As discussions rage over the need to continue using the “black national anthem” at this year’s Super Bowl LVII, it’s worth looking back to a time when America was more united.
This was certainly the case in 1991, when Whitney Houston graced the stage with her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Rolling Stone declared Houston’s 1991 performance at the Tampa Stadium in Florida to be the number one most memorable Super Bowl halftime performance of all time.
The music magazine celebrated Houston’s performance as “still the gold standard for all Super Bowl performances more than 30 years later” and “one of the most stunning moments in NFL history.”
Houston’s skilled and soulful performance transcended political and cultural boundaries, embodying the promise of equality that America was striving to fulfill.
However, in today’s divided ‘woke’ world, such a performance would likely be met with anger.
The same racialized left that now dominates popular culture, media, and politics once criticized Houston for not being “black enough.”
Conservative radio host Larry Elder explained this in a 2012 column, noting that Houston faced ridicule and ostracism for “selling out” or “not being black enough.”
Today, this kind of rhetoric has become mainstream.
If Houston were to give the same performance today, she would be criticized even more heavily by the mainstream left. Writers for The New York Times and The Washington Post would point to her so-called “whiteness” as an issue.
Democratic politicians and left-wing academics would criticize her for singing the American national anthem instead of the “black national anthem.”
The left would reject Houston’s performance simply because she represents the American Dream, and her rendition of that dream’s musical tribute is beautiful.
However, as long as the anti-American Black Lives Matter movement continues to hold a prominent place in American politics and Democrats refuse to condemn its far-left, racist ideology, we will remain far from the days when Americans were judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.