Yesterday, news broke that the Capitol Police had halted a children’s chorus that was performing The Star-Spangled Banner, our national anthem, because it was a forbidden “protest” song. New facts reveal that the story is worse than we had realized, and Republican members of Congress are starting to demand answers.
You can read the first round of information here. That post explains that The Star-Spangled Banner is a song that Congress officially legislated as our national anthem. Moreover, the same statute explicitly describes the respect required during the song. Nevertheless, when the Rushingbrook Children’s Choir sang the anthem in the Capitol’s Statue Room, a currently unnamed Capitol Police officer stopped their performance.
Since that post went up, new footage has emerged showing in greater detail how the officer argued with people associated with the choir. She actually manhandles one of the choir staffers (seen in the center back of the video):
Twitter screen grab (edited to add circle).
Someone present at the time confirmed to me that the altercation in the video was tied to the children singing the anthem.
The Daily Signal interviewed David Rasbach, the choir’s founder and director, who explains that this same officer said the song was a “demonstration” that was, therefore, “banned,” although the Capitol Police dispute that assertion:
Rasbach said the female police officer insisted that the performance is considered a demonstration, and that demonstrations in the U.S. Capitol are banned. She later said some people were offended, though Rasbach doubted her claim. He said the officer could not have heard from people who claimed to be offended “because her time was consumed with us.”
The Capitol Police contested his claims.
“Recently somebody posted a video of a children’s choir singing the Star-Spangled Banner in the U.S. Capitol Building and wrongfully claimed we stopped the performance because it ‘might offend someone,’” the Capitol Police told The Daily Signal in an email statement. “Here is the truth. Demonstrations and musical performances are not allowed in the U.S. Capitol.”
“Of course, because the singers in this situation were children, our officers were reasonable and allowed the children to finish their beautiful rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner,” the police statement added. “The Congressional staff member who was accompanying the group knew the rules, yet lied to the officers multiple times about having permission from various offices. The staffer put both the choir and our officers, who were simply doing their jobs, in an awkward and embarrassing position.”
“That’s a bald-faced lie,” Rea, the man who organized the trip, told The Daily Signal. “You can see clearly in the video, they literally stopped him before they finished singing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.'”
“That is absolutely, irrefutably wrong,” he added of the statement that the police allowed the choir to finish. “She did everything she could to stop us and not let us continue singing, period.”
What gives the lie to the Capitol Police’s insistence that no singing is allowed is the fact that, as Rasback explained to The Daily Signal, there have often been musical performances in the Capitol’s public areas. (There have also been highly one-sided political protests.)
The officer’s agitation may have been because the choir didn’t just sing The Star-Spangled Banner’s first verse. Instead, the choir sang the entire song. On the left, the song is vilified as an homage to slavery because of this language in the third verse:
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footstep's pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Because leftists are ignorant, they don’t realize that the word “slave” has a meaning extending beyond blacks enslaved in the United States. Slavery has been a permanent feature of humankind, at all times and in all places (and it continues in the Middle East today). It stopped only because of the Enlightenment, which was driven by Judeo-Christian principles, and the advent of fossil fuel, which made enforced human labor mostly unnecessary. In his lyrics, Key used “slave” as a poetic trope to describe anyone fighting on Britain’s behalf.
Thanks to the outcry, Republicans in Congress, including House Speaker McCarthy, are speaking out, with many demanding an honest explanation from the Capitol Police:
Once the Capitol Police provide an honest explanation, if it turns out that the police officer was wrong, we must hope she receives a serious consequence. Unfortunately, recent history indicates that those who perform a service to the left, no matter how wrong that service is, never experience consequences.