Image of Francis Scott Key. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Repugnant AP Tries to Inject Race Into Tragic Baltimore Bridge Collapse, Drags Up Namesake’s Slavery Past

Well, that didn’t take long. The Key Bridge collapsed in Baltimore early Tuesday after being struck by a cargo ship, and the bodies of all the victims have not even been recovered yet. The economic catastrophe now facing Baltimore will certainly last months, but it has the potential to harm the region for years. Grieving families are still processing the loss of their loved ones even as investigators try to piece together what happened. 

Yet the Associated Press thought now would be a good time to bring up the history of the bridge’s namesake—”Star-Spangled Banner” lyricist Francis Scott Key—and drag up his ties to slavery. Because what better time than in the aftermath of a horrific accident is there to try to make the story about racism when it has absolutely nothing to do with race?

That’s our laughingstock national press today, folks.


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The AP framed its story as just a little background piece about Key:

Fair enough. Not most people’s particular concern at the moment as the recovery efforts continue, but hey, AP, you do you. They detail the circumstances under which Key wrote the Star-Spangled Banner, which became our national anthem—but it’s at the end that they get to the real reason they wrote the article: Key’s association with slavery is evidently important to the story of a cargo ship crashing into a bridge over two centuries later.

While the first verse of the anthem is the most well-known, there are a total of four stanzas; in the third, there’s a reference made to a slave. Key, whose family owned people and who owned enslaved people himself, supported the idea of sending free Black people to Africa but opposed the abolition of slavery in the U.S., according to the National Park Service’s Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine.
His personal history has made him a controversial figure in some quarters; in June 2020, a statue of him in San Francisco was taken down.

Go ahead and say it, Associated Press: the bridge probably deserved what it got. That’s the point of your story, admit it.

I’m not saying Key’s past should be glossed over; historians are absolutely free to discuss it—but what I am saying is this is 100 percent not the time to delve into it. The survivors and the families of those who perished certainly aren’t focused on that, and neither are the millions of empathetic Americans watching the tragedy unfold and feeling for those affected. 

Post 9/11, do you remember any stories in the immediate aftermath about Lt. General Edward Lawrence Logan, a Spanish-American war hero from South Boston? I certainly don’t. Boston’s Logan Airport, where the 9/11 attackers boarded the planes that eventually crashed into the Twin Towers, is named after him. Yet somehow, journalists and readers thought the 3,000-plus deaths and the collapse of our iconic towers was the story of the day, not who the freakin’ airport was named after. That, and they evidently couldn’t use his background to incite racial animus, so the press didn’t bother.

I’d love to believe that some enterprising reporter thought to themselves, “Hmm, this is a terrible tragedy; I could write a background story on this bridge and relate the history of our national anthem.” But I don’t believe that for a second (most “journalists” despise the Star-Spangled Banner)—I believe the writer went, “Oh! There’s a racial angle. Let’s hit it pronto despite the fact that it has nothing to do with anything!”

Because sadly, that’s how they roll these days.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the only attempt by leftists to force-feed politics into this story. Here’s former California Assemblyman Mike Gatto’s head-scratching take on the disaster: it’s really about “immigrants”:

They have no shame.


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