your history, you know the full song of the National Anthem'
U.S. Olympic hammer thrower Gwen Berry doubled down on her claims the "racist" American national anthem "disrespects” black people and defended her decision to turn her back as the anthem played.
Berry justified her hate toward the national anthem by arguing it contains "racist" lyrics.
Berry told the Black News Channel:
“If you know your history, you know the full song of the National Anthem."
"The third paragraph speaks to slaves in America, our blood being slain and piltered [sic] all over the floor.
"It’s disrespectful and it doesn’t speak for black Americans. It’s obvious.”
Berry on why she signed up for Team USA: “I never said I didn’t want to go to the Olympic Games … all I said was, I respect my people enough to not stand or acknolwedge something that disrespects them.”— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 30, 2021
Berry also says her family faced “economic oppression growing up" pic.twitter.com/xywhJLBe27
The song Francis Scott Key wrote in 1814 has come under many similar attacks.
But Berry's claims the lyrics are racist is false.
Though the word slave appears in the original lyrics Key wrote to honor the U.S. flag during the War of 2812, the line reads, “No refuge could save the hireling and slave.”
But the word slave in this instance did not mean black chattel slave, but referred to one of the reasons America went to war with Britain in 1812.
Historians have also ridiculed claims the anthem speaks about black enslavement, who say the words actually referred to the British Navy’s practice of impressing American sailors into serving the Crown, making them slaves to the British Navy.
Even Snopes posted an article in 2016 saying the claims the lyrics are a celebration of chattel slavery is not a foregone conclusion.
Earlier this week, Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) called for Berry to be removed from the U.S. Olympic team.
“We don’t need any more activist athletes. She should be removed from the team,” Crenshaw said.
"The entire point of the Olympic team is to represent the United States of America,” Crenshaw continued.
"That’s the entire point."
Dan Crenshaw calls for Gwen Berry to be removed from the Olympic team because she turned away from the flag pic.twitter.com/c2xWKLXPPJ— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 28, 2021
"OK so, you know, it’s one thing when these NBA players do it, OK fine, we’ll just stop watching."
"But now the Olympic team?"