Even America’s national anthem is now being attacked as racist.
A monument to the author of “The Star Spangled Banner,” Francis Scott Key, was vandalized this week in Baltimore, apparently because Key owned slaves.
The words “Racist Anthem” were written on the monument in black paint and much of the rest of the monument covered in red paint, The Baltimore Sun reported. Key wrote the Banner during the siege of Baltimore in the midst of the War of 1812.
The unidentified vandals wrote the third stanza – which rarely is sung — on the pavement. It states: “No refuge could save/ Hireling or slave/ From terror of flight/ Or gloom of grave.” Historians differ over whether Key was referencing U.S. or British slaves.
Key was a slave owner but he also represented runaway slaves as a lawyer and faced down a white mob that was trying to lynch an African American, The Sun reported.
The Key monument was donated to the city of Baltimore by tobacco merchant Charles L. Marburg in 1911. It was restored in 1999.
There are no plans to remove the Key monument, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh told reporters. The city of Baltimore removed monuments to Confederate generals and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney last month.
“We can’t ensure it’s not going to happen again,” Pugh spokesman Anthony McCarthy told reporters.
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