We can’t ask her though because she’s been dead for 50 years. She choked to death or something. I think. I dunno. I just thought I’d pile on for fun.
Source: The singer Kate Smith’s recording of “God Bless America” has been a cherished part of sports tradition in the U.S. for decades. But in the aftermath of a discovery that the singer also recorded at least two songs with racist content in the 1930s, two major American sports teams, baseball’s New York Yankees and ice hockey’s Philadelphia Flyers, have announced that they will stop playing Smith’s rendition of the Irving Berlin patriotic classic. On Sunday, the Flyers also took down a statue of Smith that had stood in front of their stadium since 1987.
A fan alerted the Yankees last week that Smith had recorded at least two problematic songs — 1931’s “That’s Why Darkies Were Born” and 1933’s “Pickaninny Heaven,” from the film Hello, Everybody! — the New York Daily News reported on Thursday.
On Sunday, the Philadelphia Flyers removed a statue of Smith that had stood outside the team’s arena since 1987, first at the Spectrum and later at the Xfinity Live! venue. Smith sang “God Bless America” live for the Flyers before Game 6 of the 1974 Stanley Cup finals — after which the Flyers beat the Boston Bruins. Since then, the Flyers had treated Smith’s rendition as a talisman for the team.
Flyers following Yankees’ lead and won’t play Kate Smith’s “God Bless America” anymore. pic.twitter.com/CBd2OQYwOy
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) April 19, 2019
Now I could do the smart thing and side with common thinking that Flyers did the right thing here, but it’s not smart if you don’t feel like swimming with the rest of the fish.
Before I make an argument let me categorically say:
- Racism of any kind knows no forgiveness.
- I think they did the right thing by pulling Kate’s rendition of the song. It sucked major ass by today’s standard and reminded me of my Dad’s shitty Volare that smelled like smokes and ass.
But Will Cain had a point today that got lost in the grandstanding by Stephen A. Smith:
— First Take (@FirstTake) April 22, 2019
OF COURSE, Stephen is going to use this as an opportunity to promote the death of all racism. And righteously so. I wholeheartedly support not playing a song by the same Fat Racist who sang ‘That’s why darkies were born”.
But where do we stop? Do we erase all memory of every stupid honkey who thought black people were animals? That’s YOUR history America. That’s part of your story. That’s the story that is part of who you are and much like Germany still has to explain away Hitler but keeps landmarks about that time so you can look back on the dumb shit you did.
And can you separate the racist from their songs? That’s the question I asked myself about Michael Jackson. Can I like a man who paid parents off so he could molest little boys repeatedly? Hot fucking NO. Can I do the same with racism? Absolutely. It’s easy but situationally can be different.
If you apply the same standard and logic to racist musicians, you should probably stop listening to and buying music made by the following artists/bigots:
Eric Clapton, Busta Rhymes, Bob Dylan, Phil Anselmo, Morrisey, Prince, Eminem, and Tupac.
But you won’t. Then again individuals can hide listening to racists in the privacy of their home. The Flyers were poisoning the environment with a song sung by a woman who sang a different song about black people being useless.
The problem is according to Wiki:
“That’s Why Darkies Were Born” was a popular song written by Ray Henderson and Lew Brown. It originated in George White’s Scandals of 1931. It was most famously recorded by Kate Smith, whose rendition was a hit in 1931, and by Paul Robeson. It was also featured in a 1931 all-star recording of a medley of songs from George White’s Scandals, where it was sung by Frank Munn on Brunswick and just as famously part of Paul Whiteman medley sung by Mildred Bailey on Victor.
The song has been described as presenting a satirical view of racism.
Satirical. That’s the keyword. I don’t know if you know what it means but Wiki describes satire:
Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government, or society itself into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be humorous, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit to draw attention to both particular and wider issues in society.
What we have here folks might be the worlds greatest fucking overreaction to something without even googling. Or not. The title was enough. Again, working with this standard we should basically cut Quinten Tarantino into a million pieces and throw him into a volcano of turds.
Kate’s dead and has been for 50 years so we can’t ask her if she really believes the colored man was born to ‘do the work’ as her song states. Every piece of Literature on the song suggests it was taken from a Broadway play ‘George White’s Scandals’ which shit on racism in 1931 but I can’t confirm it so who fucking knows.
Kate Smith may or may not be a racist but it doesn’t matter because she’s a footnote now. And that my friends, may or may not be the real tragedy of this hyper overactive time we live in and I may or may not hate it.
If Kate Smith was an actual Racist, good work Philly! The song sucked balls anyway.
If she wasn’t, fuck you overactive assholes!
Have a great week and let’s get out there and vote.