Yankees stop using Kate Smith version of God Bless America

budcrew08

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Apparently, some things came out that Kate Smith did racist songs back in the 1930s. The Yankees, who use Smith's version of the song, God Bless America, during every seventh inning stretch, stopped using the songs when the controversy was revealed.

https://deadspin.com/yankees-stop-playing-kate-smiths-god-bless-america-re-1834148314

(I don't know if this is the right forum for this, if it isn't, can a mod move it, please?)
 

PedroSpecialK

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I feel like Desus & Mero brought this up over a year ago - kind of surprised it hadn't blown up into a bigger issue but better late than never I guess

Flyers are up next
 

charlieoscar

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I missed this thread and posted about it in the Yankees forum. One thing I found strange was that Paul Robeson also made a recording of the same song.
 

koufax32

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Hold on, doesn’t this mean the MFY hate America, our servicemen and women, and will now forget 9/11? Shame!

Good on them them proactively doing this. Some of that other stuff is terrible. How did something that obvious stay quiet for so long?
 

charlieoscar

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I guess the Kate Smith version was satire, was the Robeson one that as well?
I don't know. I never heard of the song before seeing the ESPN report; however, a search turned up Robeson's version:

Someone had to pick the cotton,
Someone had to pick the corn,
Someone had to slave and be able to sing,
That's why darkies were born;

Someone had to laugh at trouble,
Though he was tired and worn,
Had to be contented with any old thing,
That's why darkies were born;

Sing, sing, sing when you're weary and
Sing when you're blue,
Sing, sing, that's what you taught
All the white folks to do;

Someone had to fight the Devil,
Shout about Gabriel's Horn,
Someone had to stoke the train
That would bring God's children to green pastures,
That's why darkies were born.
www.elyrics.net

And according to the Daily News:
Smith was a famous singer before and during WWII who recorded the offensive jingle, “Pickaninny Heaven,” which she directed at “colored children” who should fantasize about an amazing place with “great big watermelons,” among other treats. She shot a video for that song that takes place in an orphanage for black children, and much of the imagery is startlingly racist.
 

Bergs

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That song being played during a baseball game serves as a stark reminder that the terrorists did in fact win. Also that Americans are sheep and deserve what we get.
 

drleather2001

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There's a reason why people started calling Yankee Stadium le stade des fascistes. This was a big one.
 

PedroSpecialK

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The Flyers have followed suit:

"We have recently become aware that several songs performed by Kate Smith contain offensive lyrics that do not reflect our values as an organization," the Flyers said in a statement to CNN.
"As we continue to look into this serious matter, we are removing Kate Smith's recording of 'God Bless America' from our library and covering up the statue that stands outside of our arena."
 

E5 Yaz

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"As we continue to look into this serious matter, we are removing Kate Smith's recording of 'God Bless America' from our library and covering up the statue that stands outside of our arena."
They could just throw a sheet over it
 

DanoooME

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I did not know that an actual statue of Kate Smith had been put up outside the stadium. Maybe this should go in the "Things I Learned Recently" thread.

https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/sports/csn/flyers/Flyers_at_50__The_story_behind_the_tradition_of_Kate_Smith_s__God_Bless_America_-396791161.html
I remember at one point the Flyers were 36-1-3 when they played that song before the game. That's why it was such a big deal.

They could just throw a sheet over it
What's the over/under on eye slits being cut into it? 15 minutes?
 

drleather2001

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The offending song was referenced in the Marx Brothers classic, "Duck Soup".

Perhaps we should bury their work too.
Is the scene in question being played during the 7th inning stretch somewhere? How is this at all an analogous (however arch) suggestion?
 

bankshot1

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Is the scene in question being played during the 7th inning stretch somewhere? How is this at all an analogous (however arch) suggestion?
No the darkies scene in the Duck Soup is as far as I know generally played on TV (probably edited) or in college-town movie houses. (probably uncut).

I'm not aware Kate Smith's rendition of a racially insensitive song sung 90 years ago is played during 7th inning stretchs, although I am familiar with her God Bless America. I'm not offended by it. But others could be.

I think the analogy is easy, the Yankees should also suspend any future Marx Brothers nights at least until we can comb their portfolio of comedy for any material today's audiences might find offensive.
 

luckiestman

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I have it on good authority that half the faces on Mt. Rushmore were slave owners and the man who crafted that site was an enthusiastic KKK racist. Someone get the blasting powder....

Everyone please send me all of their quarters, one-dollar, and two-dollar bills so I can destroy them.
 

terrynever

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God. Hopefully every other team stops this nonsense. It’s a game, not a patriotic Christian rally.
I sometimes get chills when I am at a game, even a high school game, and they play this song or the national anthem. We all have different perspectives about songs, the flag, patriotism. Veterans who fought in wars look at things in a certain way. What Kate Smith did in 1930 means nothing to me. She was a patriotic lady during WW II. That’s good enough for me. I will not get off your lawn.

By the way, Francis Scott Key owned slaves for 30 years and said “negroes are an inferior race.” That was back in the 1830s.
 
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charlieoscar

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A friend of mine just sent the following message with regard to the Yankees dropping Kate Smith's rendition of God Bless America to a number of acquaintances:

"Great move! But there is much more that needs to be done! Our National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, is played before every baseball game. This song was written by Francis Scott Key. He was born and raised on a plantation that utilized slaves! He personally owned slaves! He opposed abolitionists! He was a leader of an organization that promoted sending freed slaves back to Africa! It is an outrage that a song written by such an individual is not only our National Anthem but is also played before every game of our National Pastime. Something must be done to rectify and atone for this outrage!"
 

Marciano490

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Aren’t there further verses in the national anthem that are pretty dicey? I remember a controversy about it a few years back.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Aren’t there further verses in the national anthem that are pretty dicey? I remember a controversy about it a few years back.
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 washed out their foul footsteps' 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!

Here is the Snopes article that briefly discusses pro and con: https://www.snopes.com/news/2016/08/29/star-spangled-banner-and-slavery/

Here is more on FSK: https://theundefeated.com/features/the-star-spangled-banners-racist-lyrics-reflect-its-slaveowner-author-francis-scott-key/
 
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wade boggs chicken dinner

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Leskanic's_Thread

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A friend of mine just sent the following message with regard to the Yankees dropping Kate Smith's rendition of God Bless America to a number of acquaintances:

"Great move! But there is much more that needs to be done! Our National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, is played before every baseball game. This song was written by Francis Scott Key. He was born and raised on a plantation that utilized slaves! He personally owned slaves! He opposed abolitionists! He was a leader of an organization that promoted sending freed slaves back to Africa! It is an outrage that a song written by such an individual is not only our National Anthem but is also played before every game of our National Pastime. Something must be done to rectify and atone for this outrage!"
Everyone's mileage varies, of course...but I can't imagine writing that and ending it thinking "I sure showed those people who are too sensitive and just want to pollute the world with outrage," instead of something like "man, it is pretty messed up that we continue to have a song written by someone pro-slavery as our national anthem." Different strokes, I guess.
 

SumnerH

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There's a timing problem there: the article claims Cree submitted his version to a veteran's magazine at some point after returning from the war in 1919.

Berlin and Ruby originally wrote God Bless America for Yip, Yip Yaphank, which debuted in 1918. And independent sources confirm it was performed in the early Yaphank practices before being pulled.
 

charlieoscar

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There's a timing problem there: the article claims Cree submitted his version to a veteran's magazine at some point after returning from the war in 1919.

Berlin and Ruby originally wrote God Bless America for Yip, Yip Yaphank, which debuted in 1918. And independent sources confirm it was performed in the early Yaphank practices before being pulled.
Because Cree submitted his version to the publishing company sponsoring the contest after the date that Berlin claimed to have written the song does not mean Cree had not written the song before that (it doesn't mean he did, either, but because the publishing house was reportedly owned by Irving Berlin and Cree spent some 15 years fighting in courts for ownership rights, it does make one wonder what the actual story is).