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“God Bless America” singer Kate Smith target of new social justice crusade

“God Bless America” singer Kate Smith target of new social justice crusade

The New York Yankees and Philadelphia Flyers to stop playing the song because of other songs she sung

It appears that social justice crusaders have moved on from targeting Civil War generals and are now aiming to Depression-Era ballad singers.

The New York Yankees recently yanked Kate Smith’s 1939 recording of “God Bless America”, which has been regularly played during the seventh inning stretch for 18 years.

The reason? Kate Smith’s early recordings, going back to 1927, have been deemed “racist” by today’s excruciatingly progressive standards.  From the New York 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. She also recorded, “That’s Why Darkies Were Born,” which included the lyrics, “Someone had to pick the cotton. … That’s why darkies were born.”

. . . . “The Yankees have been made aware of a recording that had been previously unknown to us and decided to immediately and carefully review this new information,” a club spokesman said. “The Yankees take social, racial and cultural insensitivities very seriously. And while no final conclusions have been made, we are erring on the side of sensitivity.”

Then, after the Yankee’s issued the damnatio memoriae for Kate Smith for singing songs written during the era in which she lived for the audience that existed then, the Philadelphia Flyers went one step further.

The Philadelphia Flyers have covered a statue of Kate Smith and announced that the team will no longer play her 1939 rendition of ‘God Bless America’ after learning of racially offensive song lyrics from the late singer’s past.

. . . . We have recently become aware that several songs performed by Kate Smith contain offensive lyrics that do not reflect our values as an organization,’ a Flyers spokesman said in a statement to the Daily Mail. ‘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.’

Smith’s version of the song has been seen as a good luck charm for the Flyers since 1969, when the team began playing it before games. She went on to sing the song at Philadelphia’s Spectrum on four occasions, including Game 6 of the 1974 Stanley Cup Finals when the Flyers secured the first of their two NHL titles.

Here’s Smith singing “God Bless America”:

Many fans are expressing their displeasure over this move, clearly another instance of an iconic American figure being sacrificed on the altar of social justice.

Many suspect the cultural crusade will continue.

I note, with a keen sense of captialistic amusement, that Smith’s “God Bless America” is #27 on Amazon’s Traditional Pop charts. Apparently, Americans are protesting this attack on their cultural history with their pocketbooks.

Legal Insurrection readers curious about the songs that have damned Smith in this century can click on these videos and take their own “outrage” measurements:

Personally, I am far more outraged at hip-hop songs encouraging the abuse of women.

“Tryin’ to send the b–ch back to her maker
And if you got a daughter older then 15, I’mma rape her
Take her on the living room floor, right there in front of you
Then ask you seriously, whatchu wanna do?”

I am furious over rap songs that explicitly gin-up race hate.

Prosecutors are calling for a suspended €5,000 (£4,520) fine for French rapper Nick Conrad, who is on trial for incitement to murder in Paris after he published an online video entitled “Hang White People”.

. . . . The nine-minute video, first published on YouTube in September, was quickly suspended for violating the company’s terms of service.

It depicts a white man being shot and tortured by the rapper and an accomplice. He is forced to bite the pavement and is kicked in the head before being hanged.

One section of the lyrics reads: “I go to the nurseries, I kill the white babies. Catch them quick and hang their parents!”

However, I am not trying to erase the artists from history.  Instead, I simply don’t purchase their works. That is how a free society works, which is why I will conclude with:


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to the full extent allowed by law.


Diversitist? Perhaps in a liberal frame of reference. That said, social justice anywhere is injustice everywhere. #HateLovesAbortion

    Doc4u in reply to n.n. | April 22, 2019 at 11:09 am

    Typical that those who have accomplished something are criticized by those who think themselves clever and superior but whose only accomplishment has been that they were born.

I wonder how many of the fans who are upset by the blacklisting of Kate Smith will still buy the Yankees’ and Flyers’ tickets and merchandise? My gut tells me: quite a few.

There was a lot of commotion a few years ago about boycotting the NFL because of the racist Black Lives Matter protests. While it is true the league suffered some mild losses in viewership and revenue, things are pretty much back to the way they were. The only difference that I am aware of is the protesting players must do itheir little retests in the locker rooms, and the broadcasters (fearing a public backlash) don’t show the national anthem anymore. The bad guys won.

I never followed hockey, and I stopped watching professional baseball years ago because of the steroids scandal. It seems the honest players – the ones who didn’t use steroids – were on the bench while the cheaters got fat contracts. So I suspect in this latest scandal both sports might experience only a slight dip in interest (maybe), and the SJW kooks will win by default again.

    NavyMustang in reply to Recovering Lutheran. | April 20, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    “I wonder how many of the fans who are upset by the blacklisting of Kate Smith will still buy the Yankees’ and Flyers’ tickets and merchandise? My gut tells me: quite a few.”

    Oh, you’re right.

    How many of today’s generation know who Kate Smith is? I grew up in the 60s and 70s and the big reason why I know who Kate Smith is is because my mother loved her.

    Whenever she saw Smith on TV, she’d always nod approvingly and say that Kate always said back during the war, “If you don’t write, you’re wrong.”

    I wonder when statues of Paul Robeson will be covered. He sang some of the same songs that Kate did.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Recovering Lutheran. | April 20, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    Well, I dropped NFL completely. I see no loss in doing so.

The people who banned Kate Smith knew perfectly well that it was unreasonable. They did it anyway because the left does not accept reasonableness as a standard.

This is not a healthy direction for our culture to go.

    If it is any consolation, today’s “Woker Than Thou” commies who are blacklisting Kate Smith will one day themselves be the target of the “Even Woker Than Thou” next gen commies.

    Communist revolutions ALWAYS consume their own. That is how they stay in power: witch hunts and lynch mobs to divert attention for their failure to provide food and other basics.

George Washington had ten slaves when he was age 11. At the time of his death, he had 317. Is that worse than using the word “pickaninny” in a song written to comfort orphans?

So I fully expect that all references to Washington, including all the Washington-named universities, then Washington, DC and Washington state, will have to be renamed. Washington’s birthday will no longer be celebrated, just like Columbus day is being terminated. Instead, we will celebrate the birthday of Karl Marx.

    tom_swift in reply to OldProf2. | April 20, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    The name Marx will have to be purged too. Karl is too close to Groucho, and his line in Duck Soup—”My father was a little headstrong, my mother was a little Armstrong. The Headstrongs married the Armstrongs, and that’s why darkies were born.”

    Conservative Beaner in reply to OldProf2. | April 20, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    At which time I expect Jackson to be removed from the twenty dollar bill and Jackson, MS renamed for the Trail of Tears.

    Jefferson City, MO renamed and Jefferson from the two dollar bill for slaves.

    Roosevelt statues taken down and Roosevelt’s image taken from the dime for internment of citizens of Japanese decent.

    The list is very long for the SJW crowd.

rabid wombat | April 20, 2019 at 7:21 pm

OK, disband all organizations who did not integrate…like the Yankees prior to Jackie Robinson…go ahead and cast the first stone.

Judge yesterday through today’s lens

I can foresee a time in the near future where it will be criminal to show any movie made in the 30’s.

The 1932 “Tarzan the Ape Man” alone could cause millions of massive strokes in the #meToo and #racebaiting crowd

    Eskyman in reply to murkyv. | April 20, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    That’s exactly why I’m collecting old movies. Far too many excellent movies offend delicate snowflakes’ sensibilities, so I’m getting them while they’re still available.

    I now have 6 Tarzan films made before 1940; they are better than most movies today, IMHO, as they don’t pretend that men and women, or races of people, are as interchangeable as Lego blocks.

    Another excellent movie which will never be re-released is Disney’s Song of the South. It’s a real pity that this wonderful film won’t be enjoyed by any more generations of children, but it- like Kate Smith- is being intentionally forgotten, as our country is being changed beyond recognition.

The virtue signalling by the NY Yankees is rich; they didn’t sign Jackie Robinson, who I was privileged to watch in Ebbit’s Field – it was the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Yankees continued to play Jim Crow Baseball 8 years after Robinson was signed.

And Philadelphia? Almost 50 years after the first Black NHL player signed in the City Of Brotherly Love.

This is for all of the Progressive Left Wing Democrat Know-Nothings

DieJustAsHappy | April 20, 2019 at 7:43 pm

Which is the real target: Kate Smith or God?

    HarvardPhD in reply to DieJustAsHappy. | April 22, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Both. Patriotic sentiments are loathed as much as God is. SJWs are as determined to stamp out loyalty to American exceptionalism as they are to stamp out Americans’ faith in a Supreme Being. Their only religion is redistributive justice and their means of worshiping it is to create ever more self-hatred in citizens of Western Civilization. They also are trying to re-write or obliterate most of history because it often challenges their smug assumptions about how the world works.

    Fundamentally, these “ideals” are perverted by wilful ignorance, and are loathsome in their import.

I note from Wikipedia that “That’s Why Darkies Were Born” was also performed by Paul Robeson and is satirical.

So will the Yankees ban Robeson now?

The next thing you know, the a soros activist group will protest American flags on police cars.

Hey, just a minute —

Can’t play the Pickaninny Heaven Video. Must be censored. Ha. Gotta love the 1st Amendment.

Close The Fed | April 20, 2019 at 10:30 pm

The truth is, when a people reemerge who love and cherish humanity and decency, when this dark age is behind us, all of us, of this time, will be condemned for the vivisection and murder by tens of millions of babies by abortion.

The truth is, if there were a camera in every abortion facility showing what is happening, up close and live (no pun intended), abortion would be outlawed within a week. That’s why we aren’t shown them.

So these lefties with their ex post facto moralizing will suffer far worse in history that Miss Kate Smith ever will.

Don’t listen to a racist dead singer but hey a racist blackfaced Governor in VA he is a okay.

    Massinsanity in reply to Notanymore. | April 21, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    Because Northam is an enthusiastic supporter of abortion rights (and infanticide in some cases) which generally trumps all in Democrat circles.

    Were Kate to resurrect in a pink pussy hat and declare her undying support for NY’s abortion anytime for any reason law she would be forgiven in a second.

Remeber This racist dead sing was a Democrat. Her and her Democrat homeland security force KKK. All Democrats.

As several said, the Yankees were segregated until Elston Howard in 1955. The Philadelphia Flyers play in the Wells Fargo Center, named after a bank frequently charged with discrimination against blacks and Hispanics in mortgages, not in the 1930s but in the 21st century. In fact, Wells Fargo paid $175 million to settle a discrimination suit in 2011. Think the Flyers will have a problem with Wells Fargo?

I’m from Philadelphia and was a teenager when the Broad Street Bullies (a/k/a Flyers) won back-to-back Stanley Cups. I will never forget the 1975 semifinals against the New York Islanders (who I still hate to this day, like 45 years later). The Flyers brought out their Good Luck Charm, Kate Smith, to sing God Bless America, before the puck was dropped to start the first period. Flyers won that game, and went on to win the Stanly Cup against the Sabres. After that last semifinal game against the Islanders, one of the Islanders players was interviewed, I think it was Clark Gilles, who during the interview, “I should have skated over Kate Smith’s microphone wire.” That’s what made me hate the Islanders then, and I still hate them now.

The whole point of this exercise was to deprive us of “God Bless America.” That the singer is Kate Smith is irrelevant. Her other songs were just an excuse somebody dug up.

The first Saturday in May is the date of the Kentucky Derby. Go ahead and google the original lyrics of My Old Kentucky Home.

Washington, Jefferson, etc. owned slaves. Every plantation owner in the south had slaves. Do we remove the Founding Fathers from the history books?

Much outrage over an event that occurred 85 years ago. Meanwhile, the black community (at least in VA) is silent as a grave about the more recent (and less excusable) blackfaceing by our gov and ag. They were bought off by half hearted apologies and promises of future handouts. They can scream all they want to, but they sold themselves out. Black outrage today is selective and one directional; they ignore the anti-semitism and anti-oriental bigotry within their own community. Now we know it’s meanlingless and for sale.

She also recorded, “That’s Why Darkies Were Born,” which included the lyrics, “Someone had to pick the cotton. … That’s why darkies were born.”

The song is a satirical take on racist attitudes of the time. It is not endorsing the racist attitudes, it is mocking them.

“It will never be known the acts of cowardice motivated by the fear of not looking sufficiently progressive.” -Charles Peguy-

Compare Margaret Sanger who in the same era has a bust at the Smithsonian although she spoke to the KKK and was literally a Nazi and approved their Eugenics.

We tolerate Planned Parenthood and their modern death camps instead of treating them proportionately.

Growing up I thought there was something amiss with “God Bless America”, but I couldn’t quite place my finger on it.

In college, as a History Major, I realized that “God Bless America” was a social gospel song and what was amiss was its theology.

Commanding God to bless America? That is not taught anywhere in the Bible, Old or New Testament! Commanding the gods to do you bidding is the stuff of pagan religions, not our Judeo-Christian heritage.

Now that is a real reason to ban the song!

The Yankees and the Flyers are selling out as well: they will do anything no matter how unprincipled they might know it to be, in order to placate radicals whom they are afraid might disrupt their franchise. (Having to depend upon athletes who may be ignorant of all historical context—a la Colin Kaepernick—doesn’t help either.) So any protest by those who would re-write history to suit their own convenience will succeed. As long as our system has so few defenders, who worry only about their own pocketbooks, it will continue to be undermined.