Saturday, July 05, 2008

Why can't I lift my voice?

I swear I must be getting soft in my old age. Now I am seriously starting to question my radical black militant credentials. Honestly, I am one of those folks who believes that if I were a thinking adult in 1968, there is no doubt in my mind that I would have been behind John Carlos and Tommy Smith 100%. I would have been saying shit like: right on brothers, fuck the national anthem and that gold medal. Power to the people. But now.....

There has been a story out for a few days now. I am sure you all are aware of it. You know the one, about the sister in Denver who sang the National Anthem with the words of the black National Anthem, "Lift Ev'ry Voice And Sing". Girlfriend sang the words of the black National Anthem to the tune of the Star Spangled Banner. My first thoughts were, how the hell did she pull that off musically? And then, of course, came the firestorm. Black and white folks were outraged. Well, some black folks were outraged, and damn near all white folks were. They accused her of deceiving the city of Denver to make a political statement. (Why is it than when shit has to do with black folks it's always "political statement"?) Girlfriend had to publicly apologize to the Mayor. And not surprisingly, even the "O" man threw her under the bus. (I swear if they had an under the bus toss in the Olympics, the U.S.A. would have to send the "O" man, because he would get a fucking gold medal. But I digress) Lucky for her she is 52 years old because her music career is pretty much kaput.

"I pulled a switcharoo on them" is what she told the Denver Post. And she explained that she was a child of the segregated South, and singing the song this way was her own artistic expression of the pain she feels at times from being a black A-merry-can. Okay, I am feeling all of those things. So why am I not feeling this particular protest? Why am I not behind girlfriend 110%? Why wasn't I blogging about this shit the next day, and saying that the politicians and the people of Denver should leave this poor woman alone?

It's because I have all these questions that I am now questioning my right to call myself a black man who speaks his mind no matter what, and no matter who it offends. Would I have openly defended Tommie Smith and John Carlos if I was blogging in 1968? Damn it now I am not so sure. Because I sure don't feel like defending Rene Marie. Is it because "we have come so far as a country" since 1968? Is it because it was Denver Colorado, and not Jackson Mississippi? Is it because the only consequence girlfriend will suffer is that she won't be asked to sing for the city of Denver again? Damn, more questions than answers, I hate that.

Poor Mayor Hickenlooper (Dude that's a seriously fucked up name), the poor guy says that he wished he had "interceded during the performance" (Now see, if you had done that Mr. Hickenlooper, we would have had a problem).

"We will do whatever it takes to ensure that a situation like this never occurs again... even if I have to sing the national anthem myself."

I can't wait to see who sings the National Anthem at next years state of the city address in Denver. I know one thing; whoever sings it, won't look anything like Rene Marie.


Undercover Black Man said...

I blame Oprah.

When are people gonna move past the idea that the most important thing in the world, at all times, is "expressing my feelings"?

Whitney B. said...

Now Mr. Field,

I have disagreed and expressed myself before and am doing so now.

What, exactly is inflammatory about the "Black National of Anthem"? I saw, nor heard, ANYTHING, which would make any man or woman cringe.........except little whitey in the sky, Denver. You seemed to think of them differently a few blogs ago. I find it SHOCKING that those supposed "liberals" over yonder were offended! Just goes to show ya!

As for a Mayor's name, what about our fair city, Nutter? How's that for a Cat In The Hat or Alice In Wonderland story? I haven't seen him or read about him throw anyone under the bus.....yet.

rikyrah said...


They believed she would sing the National Anthem. If she couldn't, she should have told them she couldn't, and let them find someone who could.


field negro said...

whitney b, I think you are right, which is what's bothering me. As for OUR Mayor's name; you are right, I can't talk about anyone elses :)

"When are people gonna move past the idea that the most important thing in the world, at all times, is "expressing my feelings"?"

uundercover.., but is she just expressing HER feelings, or does she do it as a form of prostest on behalf of an entire race? And if it's just for HER feelings, and it had the intended effect, is it such a bad thing?

Anonymous said...

Paid or unpaid, she's a professional who didn't do what she was contracted in good faith to do. Very different from the Olympic gestures of Carlos & Smith.

szechuanpork said...

The DNC convention should be interesting.

AAW said...

I'm for freedom of speech and I've mulled this situation over for a few days and sorry, I can't compare this "National Anthem" flap with the 1968 olympics - which I thought Tommie Smith and John Carlos actions were heroic.

Rene Marie should have sang the national anthem as she was paid to do and this was just the wrong venue to sing the Negro Anthem.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

It's not that she sang the Black National Anthem.

It's the fact that she was hired to sing the National Anthem, and changed course without consulting the people paying her for the job.

In my neck of the woods, you get hired to do a job and you don't do it, you get fired.

She wanted to make a political statement; fine, but do it on your own dime and not the dime of the people paying you. The End.

Anonymous said...

The only problem I have with your post is your comment about the woman's age. You said that she is 52, so her singing career is pretty much kaput. I disagree. It depends on who her backers are and how she markets herself. I don't necessarily see that her singing career is "over." I think your comment was a bit over the top. Her "career" may not include singing at next year's function, but I hardly think her career is over.You're practicing ageism.

Anonymous said...

I've heard Rene Marie sing before and the woman is good...very good. However, as a previous post said, she was paid to sing the national anthem--lyrics and all--and that's what she should have done. She apologized and that's that.

- Joan (remembering the Roseanne Barr national anthem controversy, as well as the controversy surrounding the Spanish-language version of the national anthem...and then there were those white folks sitting behind me at a college basketball game who didn't like the soulful styling of one singer...and what about Hendrix?)

Whitney B. said...

Undercover Black Man,

You know, I never thought about it before, but Oprah makes me crazy!!! Oprah schmophra!!! She does shit left and right and thinks nothing of it before she does it. Why not, she's got plenty of greenbacks. I don't watch her anymore, since "Dr. Phil" (that piece of white trash should be locked up in the penn). But, even before that when this working gurl got home to watch the last bits of the bitch I would scream at the TV.

It's not just Oprah, it's the whole effing society which grew up with CNN and FAKE news. They are one and the same! Back in the day we had Wally Cronkite and some get down SERIOUS reporting!!!

We are in the toilet and we need to face up the the Nation that is exactly where we are. I am one disgruntled and dissatified supposed A-Merry-Ican!!!

Pissed off in Philly, soon to be "Hangin' High in "Sippi"

Regards to all of you all Field's,
Whit "The Toast" Brown

Kat said...

There's nothing wrong with singing the black national anthem. It's her first amendment right. People are overreacting, get over it.

Kat said...

The article said she was unpaid for this gig so now this is really non-issue.

blackchic said...

I support what she did. I read the comments section,and boy-oh-boy, it's ugly.

Here's a preview:

This is what happens when blacks feel a sense of power ... a vote for Obama is a vote for more of this kind of c-r-a-p.

Submitted by: old-enough-to-know-better
3:23 PM PDT, July 5, 2008

19. send her back to africa

Submitted by: tom
11:52 AM PDT, July 5, 2008

Was Rene Marie's "switcheroonie" inappropriate?


23. She is a RACIST! Like all racists, she should be banned from ever appearing again in public. The black community should shun her every chance they get!

Submitted by: Becky
11:35 AM PDT, July 5, 2008

24. She was invited to participate in a very special day, and decided to make it all about herself and her opinion. Switcheroonie yourself to Iraq or South Africa and see what happens.

Submitted by: sunnyg620
11:26 AM PDT, July 5, 2008

25. I wonder if Obama would want ot have her sing for him? I wonder if she is one of Rev Wright's church goer's?

Submitted by: ProudMinorityAm-erican
11:23 AM PDT, July 5, 2008

26. No respect for the country that gave her the freedom and confidence to do such a thing. Let her try it in Iraq, or South Africa.

Submitted by: sunnyg620
11:23 AM PDT, July 5, 2008

27. Since Rene Marie is an Obama supporter, I'm waiting to see how he reacts to this incident.

Submitted by: Jack
11:21 AM PDT, July 5, 2008

28. Just wait until November when you folks witness the swearing-in of President B. Hussain Obama. This is only just the beginning. The fall of the American Empire starts now....sad.

Submitted by: Tim
11:16 AM PDT, July 5, 2008

29. Why is that some African-Americans think that they should have their own anthem? I don't see any other groups in the US wanting its own. Perhaps some of these folks long for their ancestral homeland in Africa, and if it's the case, migrate back to Africa. Home is where your heart is.

Submitted by: Joe
11:09 AM PDT, July 5, 2008

30. Just a start of things to come if obama is elected. Is she raceist,you bet just as much as the 95% black voting bloc for mr obama.

Submitted by: Big Kielbasa
11:00 AM PDT, July 5, 2008

This is the tip of the iceberg.

Undercover Black Man said...

I can't compare this "National Anthem" flap with the 1968 olympics - which I thought Tommie Smith and John Carlos actions were heroic.

Indeed. Set aside the issue of broader “revolt of the black athlete” that made Smith & Carlos’s gesture truly about more than themselves. They earned the right to that moment by winning the medals.

Look at it this way: If you win an Academy Award, you can get up there and speak about the plight of the American Indian or whatever else is on your mind; you earned that moment.

If, though, you’re invited to present an Academy Award, and you get up there and ignore the teleprompter and start venting about the Jena 6, you only embarrass yourself.

Time, meet place.

By the way, Rene Marie is a hell of a singer. If you want to hear her juxtaposition of “Dixie” with “Strange Fruit,” click here.

The Angry Independent said...

To prevent Carpal Tunnel... I am co-signing Rikyrah's statement above.

And one other thing.... I am tired of this constant duality that I have to live under...although I understand that it's sometimes necessary. But for all things in existence???????

It seems that "dual" everythings are -ucking assigned to me. Dual independence days... one assigned to me by "Black America", and one that is recognized by the rest of the Country. Dual National Holidays... MLK is the "Black Holiday"...and Prez Day, Columbus Day, etc... are the "White" Holidays. Dual National assigned to me by "Black Culture" and another that is officially recognized by everyone else.

Who in the Hell decided that "Lift Every Voice & Sing" was the official "Black" national anthem? And who assigned it to me? Did I get a vote?

Yes, I know the history of the song, and I recognize its significance (lovely song). But I am tired of others deciding what "Black" is and assigning their definition of "Black" onto all others from the ethnic group. Will Black people ever be dealt with as individuals rather than a group? Ever? I won't hold my breath on that one.

Listening to the news reports of this story annoyed the Hell out of me. Not because of the controversy itself....but because of the way that it allowed others to view Black folks...the way that "Black" was shaped and decided. The report suggested (once again) that people with brown skin are a monolith.... that there is this magical Black spokesperson... or a NRB that makes all decisions and speaks for everyone in the group.

Now whites are left thinking (esp. those who don't know any better and can't help themselves) that this was some kind of political statement by Black folks against America....that Blacks are unpatriotic and all that nonsense. This stunt plays right into the fears of folks in places like Ohio, Pennsyvania, Virginia, Kentucky Florida, and throughout the country, at a time when we don't need this bull----. (it almost seems as if the Repubs put her up to help fire up their base... I wouldn't put it past them).

But the unpatriotic lie annoys me to no end.
After all the service that my family has given to this Country.... the "unpatriotic" bull really puts me on the edge... near "postal".

But it seems that we (some of us) constantly have to deal with the problem of others molding and deciding for a national audience...who we are...both as Black people and as individuals.

Maybe it's just me....

Bottom line... the woman was paid to sing a specific per the agreement she made. She didn't honor the agreement.

She ended up looking a little silly IMO. And exactly what political statement was she trying to make?

Was there a point to all of this?
What i've read so far just doesn't make sense in terms of a rationale for this.

rikyrah said...

She's SUPPOSED to be a professional. And, if you're a professional, keep your word.

Give them notice if you can't do what they ask.

I love the Negro National Anthem. A full orchestral version - nothing is more beautiful or powerful - but, it was INAPPROPRIATE in these circumstances.

Sometimes, FN, folks are just wrong. She was wrong.

The Angry Independent said...

"I can't compare this "National Anthem" flap with the 1968 olympics - which I thought Tommie Smith and John Carlos actions were heroic."

Indeed. Two totally different contexts. The political and social backdrops are not even close.

Variables such as time and place can heavily influence the message, sometimes creating unintended consequences... and interpretations (or misinterpretations) that are nowhere close to the intended point (and in this case, i'm still trying to find a point). said...
This comment has been removed by the author. said...

Hello there!

I posted a video of this at my blog on the 4th and honestly...I am not sure what the HOOPLA is about... they asked her to sing the National Anthem and she sang the National Anthem and if they MEANT the white anthem then they should have put that in her contract! The words "National Anthem" meant ONE THING to Renee and something else to these others..

{raised fist to Renee Martin}
Get your check and keep stepping, girl!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

Anonymous said...

wake me up when a "strong black man" has a black woman's back.

Whitney B. said...

You know what?
Angry Black Independent?

You need to get over the negro-it!

Yeah, eff your stuff. According to "reports" she was not paid for it. Also, Mr. Field implied that she is beyond her time to reach a certain amount of claim and fame (bad on Mr. Field as to the fact that I am 54 and still makin' my claim and fame).

One can't compare the Olympics to a mere singer...or can one? The fact of the matter is this woman has the voice of an angel (we blue-ophiles would agree) and can sing any current "singer" under the table (Whitney Brown, my "namesake" except I came way before she, comes to mind). On top of which, she, Ms. Rene, had the "audacity" to be black, black and I would guess African American black.

Guess what? If this had been some white chick (y'all can name 'em because this chick can't listen to the screeching) this wouldn't even be an ISSUE. You all (black folks) need to get those tough facts in place and make sure that those eyeballs are WIDE open. Otherwise, Oppie's (not Oprah's) gonna come an' getcha!

Pit-ee-full, but true, here in racist Philly. Maybe 'Sippi will be better?

Lady Zora, Chauncey DeVega, and Gordon Gartrelle said...

thanks mr. field...we always appreciate the love. and the link to the 68 Olympics was wonderfully appropriate and timely given the hbo special on the topic...

those respectable negroes

Whitney B. said...

Mr. Field,

Off topic: It occurred to me a little while back, when I was pestering you about THE DRAFT, that you are a bizzy attorney. I am sorry. You blog on the Nation, not on your personal feelings (sidebars are for that) are what drives this site.

Hopefully, the idiots in A-Merry-ica will wake up and hear the muzak. Is the Inquirer reading this blog? Pro'bly not!!!!

Whitney B. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Angry Independent said...

Whether she was paid or not... the understanding was that she had agreed to do the national anthem.
Whether written or not... it was clearly an implied understanding that she sing the national anthem.
Not the so-called "Black national anthem". And if she didn't want to sing it...she should have told them.

It was unprofessional of her to try to turn the event into something else.... and if made "us" look silly.

The time and place was inappropriate, especially with the Holiday coming up. It unnecessarily brought up all kinds of divisiveness and didn't help the cause of anyone, except Rene Marie, who wanted to attract attention. It served no other purpose.

And it would be no different if it were a Chinese-American singer, Irish-American, Russian-American, etc, singing the national anthems of their native countries...or where they have ethnic roots, at a major American event. It would be just as distasteful. It raises concerns about ethno-centrism.... suggesting that the national anthem should be scrapped and replaced with anthems that are race specific. It just brings up a lot of problems that we don't need.

And I think most Black folks who are in poverty, who are struggling with dilapidated schools and school systems that don't work, can't pay their utility bills, must choose between their prescription medication and food, are stuck in dangerous inner-city neighborhoods where violence is a daily threat because they can't afford decent housing, are struggling to pay their mortgages because of ARM's and other problems, can barely put gas in their cars so that they can get to work, slaving in lousy jobs just to survive, and who can't afford to get sick because they don't have decent healthcare coverage or because they might lose a job... these folks don't give Goddamn about what song Rene Marie is singing. So who is she protesting for? She damn sure isn't protesting on my behalf. Most don't even know who she is... I am familiar with her (marginally) because I am a jazz fan. But most couldn't care less who she is.

If she wants to really help Black folks, she could use her talent in a more productive fashion, IMO.

Rene Marie was showing her ass for the benefit of Rene Marie. (But Black folks always seem to follow this bull---- like sheep). And again... her antics served no real purpose and had no real point.

I understand that (most) Black women want to support other Black women.... no matter what. That's a tradition in itself. But I swear, sometimes the hysteria clowds the brain.

JWJ said...

Undercover Black Man said... They earned the right to that moment by winning the medals.

Don't you think that Rene Marie "earned the right to that moment" by having lived here in this country?

I think she deserves a friggin' medal for that achievement. And that goes for most blacks born and living here.

JWJ said...

The Angry Independent said...It was unprofessional of her to try to turn the event into something else.... and if made "us" look silly.

You worry me, man.

Maybe Marie made "you" look silly, but I don't give a damn if she sang the National Anthem or some other Anthem, whether she did it for herself, or for all the black people of the world.

I stopped caring long ago how whites perceive "us".

Do you think that they spend one second worrying about how we perceive them?

They should worry, but do they?
Hell no!

NSangoma said...

"The Star-Spangled Banner" was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931 (46 Stat. 1508, codified at 36 U.S.C. § 301), which was signed by President Herbert Hoover.

What was the Negroe representation in the US Congress, Negroe US Representatives and Negroe US Senators, when this was voted on in 1931?

How can it be your national anthem, if you did not have shyt to say about it?

The Star-Spangled Banner was written during the war of 1812. The War of 1812 happened because the US tried to take Canada from Great Britain.

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793, did not apply in Canada; you know you Negroes was property then, and a lot of fugitive property were taking refuge in Canada, hmmm. (The US annexed Florida during the War of 1812; again, certain valuable fugitive property was taking refuge in Florida. Florida was then Spanish territory, and Spain was an ally of Great Britain).

All this makes the 3rd stanza of The Star-Spangled Banner very interesting.

Another reason given for the US trying to take Canada, is that the British were supplying armaments to frontier Amerindians defending their lands from US encroachment and confiscation.

You true-blue Negroes still upset with 'Girlfriend'.
Read the original poem, a'fore you get too, too upset.

You ticked-off, observant Negroes following all deh statutes?
Do you know what they are?

Sec. 301. National anthem
(a) Designation. - The composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem.
(b) Conduct During Playing. - During a rendition of the national anthem -
(1) when the flag is displayed -
(A) all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart;
(B) men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and
(C) individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until
the last note; and
(2) when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.
"In God we trust" is the national motto.
The flower commonly known as the rose is the national floral emblem.
The composition by John Philip Sousa entitled "The Stars and Stripes Forever" is the national march.
The tree genus Quercus, commonly known as the oak tree, is the national tree.

At one time, Mexico was a fugitive slave sanctuary, hmmm, did something happen there also; like a war with a certain slave holding country?

JWJ said...

The Angry Independent said... And one other thing.... I am tired of this constant duality that I have to live under...although I understand that it's sometimes necessary. But for all things in existence???????

Man, you still worry me. You talk as though this "duality" was forced on you. It wasn't. Embrace it or not. Your choice.

But be clear about what's going on here.

Blacks living in this country have lived a "dual" existence most of their lives, a sort of "split personality," if you will.

We have been compelled to affirm our blackness when all the whiteness around us would have blotted it out.

Remember who it was that foisted this duality upon us. It wasn't blacks in this country that spent far too many years trying to integrate with whites.

It was those whites that spent equal time and energy trying to keep us separate, and apart, and lied, at times, and called it "separate but equal."

It was "separate but equal" in the same way that Fake News is "fair and balanced."

Who in the Hell decided that "Lift Every Voice & Sing" was the official "Black" national anthem? And who assigned it to me? Did I get a vote?

You sure as hell didn't get a vote on the National Anthem, or the U.S. Constitution either? And it was assigned to you.

Brother, with all respect, I'm glad that you're "angry" but you're angry about the wrong things.

JWJ said...

Sometimes, FN, folks are just wrong. She was wrong.

Sometimes rikyrah "wrong" is right.

The National Anthem is a lie. She chose to tell the truth. How "wrong" is that?

The Angry Independent said...


On that basis, you would have to throw everything out.... the Constitution, etc (yeah... I know the history of that too). No one is arguing that the U.S. of A is perfect....most of us know the @$#%$% up History. That is not what I am arguing. I am saying that the time/place was not appropriate....especially when it served no real purpose. Now if she did something to bring attention to the situation in Darfur, that would have been Field Negro behavior. Or if she would have done something to bring attention to the situation in Congo... that would've been Field Negro behavior. Or to bring attention to the problem of Black on Black crime in the U.S., and pointing out that the $10 billion being diverted to Iraq every month could be better spent here at home by providing summer jobs, job skills training, educational opportunities, small business opportunities, etc. But that's not what she did.

Hathor said...

I don't understand the point. I think it was disrespectful to black folk if it was sung to piss white folk off. One could have found a better way to do that.

I agree with the angry independent, that it could have been used to advance an urgent cause.

Now if she did something to bring attention to the situation in Darfur, that would have been Field Negro behavior.

Carlos and Smith took ownership of the anthem. Unfortunately blacks didn't continue to support it, because now, Obama wouldn't be questioned why he hasn't put his hand over his heart during the playing of the national anthem.

Anonymous said...

You Forgot to tell us were we can get the bootleg.


SagaciousHillbilly said...

As a radical teenage boy in 1968 I DID defend Tommie Smith and John Carlos. Everyone should have.
They did not disrespect the national anthem, they simply held their fist in the air as a sign of support for the American black civil rights movement. It wasn't intended as a wholesale "fuck you - hurray for me." They bowed their heads and were otherwise humble in their appearance and demeanor throughout the ceremony. As per usual, people just needed something to raise hell about and they were it.

The lady in Denver acted inapprorpiately. She was paid to deliver a service. A service that was clearly defined and expected. Instead, she delivered something else. It was disrespectful and unacceptable. If she wanted to do what she did, she should have made previous arrangements.

Now, if it comes out that the mayor, city council or some other entity associated with the event deserved to be fucked with and turned on their ear, then I will rethink my opinion, but I have seen nothing that indicates that.

Whitney B. said...

Wait, wait, wait now........just what is it about this song that makes it black? To me, there is no lyric that goes "this is our revenge on your sucky governing".

I hope the news and views coverage that Ms. Rene is receiving, and for sure it is (as usual because she's BLACK) over the top, HELPS her career. She is a great singer!

I personally hate our current National anthem. The words are terrible ("bombs bursting in air") and you can't sing the damn thing without killing your vocal cords.

When I was a kid in grade school we didn't sing that nasty song. We sang "America, The Beautiful".

Thanks for all of the interesting info in your post at 5:45 AM.

Anonymous said...

I think we all agree, she was wrong for not singing the song agreed upon. However, the outrage comes from not the change of the song, but the song that was sung. If ‘America the Beautiful’ or ‘Sweet Dixie” was sung there would be no issue. The feelings of outrage, disgrace and offended, comes from the power of the ‘Black National Anthem’. Only the truth of the words brought forth such raw emotion. I'm laughing at their reactions.


hennasplace said...


I really didn't see the point of her changing the song in the first. She knew for a month before that was not going to sing the Star Spangled Banner when she agreed to do the song. I don't like the anthem either because the average person is unable to sing the song, the lyrics do not make any sense, technically the US did not win the War of 1812, country suffered damaged from the White House burning down and failed to invaded Canada. There is only a psychologically felt good in knowing that the country of its complete independence. Yes, people spinning a story existed then as well. I really do not understand why the nationalism soared when it only made one minor territorial gain during the war which was capturing Mobile, Alabama and it from Spain and not Great Britain. The anthem is more about myth than the reality.

It's an example of the symbolism not matching the reality. With that being said, if you get paid you have to fulfill the contract. If she really felt that strongly about not wanting to sing the song, then do not accept the job. In fact, I would have more respect for her not accepting the job because of political convictions. In addition, she could have done an interruption of the Star Spangled Banner in the way that Marvin Gaye did over 20 years ago at the All-Star game. At least, he updated and gave the song new life. Of course, people complained about how he performed song, but he didn't change it and used different from another song. It would creative and I appreciated as well as most people in the crowd that day. I did not buy into her argument about her being an artist because Marvin Gaye's example of using his creativity by modernizing the song. Girlfriend is a jazz singer, and could have given a jazz interruption of the song, granted it could have ran 10 minutes with improv but that what happens with jazz.

Christopher said...

I just love it when people push buttons!

NSangoma said...

Something else for you true-blue Negroes to rant about; hopefully, you have roses and oak trees in your yards.


field negro said...

"wake me up when a "strong black man" has a black woman's back."

Anon.2:17AM your alarm is going off.

You Forgot to tell us were we can get the bootleg. "


"If ‘America the Beautiful’ or ‘Sweet Dixie” was sung there would be no issue. The feelings of outrage, disgrace and offended, comes from the power of the ‘Black National Anthem’. Only the truth of the words brought forth such raw emotion. I'm laughing at their reactions."

Good point swooth, and everyone of us has to ask ourselves this question: Would we have been as upset if she sang America the Beutiful"? I am not so sure.


nsangoma, as usual, thanks for your wealth of knoweldge and historical info on the subject at hand. Even though you piss me off at times, you do back up your shit with links.

Now I am going to have to go out and get one if girlfriend's albums. Hell maybe this is what she wanted all along.

hennasplace said...


No one has a problem with Marvin Gaye's version of the anthem because he did not change the words of the song. He put new life into the song, he changed the arrangement and people still recognized the song. I think it's a great version of the song and it was well-received unless you were Jesse Helms. The NBA did not complain, and they knew was he was going have a different musical arrangement for the song. It's different than what Rene Marie did. She used different words from another song, and failed to mentioned that to the people who hired her. Let's face, now is perceived as a person with no professional integrity. She was better off not accepting the gig.

It's really not a good comparison because Marvin Gaye managed to put his creative voice to the song without losing the meaning of the song even if the song isn't a great song. Let's face we let his musical arrangement and his voice was far more superior than that of lyrics, and it worked creatively.

hennasplace said...

i do not think not paid for the gig makes a difference because she was no obligation to accept it. It's not a great way to use my time, but that's my opinion. I have a problem with saying you going to do one and doing another. It doesn't make a difference if she decided to sing American the Beautiful which is a better song, but it's not the anthem. It's more about honesty than her personal view. She was not honest about what she was doing and that is a problem.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

henna, True 100%. Same goes with Jimi's instrumental interpretation. I think it is one of the most amazing pieces of guitar work ever. He made the Star Spangled Banner come alive with the sound of the rockets, the dawn and the ramparts. Pure genius. I wonder if he practiced that or if it was somethingt he just did at the time.

NSangoma said...

... without losing the meaning of the song ...
hennasplace 11:41 AM

OK, I'll byte, what is the meaning of the song?

Third Verse
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footstep's pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for posting the documented historical background for "their" national anthem - "Star Spangled Banner" - by nsangoma. The song/music continues to accurately represent an authentic moral and cultural characteristic of a-merry-ca. Lots of folks get choked up and teary-eyed(sic?) wherever and whenever they hear/see this (blood)lusty music(?) performed. The musically coherent "Lift Every Voice and Sing", by James Weldon Johnson, is an authentic representation of the hopes and aspirations of a people at that time who were being un/ceremoniously lynched weekly; written during the same era when Black History Month was established - during one of a-merry-ca's lowest points in her history.
While I honor and respect girlfriend Rene's RIGHT to sing whatever whenever, I fail to get what all the hullabaloo is about. Isn't anything sacred anymore!? JWJ wrote the song for black people at a time when we were forced to see ourselves as distinct and separate from the rest of a-merry-ca. Anyway...Off the subject - who/what is that thing that McCain is dragging around with him? What morgue or hospital was robbed? They need to dig up Ronnie get-your-guns-raygun, dump both of them and Jesse Helms into that pit in Nevada where they bury nuclear waste. Thank you,

Georgia "Flash"

Whitney B. said...

Thanks for putting that link to Marvin Gaye's version. Very powerful and I didn't even get mad when I heard those words "bombs bursting in air".

I still don't see what all the fuss is about here. Where, in this supposed "Black" National Anthem is there any reference that it has been written specifically for black Americans? Did I miss something when I listened to it? Is it that phrase "...dark past has taught us"? Is that worse than "...bombs bursting in air"?

The dark past is a whole bunch of shit, not just slavery. We, this little Imperial (vs. what we like to call ourselves, a "Democracy") nation of ours has done a lot more harm than good in many ways.

There was the taking of land and killing the Native Americans (some really devious shit, too, what with those small pox blankies) and then making "reservations" for the few that remained. Have you ever been to some of the Navajo rez's? That's some bad shit, like a project, except there's no grass and a whole lotta sandy clay soil and skinny (starving) livestock and nothing but a bunch of shanty trailers. There are a few "uppities" that built 'em some adobe and brick abodes, but not many.

The Little and Fat bombs we dropped over in Japan. The effects of those bombs are still coming out of mother's wombs to this day.

Internment of Japanese and Italian Americans during WWII. This was while Japanese and Italian American kids were serving our country, yet their folks and grandfolks got shipped off to "camps".

Meanwhile, we were letting Herr Hitler buy all kindsa land here in the good old U S of A.

How about all of the Dictator's that we supported and put in power all over the world, including A-merry-ca's (used to be) enemy number one: So Damn Insane.

McCarthy era anyone?

I could keep going on this, but if the fuss is about that one little phrase about "dark past" is the problem, than this country and some of the people who post here need to get over it. The past is very dark (well, the present is shaping up to be a shady darker), from slavery to slaughter and all the stuff in-between.

I hope Ms. Rene Marie gets a big spike in the sale of her CD's from all of this. If O'Man throws HER under the bus, well, shame on him!

Now I gotta go on Amazon and get me some of those CD's.

NSangoma said...

Especially for you, hennasplace. Enjoy

Anonymous said...

Denver isn't as rosey as it seems. They have a big racism problem. A few years ago, a black man and his wife were shot by a white man over a parking spot at a video store. Needless to say the man was found not guilty. That and they have a big gang problem. Remember that Columbine is a suburb of Denver and a kid was killed just because he was black.

Whitney B. said...


Wow. All those degrees and you're smart, too! (tease!)

What a nasty piece of work was this to adopt as A-merry-ica's National Anthem.

Which brings me back to America, The Beautiful, which was the National Anthem before adoption of that nasty (unsingable) tune. "...and crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea!"

Or, am I wrong? Was it God Bless America? Whatever. Either is preferable to war-mongering lyrics.

Whitney B. said...

Can't wait for all the action at the Demo convention in Denver. Will it be another Chicago style pig fest?

Gregory Williams said...

I'm in Love! How can I meet her!

This would truly be a match made in heaven!

Whitney B. said...

Let me clarify one thing that I think may be misconstrued in my previous rant about "...supposed "Black" National Anthem. I don't think that until this story broke, most whities even knew this was considered a Black National Anthem. See how the press and pundits can make such a big stink about this and influence others?

Shouldn't we be glad that this was tastefully done and made a lot of little bone heads standing up there look rather foolish? It does just go to show you there's a long long way to go before this race thing gets resolved. I couldn't help but respect the white dude that kept his hand on his heart.

Now I'll shut the eff up.

hennasplace said...


I you did not read my either my posts completely. The Star Spangled Banner only has symbolic meaning as people believed what they were told to believe. You also did not notice that I stated that the lyrics do not make any sense, and the average person cannot sing the song. Even Andy Rooney, my favorite cranky old man said that the lyrics do not make any sense. I think Francis Scott Key was high when he wrote the poem. The Battle at Fort McHenry which Key was inspired by writing the song when he saw the flag still standing, was not a huge deal because either suffered little damaged The British had poor accuracy with their weapons, and the Americans had limited range with their guns. The song did not match the reality, but people believed has great significant meaning.

The War of 1812 is only a psychologically feel good war than that of a war of necessity and people considered it the second war of independence. Technically, the US did not war and it's only minor war in Great Britain's history. The U.S. failed invading Canada. However, the average person does not know about the War of 1812, and do not know that the British managed to burned down the White House. Yes details, details. Americans are more comfortable with myth than the reality. Yes, it has meaning, feeling good. The war convinced the country that it could fend of any foreign threats and how it should focus on expansion at home. Americans are just suppose to feel good, that's the meaning. Isn't that what Marvin Gaye did in his rendition, the idea of feeling good, so it did not lose its meaning. Everyone clapped, swayed to music, and an overwhelming applause. Gaye succeeded in his goal using his creativity and making the people feel good at the same time. Technically he did not use the meaning of the song. The song is about feeling than knowing.

gwpriester (i before e) said...

Some people get outraged at all the wrong things.

Where or where is the public outrage at this administration?

west coast story said...

First, rene marie has already laid her claim to fame with her career. If haven't heard of her maybe you should give the booty snapping on BET a rest. There are actually black women out there who can sing. How farking patronizing and completely piggy is it to drag her age into it? Jeez, can men ever get over themselves?

Second, what she did was stupid. Period. What exactly was her point?
Third, when roseanne barr "sang" the national anthem, it was a HUGE deal so spare us the whine about what white people get away with.

Finally, to suggest that which anthem was to be sung should have been is infantile. Ms.marie looks silly and defending her is even sillier.

But at least it gave white racists something to talk about. Damn, what a bunch of half wits they are.

kid said...

Have we become comfortable capitalist.I know people said she was paid to do a job.Maybe pissing racist white people off IS her job.It called a protest.She done her job well. How do I know, we're talking about her.Imagine if I was picked to perform country music at the RNC.Then as soon as I hit the stage I play "One Nation Under A Groove",grab myself and tell the republiklans where to go,I would be on the cover of every black magazine in the world.Then I would also have to move to Canada.I think that black people are more worried because of the blowback it could have on Sen.Obama.We have to take care of our own business.Hey Field and you going to stop your Fatwa against Fox until after the election? Heck -E -naw.If we worry about every little thing that we do could piss some white bigots off then we ain't being real.When that happens its time to tear up my Ghetto Pass and join Jessie Lee Peterson and Juan Williams and accept my "Cloonie" award and call it a day.

kid said...

The reaction by John Kasich on Fox was horrible. The way the racist were acting you thought that she killed a kid or something.Hey Field, Smith and Carlos were "paid" to run track, they needed to do that.The world has to see how dumb and racist America actually is.Obama can't talk about race, but my sister Rene can.

Admiral Komack said...

The woman is a damned idiot.

She was supposed to sing the National Anthem, not "Lift Every Voice And Sing."

Imhotep said...

Field Negro, Your marginal status as a field negro is under full review.

How can a field negro in good conscience sit back, listen and enjoy a song that glorify white america? That's house negro behavior. I should not have to quote Howard Zinn to you.

White folks only accept us when we glorify them. See the white backlash because the sista choose to sing a song that recognize black america. Let's view the white outrage because we're not participating in their hypocrisy.

The fact that they would never in a 100 years ask the sista to sing the black national anthem, tells you exactly how they feel about us. The national anthem does not take black people into account, why should we give our heart and soul to a song that was not intended for us?

The O man could borrow some balls from this lady.

Anonymous said...

Field, What the woman did was wrong. period! Look they asked her to sing the National Anthem and she chose not to do it. If this woman had a problem sing for White folks then she should stick to singing all blacks only.

And another thing if she has a problem with the way America has tread blacks in the past or future then her ass needs to move somewhere else out the country. I mean why stay in a country you hate?!
I also hope that Obama does not become president. Because if he does then he will have to answer for every dumb ass thing someone black does in America.

kid said...

And another thing if she has a problem with the way America has tread blacks in the past or future then her ass needs to move somewhere else out the country. I mean why stay in a country you hate?!

Hey anonymous at4:56

Because we don't have anywhere else to go.If you can get me a job and plane tickets to Holland its on.

Anonymous said...

Yikes! So, Anon, you want another 4 or 8 years of McWhities? Nice. Anarchy anyone?

Been watching the FAKE and PHONY (CNN, etc) news channels. This anthem thing seems to have died a quick and proper death. Only the Internet keeps roiling along.

jjbrock said...

@Anonymous 4:56 why do people have to leave this country because they disagree with how America has treaty her citizen in the past?

Our people hated it during slavery but I betcha they wasn't saying send their black a@@ back then but now because someone have a love/hate with America you want to send them out of the country how stupid is that.

Obama is what this country need so maybe he can weed out all this hate by sending your kind out of the country.

heartsandflowers said...

Why wasn't she paid for her performance? While everyone's weighing in their 2 cents about whether she did right or wrong, let's also ask why da Mayor say fit to not pay a performing artist for their services? This wasn't an open mic.

Anonymous said...

jjbrock said...

Our people hated it during slavery but I betcha they wasn't saying send their black a@@ back then but now because someone have a love/hate with America you want to send them out of the country how stupid is that.

Obama is what this country need so maybe he can weed out all this hate by sending your kind out of the country.

Look the woman clearly has emotional and past problems with White America. All I'm saying is someone needs to set the sister free in the wilds of Africa. Nobody has her ass in chains in this day and age so she can freely return to the motherland aka Africa. Once back in Africa I'm sure she will never encounter racism and can live a happy life with Chaka Zulu.

I say the same thing to whiny Whites who have a problem with America they can get the hell out too. Once again folks America is not keeping you as slaves anymore. Just think of all the good you could bring to poor Africa if only you returned home.

Why continue to stay in a place that hates you for being born Black?! In less you enjoy being treated like crap!

mesha said...

It was her choice to sing what the hell she wanted to...they could have turn off the mic. This lady signing the BNA has nothing to Obama and for him to comment is out of line...He does not speak for the whole Black, African American or Bi-racial people just himself and possible his family.

Freedom of speech...and it was free for her to cash was tangible contract

So this lady should have no apolgize for nothing....and told Amerikka to kiss her ass.(freedom of speach)

NSangoma said...

Just to be lucid, just to be clear:
Back in 1780 when Pennsylvania had abolished slavery, some slaves from Virginia and Maryland crossed into Pennsylvania and claimed that they were free. This claim was backed by a large number of Quakers in Pennsylvania. A bitter argument arose in the United States Congress between slave owning states and non slave owning states over the issue of absconding slaves taking up residence in non slave states and achieving freedom. This argument proceeded until 1793 when Congress passed the first federal Fugitive Slave Law. The Fugitive Slave Law gave slave owners the right to pursue and capture fugitive slaves who had fled across the Mason-Dixon Line into non-slave states and territories.

This would have made it very difficult for slave to escape, but in 1793 the Upper Province of Canada (Ontario) abolished slavery. This was followed by the Lower Province of Canada in 1803. Some slaves from the United States began to cross the border into Canada. Canada and Britain refused to extradite the fugitive slaves back to the United States, and this may well have been part of the cause of the War of 1812. At any rate, that was about the time when fugitive slaves began to cross into Canada in numbers large enough to attract attention.

Fugitive slaves still faced the dilemma of avoiding capture across the non-slave states in route to Canada. Some Abolitionists devised the Underground Railroad assist fugitive slaves avoid capture.


Goodell discusses, in slavery context, many aspects of U.S. history, as impacted by slavery:
• causing the War of 1812,

...In 1812, Americans were determined to make another attempt at eradicating the British presence in North America, and settle "the Indian question" once and for all. Such a campaign, promised Thomas Jefferson, would be a matter of mere marching. In Congress, the War Hawks took up this position and demanded the United States finalize the independence from Britain they had fought so hard to win. Many Americans came to see the 1812 conflict as the second Revolutionary War.

... Britain did not start the war. The U.S. Congress declared war on June 18, 1812 because it wanted to add Canada to the United States. It was a naked war of U.S. aggression. ...
The United States of America had been founded on the principles of slavery and racial inequality after the Somerset Decision of 1772 had threatened to impoverish men like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. True, the ending of slavery within the British Empire had then been delayed by economically powerful men who owned stakes in Caribbean sugar plantations. But the gradual abolition of slavery had been made law in Canada in 1793, and the anti-slavery movement in England was quite strong by 1812. Racial inequality also took the form of near total disregard for native American Indian rights, in particular their rights to their ancestral land.
Britain had drawn a line to protect Indian tribes, the Line of 1763. George Washington and other speculators claimed to own what were actually Indian lands that were beyond this line. In the settlement of the Revolutionary War the new U.S. government was given sovereignty over the Northwest Territory, but in fact needed to engage in wars of aggression (now recognized as war crimes) to control the land and allow speculators to sell it to white settlers. Canada did not recognize U.S. seizures of Indian lands.

Plantsmantx said...

"And it would be no different if it were a Chinese-American singer, Irish-American, Russian-American, etc, singing the national anthems of their native countries...or where they have ethnic roots, at a major American event."

Yes, it would be different. Whites wouldn't make assumptions about Chinese-, Italian-, or Russian-Americans over it, and Italian-Americans (for instance) would be simultaneously wringing their hands and flogging other Italian-Americans over how it made them "look". Actually, it's racist to assume that any whites are dumb enough to truly believe that this woman was expressing herself on behalf of all blacks, and we all agree with what she did. They're just pretending to believe that as a rationalization to attempt to strike a political blow for their side. I think waht she did was silly, but I'll be goddamned if I humiliate myself by making a big show for those whites of just how much I'm afraid of what they might think of "us" because of one silly stunt by one woman. I'm not afraid, and even if I was, putting on that big show for them wouldn't make a bit of difference. They'll pretend to believe what they need to pretend they believe.

Plantsmantx said...

"I also hope that Obama does not become president. Because if he does then he will have to answer for every dumb ass thing someone black does in America."

Well no, he wouldn't. Not "in less" people like you want to question him about it. And as for that "leave" stuff...motherfuck you. Am I to believe that you never complain about anything that happens in this country? But anyone who complains about something you at best have no problem with (like anti-black racism) should leave? You have about as much authority to tell me to leave America as a Bosnian does.

JWJ said...

She was not honest about what she was doing and that is a problem.

I have a problem with saying you going to do one and doing another.

I have a problem with it too, hennasplace.

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Wine Dog said...

If she had juxtaposed it, like she did with "Dixie" and "Strange Fruit" in the link Undercover Black Man put up, she probably would have gotten away with it. Kind of like O Canada at an Expo game, but not. Over at PBE, it's all about staying radical, and I applaud her radical heart. If she had sung them both, she'd have gotten away with it. She was supposed to sing the National Anthem, not the Black National Anthem. If her interpretation had involved opening with the BNA and then ending with the SSB, I think that would have been fine. I mean, if she were gay would she have sung "Somewhere over the rainbow"? Still, she's radical and I love that. I do think there was an affront by not including SSB and I don't think it was akin to Mexico City in 1968. That was outrageous, but necessary.

All that being said...what a gorgeous voice she has.

NSangoma said...

Here is another one for you punk conservative property rights Negroes:

All servants imported and brought into the Country. . . who were not Christians in their native Country. . . shall be accounted and be slaves. All Negro, mulatto and Indian slaves within this dominion. . . shall be held to be real estate. If any slave resists his master. . . correcting such slave, and shall happen to be killed in such correction. . . the master shall be free of all punishment. . . as if such accident never happened.
- Virginia General Assembly declaration, 1705

AgentX said...

Well Field, you haven't lost your Angry Black Male certification yet. This is a minor incident- it'll be over and done by next week.

I still say this isn't as big a deal as the Roseanne Bar rendition. Ewww, what were they thinking?!

mikeb302000 said...

I remember the 1968 olympics and how impressed I was with what those guys did. Around the same time, in a very different setting, Jimi Hendrix performed the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock. A lot of people didn't like that one either.

Zimbel said...

While I don't think that it's perfect (for example, it's a bit too theistic for my taste), I think that Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing is more representative of the U.S.A. than Defence of Fort McHenry.

JWJ said...

Wine Dog said... "I do think there was an affront by not including SSB..."

It's an affront to me anytime I sing the SSB, and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Now that the shoe is on the other foot it's called an "affront"?

You're right: "...what a gorgeous voice she has."

bookerman said...

Bruva Field,

I'm a little late with this but as a jazz singer myself, i have to chime in with my 2cents: if anybody from the mayor to the govenor, the event organizers, the Obama people, or anybody who's called her everything-but-a-child-of-god had gone to her website, they would have seen that she performed a song she had already recorded. Anybody who clicked on (,
could see that she had already recorded a suite of patriotic songs called "Voice of My Beautiful Country", which features her versions of "America the Beautiful", "My Country `Tis of Thee", & "The Star Spangled Banner/Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing", which according to her, she describes as her "love song to America" ( That's why all the hub-bub & "outrage" & "controversy" is disingenious and fake.

As an artist, her job is to tweak the paradigm and let the chips fall where they may. Good for her. She's shown a lot more courage, by taking a musical and conceptual risk, than many independent artists in A-merryc-a.

I didn't know about her before this incident, but now, thanks to all the free advertising she's gotten, I'll buy her CDs and encourage others to do so :-)

The Bookerman

Denephew (tee hee) said...

I ain't supporting this; she was wrong.


Natalie said...

"I can't compare this "National Anthem" flap with the 1968 olympics - which I thought Tommie Smith and John Carlos actions were heroic."

I just have to say that with this being the 50th anniversary of that historic event Tommie Smith and John Carlos are going to get ESPY awards for their historic stand. It meant something then and it means something now.

Gregory Williams said...

Well said, The Bookerman. Some of the rest of you are really sad. Like crabs in a barrel! Sad!

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]Now I am seriously starting to question my radical black militant credentials.[/quote]

Its like this Field-Negro:

As we all age - we drop our immature ways. We become more pragmatic.

With Philly being run by people that you have helped put in place but having a 161 murder count after 6 months it is clear that "Black Radicalism" is not going to protest against the current Black and Democratic administration as a means of addressing a problem that STAGED PROTESTS is not going to solve.

JWJ said...

bookerman said... "She's shown a lot more courage, by taking a musical and conceptual risk, than many independent artists in A-merryc-a."

In a country where conformity is the judge of everything authentic, she took an artistic risk that some will never forgive.

But I don't think she cares whether she's forgiven or not.

I won't forgive her, because I wasn't insulted--there's nothing to forgive.

I'm sure as hell going to buy her music, not as a protest necessarily, but because she's damn good.

JWJ said...

Denephew (tee hee) said...
I ain't supporting this; she was wrong.


"Right," and "wrong" are relative terms. In truth, neither exists.

Before 1862, slavery was right, and bringing slaves to America to work the plantations was a generally accepted practice.

Now, "slavery" is considered wrong.

Prohibition right, now wrong. Killing Indians in our Westward expansion was right, now wrong.

Gambling and regulated prostitution in Nevada right, and wrong in some other states.

You see, if a thing is inherently right or wrong (and not relegated to a time period or geography) then it would be right or wrong for all times, as it would be clearly seen as such.

Therefore, "There is neither good or bad, but thinking makes it so."



field negro said...

jwj, that wa a great rant! cons.. feedback, you are wrong. I limit my questioning of my credentials to this one incident.

Truth is, as I get older, I find myself being MORE radical, not less.

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]Truth is, as I get older, I find myself being MORE radical, not less.[/quote]

In the nursing home near Lankenau Hospital that I used to work in as a teen as I look back I now understand that those clients who were expressing psychosis in their old age had actually reached the pinnacle of their "radical" trek upon which you are walking today.

Do you prefer white straps to bind you to the bed or red ones?

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]Here is another one for you punk conservative property rights Negroes:[/quote]

You are so right NSomnia.......those racists of the Democratic party at the time sure had a perverted sense about the value of Black humans. They continue this today.

Constructive Feedback said...

Whew NSomnia - I thought I lost the link to the following web site when my browser crashed.

Check this web site out which details how the Democratic Party implemented much of what troubles you. I need to bookmark this page this time.

Please note the menu and timeline on the left. Read the narratives underneath the pictures. It is good to know your party's history.

Milton said...

Sister, next time you do it explain your position first. Most of main-stream America has been brainwashed into believing that all our problems ended with the comming of Dr. King.
This Brother supports you 100%

field negro said...

"Do you prefer white straps to bind you to the bed or red ones?"

Can I get red white & blue. Just to remind everyone of how much I loved this country ;)

Soooo you worked in a nursing home as a teen....hmmm that explains some things. Was there a lot of drugs around by any chance?

James said...

Field Negro I applaud your original post. Very thoughtful. As for those posters who have trashed Ms. Marie: I challenge you to read her statements with an open mind:

By open mind, I mean, read this while considering the possibility that what she is saying is her truth with the highest of integrity. Believe me when I tell you: Ms. Marie had no other motive that sharing a gift with the city of Denver - The 3rd movement of "Voice of My Beautiful Country". Are any of you willing to listen to the suite (you can download it FREE). OK, I'll give you this: It was deceptive to agree to sing what is traditionally know as the "The Star Spangled Banner" and put in her own arrangement. But look at the 'dialog' this event has spurned. Actually, it is a media created event: The republican city councilman Charlie Brown went on the local talk radio shows and fanned the flames of "Black Nationalism" (which was the farthest thing from the intention of Rene). For 24 hours the talk radio worked the local listeners into a frenzy of hate and anger. But I digress...I am not trying to put any blame for the firestorm elsewhere. Rene accepts responsibility for her actions. In my opinion the ends justify the means. No one was hurt and Rene meant no disrespect for the flag or country. Just the opposite (have you read her statements yet?).

Jezebella said...

I note with interest that the nasty racist "back to Africa" comments arrived under the cover of "Anonymous." Cowards, aren't they?

I responded to Ms. Marie's work as radical protest performance art at its finest. She set 'em up, dared the dudes to yank the mic from her hands, and worked her magic.

Mr. Field, respectfully, I have a suggestion: consider whether you're not feeling Ms. Marie's protest because she's a woman and an artist. It doesn't parse like a man with a raised fist does; singing as protest doesn't have the testosterone quotient, right? Just something to think about.

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