Oh, how I love this development!
As Ethics Alarms discussed last week, The New York Yankees banned singer Kate Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America” at their games after some individuals claimed she was a racist because of the lyrics of two songs she recorded in the 30s. This was a stupid complaint, and the Yankees were cowardly to react to it as they did, but you know, the Yankees. (I kid: my Boston Red Sox were even more craven for removing the name of their most essential owner, Tom Yawkee, from the street bordering Fenway Park as a virtue-signaling surrender to Boston progressives.)
The NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers had more reason to be loyal to Smith’s memory than the Yankees, for the singer was the team’s good luck charm, singing “God Bless America” at crucial Stanley Cup home games in the early 1970s. Not only did the Flyers ban Kate’s rendition of the Irving Berlin patriotic anthem, it covered Smith’s statue in front of the team’s arena with a tarp, then took it down completely.
Nice. I wonder why they didn’t renounce their Stanley Cup victories, since now they are tainted.
Now it appears that Kate was falsely smeared, misrepresented, misunderstood and mistreated.
In January of 1945, she gave a remarkable radio address listened to by millions. Smith had more credibility than most singers of the time on public issues because she has had been such a fervent proponent of War Bonds. In one 18-hour stint on the CBS radio network, for example, Smith sold $107 million worth of the bonds that were issued by the United States Government to finance the war effort. Her total haul for Uncle Sam for such broadcasts was more than $600 million. No other performer of the era came close to that.
Kate Smith’s speech, titled “The Value of Tolerance.,” was a passionate attack on race prejudice. Smith told her World War II audience:
It seems to me that faith in the decency of human beings — is what we must have more of, if there is to be a future for all of us in this world. We read in the papers every day about conferences on the best way to keep the peace. Well, I’m not an expert on foreign affairs — and I don’t pretend to know all the complex things that will have to be done for a lasting peace. But I am a human being — and I do know something about people. I know that our statesmen — our armies of occupation — our military strategists — may all fail if the peoples of the world don’t learn to understand and tolerate each other. Race hatreds — social prejudices — religious bigotry — they are the diseases that eat away the fibers of peace. Unless they are exterminated it’s inevitable that we will have another war. And where are they going to be exterminated? At a conference table in Geneva? Not by a long shot. In your own city — your church — your children’s school — perhaps in your own home. You and I must do it – every father and mother in the world, every teacher, everyone who can rightfully call himself a human being. Yes, it seems to me that the one thing the peoples of the world have got to learn if we are ever to have a lasting peace, is — tolerance. Of what use will it be if the lights go on again all over the world — if they don’t go on … in our hearts?
Smith fought racial prejudice with more than words In 1951, Kate invited Josephine Baker to appear on her popular TV program, marking the first time the controversial black performer appeared before an American television audience.
Those of us who have a sense of perspective, fairness and common sense already knew that the Yankees and Flyers banning Smith because they wanted to signal their virtue and avoid the brickbats of the social media mobs was unconscionable, cowardly and wrong, but now we know, and so do Yankee and Flyers management, that they acted without even knowing all the facts. Will either team have the decency to play Emily Littella (“Never mind!”), apologize to Smiths ghost, her fans and their fans, and restore her song and her statue?
Oh, I doubt it. Such organizational bureaucrats always take the path of least resistance, and justice and ethics don’t usually factor into their decision-making process. Those who bullied them into defiling Kate’s good name don’t care about facts, only power, and, realistically, most people couldn’t care less about Kate Smith.
Still, I do love this story. It exposes political correctness fanatics and the people who dance to their tune for the assholes they are.
And I learned something about Kate Smith that I didn’t know, and that my anti-Kate Smith father couldn’t have known, since he was still fighting in Europe when she made her radio address. Ironically, this social justice warrior-engineered insult to her reputation has ended up enhancing it.
Sing, it, Kate!
One more time..and this was the first time…(No, I don’t know what those thumbs-up things are supposed to mean, or who the “Angry American” is)
Source: The Blaze