There’s been a long-standing tradition of playing the “Star-Spangled Banner” on TV stations. It is played late at night since the very beginning of television as a part of the patriotic imagery used before stations sign off. However, it’s now considered a “trigger” for some.
The New York Times recently featured an entire article about how the national anthem needs to become a “bygone tradition” as the song has become a “dividing line” for some Americans.
What happened to America?
Once upon a time, people were happy to be Americans. They waved their flag, they sing the Star-Spangled Banner, and they put their hand over their heart during the Pledge of Allegiance. However, there are now “political overtones” to deal with regarding everything. People are triggered and read too much into every little detail. Traditions have to be destroyed simply because people are getting offended.
Julie Jacobs, the culture reporter for the New York Times responsible for writing the piece explains that there is no formal signoff from TV stations. They fill the early morning hours with infomercials and rebroadcasts as opposed to creating dead air. As such, many have eliminated the Star-Spangled Banner entirely. However, there are also stations that have brought the tradition back. CBS, Gray Television, and others have already chosen to start playing the national anthem again. Across America, more than 350 stations are doing it.
By providing the national anthem, the TV stations are saying something. They are saying that they are American and that they are proud to be. They don’t care if viewers are hearing any kind of political overtones. The national anthem has never been something that is meant to be divisive. It isn’t meant for Republicans or Democrats. It’s meant for Americans – and people need to remember that. If they hear a political overtone, they need to relook at their commitment to America.
As the Times reporter explains, reviving the anthem tradition is happening at a time when overt allegiance becomes one of the lines that separate America into blue versus red or Republican versus Democrat.
Many people are looking at what the New York Times is trying to do. Tim Young, an author, points out that it shouldn’t shock anyone that the Times is trying to get people outraged over the idea of airing the national anthem.
One of the reasons why the national anthem has become such a trigger for people is because of what Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback did in 2016 – kneeling during the anthem. This was amidst a protest of racial issues. It was criticized by President Trump, it angered veterans across the country, and yet, Kaepernick somehow emerged as a hero of the progressives.
One man’s actions should not dictate how a patriotic anthem affects the entire country and their view of a song. The song has been played for centuries – and one former NFL quarterback who wants to turn it into a racial issue or Republican versus Democratic issue should not change any of that.
Playing the Star-Spangled Banner is what Americans do. Television executives have been cleared to identify that playing the national anthem is not in relation to the kneeling controversy. The Times reporter also said that many feel that the song has become a loyalty test and want to support it.
According to Dan Gainor, the media research Center vice president says that it’s “inspiring” to see the national anthem being returned to an important place in our culture. He also says that it’s “astonishing” that the New York Times would identify that as a bad thing.
If anything, watching hundreds of new stations around the country choose to play the national anthem is proof that there is still patriotism found within the country. Anyone who loves the country and loves the land of the free should be more than happy to hear the national anthem. Just as Kaepernick was criticized for kneeling because he feels as though blacks have been suppressed in the country, this is the same country that allowed him to earn millions of dollars in a single year for playing the sport that he loves.
While the New York Times may be trying to make the song more offensive than it does, media stations have already spoken by making sure that the song plays late at night. Anyone who truly feels triggered by the song needs to reevaluate whether they are patriotic and want to be a part of the United States of America or not.