More spineless reactions

To the Editor,

At this writing, the memory of the late, great Kate Smith, World War II-era songstress of note and beloved singer of “God Bless America,” is coming under intense fire for — wait for it — racist sentiments.

(Cue scary organ music)

In response, the typically cowardly, spineless, knee-jerk reaction of the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Flyers, both of which played her rendition of “God Bless America” during games, is to express shame and apologize, “distancing themselves” from association with Smith’s besmirched memory.

The Flyers covered their statue of Smith, (which was later removed) and like the Yankees, have removed the song, which they played for good luck, from rotation.

It seems that in the early 1930s, a very young Smith, at the behest of her recording company, sang two tunes (of the thousands she recorded and performed), which employed stereotypically racist ideas of blacks and black culture.

One of these, however, also was sung, satirically, by Paul Robeson, an accomplished athlete, actor, singer and political activist. This despicable hater and disseminator of such appalling, racist trash was, himself, a “person of color.” Robeson was black; his own father, a runaway slave.

Clearly, these things mean more to the modern, navel-gazing victimhood culture than they did to prior, better generations –people made of deeper, stronger stuff.

Another figure similarly vilified, recently, is no less than Winston Churchill, some obscure English guy who died in the 1960s, for Pete’s sake. Like Smith, Churchill is charged with the high crime of being a racist, an unforgivable sin.

Again, Churchill’s myriad positive accomplishments are ignored by his accusers, simply because he likely “harbored racist sentiments.” That he opposed and helped defeat history’s most infamous racist, Adolf Hitler, apparently doesn’t matter.

Astoundingly, Abraham Lincoln, too, is dissected by these persnickety, myopic warriors of social justice.

I hate to tell these fragile, grievance-mongering, “woke” people this, but not so very long ago, whole bunches of people, of all colors, were racist. That’s simply the way it was. Period.

Does that excuse racism? No; however, Kate Smith, like Churchill and Lincoln, was a product of her times.

Sadly, racism still exists. The only crime, apparently, is being white and racist, or even inadvertently racist. One wrong word is all it takes.

Racism is wrong. For everyone.

Although, hypocritically, “people of color” can seemingly harbor all the hate they want, especially toward whites. Whites, however, don’t get that-pardon the expression-“privilege.” And, it appears that the era in which they lived doesn’t matter. Nor does context, or circumstances.

Perspective is what’s lacking. Objectivity. These people are condemned, dismissed along with everything they’ve ever done, which is absurd. The baby is thrown out with the bathwater, based upon sentiments which were once, unfortunately, very commonplace.

Perhaps we should just expunge the entirety of history before, say, the year 2000? Ignore it. Start over. That’ll fix it, right?

And the Flyers? Having so unceremoniously chucked their longtime good luck charm, I hope they never win another game. Ever.

Rob Denham



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