In the moments leading up to kickoff between the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams to open the 2022 NFL season, fans were treated to a rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
Grammy-nominated artist Halle Bailey performed the song, also known as the “Black National Anthem.”
Some fans watching at home were left confused by the rendition, chiming in on Twitter with their thoughts. One user claimed the “Black National Anthem” only serves to divide the country.
There is no "claim" about it. If the purpose of the "Black National Anthem" were to unite, rather than divide, the country, it would be called the "National Anthem."
Another was wondering why fans in attendance treated the song as if it was the actual National Anthem.
A common theme in fans’ confusion was the timing of the song. It was played just moments before the league held a moment of silence to recognize the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom’s longest-reigning monarch. The irony of it all stood out to one Twitter user.
It was one strange juxtaposition:
It's crazy that they did a rendition of "Lift Every Voice and Sing" right before a moment of silence for a British monarch...— Connor Hope (@HoopsHopeCBB) September 9, 2022
A good tweet- but "irony" is doing a lot of work there, substituting for "rank hypocrisy."
Two+ years ago, we were hearing a lot about "white privilege" (if not previously, now a phrase certainly deserving to be enclosed in quote marks). Last year, we still were hearing about "white privilege." Even earlier this year, there were sporadic complaints about white privilege, bestowed upon individuals because of the advantage of being born with white skin in this nation.
Alas, we have learned that the phrase was devoid of meaning, unless an effort to slam poor and working-class white Americans for the privileges they enjoy as they struggle to pay for food, health care, and education beyond the twelfth grade. We have learned that a sizeable chunk of society, including MSNBC and CNN (and of course, Fox News), is delighted that a small group of individuals is to be treated royally if born of the right parents, regardless of what the individuals have accomplished on their own.
There was no moment of silence for four residents of Memphis, Tennessee, who became victims of a horrible shooting spree a day before the death, at age 96 after a long and fulfilling life, of a famous citizen of Great Britain. The NFL displayed its priorities, especially with the bizarre recognition of the death of Queen Elizabeth II intertwined with a rendition of the "Black National Anthem."
The monarch died a few hours after a shooting rampage in Memphis, Tennessee which left four people died. American media, not surprisingly, paid little attention to the murder of several citizens of its own nation, choosing instead to report seemingly endlessly on the death of the monarch.
If there is such a thing as "white privilege," there is no more obvious and no better example of it than the British monarchy. The fawning over the death of Queen Elizabeth II in the USA has been more than an ugly editorial judgement. It has been the celebration, and encouragement, of an institution clearly antithetical to the principle, however imperfectly honored, that all people are created equal in a liberal democracy.