Outside the Wells Fargo arena in Philadelphia is a nondescript, grit-strewn concrete slab. It is all that remains after the Flyers hockey organization last weekend hauled away the statue of an exuberant Kate Smith that had stood there for 32 years. Gone too is the plaque that explained Smith’s cherished place in Flyers history
:“Blessed with a voice and presence which led her to stardom on Broadway, radio, and television, Miss Smith came to symbolize joyous, homespun American patriotism. . . . Her live performance of ‘God Bless America’ helped inspire the Flyers to become Stanley Cup Champions for the first time in 1974. This statue, honoring one of America’s greatest patriots, is a gift from the Philadelphia Flyers to the people of our great country.”
For decades, Smith’s recording of “God Bless America” was embraced by Flyers fans as a harbinger of luck; the team went 101-31-5 in games when the song was played. The New York Yankees had a Kate Smith ritual as well: Ever since 9/11, Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America” was heard during every seventh inning at Yankee Stadium.
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And, from what is coming out now, the song was a satire produced and sung with Paul Robeson, a famous black signer of her era. It was intended to be a protest against segregation.
How did that fact get “lost” by the media?
Perhaps because it didn’t fit the “narrative” that they push all the time — USA bad; historical figures bad; only ” “good” people should have statues! Argh! I think the media types, “celebrities”, politicians, and bureaucrats should be ranked below used car salesmen in any trustworthy ranking. Like anyone cares what I think.
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