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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