Americans looking for change in their country and a history of racial inequities should focus on building tomorrow and not tearing down yesterday,
Americans looking for change in their country and a history of racial inequities should focus on building tomorrow and not tearing down yesterday, retired USMC bomb technician Joey Jones argued Friday.
Appearing on “Fox & Friends First” with hosts Jillian Mele and Rob Schmitt, the Fox News contributor asserted that there should be a real discussion and dialogue over the toppling of statues because are there “a lot of complexities to some of this.”
“[For] a town [to] be able to have a discussion over what monuments it has in its square — I’m for that 100 percent,” he said.
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“In my hometown of Dalton, Ga., there’s a confederate general Joe Johnson. But, he’s memorialized because he stopped [Union Maj. Gen.William Tecumseh] Sherman from burning the town down — which was a war crime. And, most people agree on that,” Jones noted. “So, there [are] a lot of complexities to some of this. And, it’s at least worth a discussion. And, if we arrive on the same conclusion, we’ll tear them down and build new ones.”
“I wish people would focus on what we’re going to build together more than what we can go back and re-evaluate and revise and change or tear down,” he lamented. “I really don’t see getting to tomorrow by rebuilding yesterday.”
Jones told the “Friends First” hosts that he believes people are “really just kind of bored and want to complain,” like those calling for the replacement of the country’s national anthem, Francis Scott Key’s “Star-Spangled Banner.”
In a piece published Wednesday, Yahoo Music Editor-in-Chief Lyndsey Parker noted that Key, the composer of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” had a history of derogatory comments about African-Americans and was a “known slaveholder.”
“Is it time for this country to dispense with ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and adopt a new anthem with a less troubling history and a more inclusive message?” she asked.
Parker wasn’t alone in wondering.
Tulsa Athletic — a semi-professional soccer team — announced Wednesday that it will play Oklahoma-born singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” before matches in order to create a more inclusive environment.
The anthem, composed by Key in 1814, became the United States’ official national anthem when President Herbert Hoover signed a congressional act in 1931.
Jones pointed out that the song has “stood the test of time.”
“This is the song that got us through fighting the Nazis, through Mt. Suribachi, and Normandy. This is the song that got us through the Civil Rights Movement. People fought just so that everyone in this country could have pride in that song,” he noted. “And then, this is the song that an entire generation of men were told to go to war, left dangling with their sacrifice in Vietnam…and still decided that song was worth standing and shedding a tear for when they hear it.”
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Jones stated that the outrage surrounding the anthem is more about perceived symbolism and “how someone feels today” than about U.S. history or historical context.
“This is an amazing song that ends — let me remind you — with ‘land of the free and home of the brave.’ Not any particular color or creed or social status. And, it’s inspired me — inspired a lot of Americans to go into battle and fight for these freedoms. And, I think it’s firmly our national anthem and needs to stay that way,” he remarked.