Agree or Disagree With Colin Kaepernick—the National Anthem's History Is Racist AF

A mini-doc on the Star-Spangled Banner reveals the anthem's pro-slavery verse most Americans probably don't know.

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Complex Original

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Colin Kaepernick's controversial protest of the national anthem Saturday has caused quite a bit of upset nationally. Some San Francisco 49ers fans have gone as far as to burn the quarterback's jersey. Undeterred, Kaepernick is standing behind his decision to sit during games while the "Star-Spangled Banner" is played.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media. “To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Beyond whether or not Kaepernick is proud of America's symbols, there's good reason to object to the "Star-Spangled Banner." In a 15-minute documentary titled, What So Proudly We Hailed, students at Morgan State University explore those reasons and tell the story of the national anthem's problematic inspiration and history. The film also shines a light on the anthem's lesser-known third verse which celebrates the death of escaped slaves who fought for their freedom with the British and against the United States in the War of 1812.

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