Glad to see more people picking up and enlarging on an argument I made when it was first reported that the New York Yankees had banned Kate Smith’s iconic recording of “God Bless America” because some social justice warrior types just discovered that she recorded a couple of songs in the 1930s that are considered offensively racist now. I noted that the Yankees should immediately shut down because they banned black players until 1955, which was far worse and more recent. Now, that idea is getting around. They should learn not to kowtow to the SJW mob, because nobody is ever pure enough for them, no past transgression is ever forgotten, and they will eventually turn and devour you, too.
For those who actually care about history, Smith recorded nearly 3,000 songs, and it’s questionable how much control she had over what she was expected to sing, especially that early in her career. We do know that when she did have control, during a time when it was scandalous for white singers, especially female, to perform with black musicians, she welcomed many great black musicians onto her radio and TV shows of the ‘40s and ’50s. At this link, Mark Steyn discusses one of the two songs that’s been hauled out of 80-year-old mothballs to incite “OUTRAGE” and notes that it was actually written as a disapproving satire of racist attitudes in the South.
Since that first mention here, the Philadelphia Flyers have also turned against Kate Smith, not only banning her recording of "God Bless America," but covering a statue of her with a burqa-like black tarp, then removing it. This despite the fact that Smith’s song had been a good luck charm, and she had been gracious enough to them to sing the National Anthem in person before their Stanley Cup win in 1974.
By the way, while the Flyers have never explicitly banned black players, they are a hockey franchise, and in their 52-year history, they have employed a grand total of six black players.
As long as we’re turning Kate Smith into a non-person for violating 2019 PC standards in 1931, why don’t we also talk about the prejudices she suffered that we would never tolerate today? For instance, at 5’10” and 235 pounds, she was not acclaimed as a body-positive, “big beautiful woman.” Instead, she was the object of endless cruel jokes about her size. She smiled and played along, but friends recalled her crying in her dressing room after nearly every performance because the mockery hurt her so much. Even the headline of her New York Times obituary referred to her as “outsized.” Did any of the PC moralists in Philadelphia think about that when covering her statue with a tarp and removing it because they don’t think her image is fit for the public to see?
During World War II, Kate Smith helped defeat real Nazis by working tirelessly to aid the war effort, helping to sell nearly $600 million in war bonds, far more than any other celebrity. That’s over $10 billion in today’s money. The “social justice warriors” who attack her think they’re fighting “Nazis” when they put on masks and punch elderly men in MAGA caps.
And while we’re on the subject, just what did the Philadelphia Flyers ever do to fight Nazis? Yes, I know the team was founded in 1967. But if we’re going to crucify Kate Smith for not living up to standards that weren’t even invented until 80 years later, I don’t see why we can’t demand that the people attacking her live up to the standards that applied 25 years before they came on the scene.
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