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Old 04-23-2019, 11:17 AM
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Default Re: Yankees Stop Using Kate Smith's 'God Bless America' Amid Racism Allegations

https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/20...m-allegations/

‘She Was A Wonderful Patriot’: Former Flyers Executive Says Kate Smith Statue Should Not Have Been Removed Amid Racism Allegations
April 22, 2019 at 5:58 pm

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The backlash came swiftly after the Philadelphia Flyers announced they would stop playing Kate Smith’s version of “God Bless America” and removed her statue outside the Wells Fargo Center after her history of racist songs were revealed. A former Flyers executive had sharp words for the team today and other communities are vowing to remember her.

“I just think it’s a shame,” said Lou Scheinfeld, the former vice president of the Flyers.

Smith’s career is most recognized for her singing of “God Bless America,” but more than 30 years since she died, her legacy has become tarnished after racially-insensitive songs she sang early in her career recently surfaced. The statue of her outside the arena is now gone and her recording will no longer play during games.

“We cannot stand idle while material from another era gets in the way of who we are today,” the Flyers said in a statement.

One song Smith recorded was called “That’s Why Darkies Were Born,” and it included the lyrics, “someone had to pick cotton.”

“Pretty bad, pretty bad, but that was then,” said Scheinfeld.

Scheinfeld, who was the first to play Smith’s version of “God Bless America” at a Flyers game, admitted the lyrics sound bad, but said the statue should not have been removed because of some old songs.

“It was considered satire, apparently,” said Scheinfeld.

However, Dr. Aaron Smith, an uppity nigger assistant professor of African-American studies at Temple University, says the songs are “not satire for us.”

“When you want to move forward, the best way to show you’re sincere is to change your behavior,” said Smith.

Still, Scheinfeld plans to remember Smith. He keeps an enlarged stamp of her in his home office and he wants to put a copy in a sports museum he hopes to open in South Philadelphia. He will include her legacy and the current controversy.

“I don’t know in all my years associated with the Flyers if there was any hint of racism or an issue with Kate Smith. She was a wonderful patriot and American,” said Scheinfeld.

There is no word on when that museum will open.

Also on Monday, Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano said he will continue playing Smith’s “God Bless America” every day on the boardwalk.

It’s not known if there is a plan to replace Smith’s statue.
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  #2  
Old 04-23-2019, 11:42 AM
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Default Re: Yankees Stop Using Kate Smith's 'God Bless America' Amid Racism Allegations

https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news...508920631.html

Wildwood Mayor Defends Kate Smith, Won't Remove Song
Published Apr 22, 2019 at 7:32 PM | Updated at 12:06 AM EDT on Apr 23, 2019

Wildwood mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. defended Kate Smith and said he would not remove the singer's rendition of "God Bless America," from the Jersey Shore town's boardwalk playlist after the Flyers removed her statue amid allegations that some of her past lyrics were racist.

“We have no intentions of removing it,” Troiano said during an appearance on the Dom Giordano Program on 1210 WPHT Monday.

“We understand history. But the world’s gotten so politically correct and so afraid that they’re gonna offend somebody. The song is greater than anything so you know what, it’ll continue to play in Wildwood.”

Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America” had been part of Flyers lore since 1969 when a team executive ordered her version to be played instead of “The Star Spangled Banner.” That led to her performing the song several times before games in the 1970s, including the Flyers’ Stanley Cup-clinching Game 6 against Boston in 1974.

A year after her 1986 death, the Flyers erected a statue of her outside the Spectrum in 1987. It was moved to the Xfinity Live! Complex in 2011.

The New York Yankees also used her rendition of the song during their seventh-inning stretch. That changed Thursday however, when the team suspended its use and launched an investigation into two songs she recorded in the 1930s, “That’s Why Darkies Were Born,” and “Pickaninny Heaven.”

Soon after, the Flyers followed suit, first covering her statue outside their arena and then removing it altogether Sunday.

“The NHL principle ‘Hockey is for Everyone’ is at the heart of everything the Flyers stand for,” Flyers President Paul Holmgren said in a statement. “As a result, we cannot stand idle while material from another era gets in the way of who we are today.”

The Flyers’ decision to remove Smith’s statue sparked outrage from Smith’s surviving family members as well as fans of the singer. Troiano also defended Smith and spoke out against the decision during his appearance on 1210 WPHT.

“I’m a small town mayor and I look at what’s happening to the world,” Troiano said. “And it’s amazing how everyone wants to rewrite history. Nobody wants to allow history to be an educator and teacher to help us improve in the future. We’re gonna change history. What we don’t like, we’re gonna just erase. And it’s whoever’s offended at that time is the one that’s pushing the issues.”

“That’s Why Darkies Were Born” originated in the 1931 Broadway revue “George White’s Scandals,” and was considered a satire of racism. It includes the lyrics, "Someone had to pick the cotton. Someone had to pick the corn. Someone had to slave and be able to sing, That's why darkies were born."

Smith recorded a version of the song. Paul Robeson, an African American singer, actor and civil rights activist, recorded a version as well.

Troiano referred to Smith’s version of the song as “satirical.”

“This was a Broadway play. The song was written by an African American gentleman,” he said. “These guys, we look at them, and we view them as great people. And it’s not what color you are, who you are, what you look like. It’s the craziness.”

Records show “That’s Why Darkies Were Born” was written by Ray Henderson, a white American, and Lew Brown, who was Ukrainian. George White, the producer of “George White’s Scandals,” was also a white American.

Troiano also brought up offensive lyrics in hip hop music while defending Smith.

“Should all these rap songs be banned? All the conversations about women, kill the police, the N word dropped all over the place,” he said. “Where’s the outrage to that?”

Smith’s song “Pickaninny Heaven,” which was featured in the 1933 film “Hello Everybody,” also features the singer describing an afterlife for African American children steeped in racist stereotypes.

Smith’s likeness also appears in a 1939 ad that heavily uses the mammy caricature, one of the most well-known racist depictions of black women.

The debate over Smith is the latest example of an ongoing culture war over controversial historical icons. Last year, a statue of Philadelphia former mayor and police chief Frank Rizzo ignited protests between people critical of his strong-arm tactics and residents who wanted to honor his memory.

Last month, Dallas City Council voted to remove a Confederate monument from a local cemetery.

That vote came just weeks after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam refused mounting calls for his resignation after a photo surfaced on his yearbook page showing people in blackface and a KKK robe, stressing that he "truly" doesn't believe he was in the picture.
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:27 AM
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Default Re: Yankees Stop Using Kate Smith's 'God Bless America' Amid Racism Allegations

https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news...508982651.html

Mayor Interested in Bringing Kate Smith Statue to Wildwood
Published Apr 23, 2019 at 10:42 PM | Updated at 12:15 AM EDT on Apr 24, 2019

A day after defending her and stating he would not remove her rendition of "God Bless America" from his town's boardwalk playlist, Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. said he would be interested in bringing the statue of Kate Smith to Wildwood, New Jersey, if it became available.

Troiano didn't go into further detail beyond that when he spoke to NBC10 Tuesday night.

On Monday, Troiano said he had "no intentions of removing" Smith's version of "God Bless America" from the town's boardwalk playlist after the Flyers removed her statue amid allegations that some of her past lyrics were racist.

“We understand history," Troiano said during an appearance on the Dom Giordano Program on 1210 WPHT. "But the world’s gotten so politically correct and so afraid that they’re gonna offend somebody. The song is greater than anything so you know what, it’ll continue to play in Wildwood.”

Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America” had been part of Flyers lore since 1969 when a team executive ordered her version to be played instead of “The Star Spangled Banner.” That led to her performing the song several times before games in the 1970s, including the Flyers’ Stanley Cup-clinching Game 6 against Boston in 1974.

A year after her 1986 death, the Flyers erected a statue of her outside the Spectrum in 1987. It was moved to the Xfinity Live! Complex in 2011.

The New York Yankees also used her rendition of the song during their seventh-inning stretch. That changed Thursday however, when the team suspended its use and launched an investigation into two songs she recorded in the 1930s, “That’s Why Darkies Were Born,” and “Pickaninny Heaven.”

Soon after, the Flyers followed suit, first covering her statue outside their arena and then removing it altogether Sunday.

“The NHL principle ‘Hockey is for Everyone’ is at the heart of everything the Flyers stand for,” Flyers President Paul Holmgren said in a statement. “As a result, we cannot stand idle while material from another era gets in the way of who we are today.”

The Flyers’ decision to remove the statue sparked outrage from Smith’s surviving family members as well as fans of the singer. Troiano also defended Smith and spoke out against the decision during his appearance on 1210 WPHT.

“I’m a small town mayor and I look at what’s happening to the world,” Troiano said. “And it’s amazing how everyone wants to rewrite history. Nobody wants to allow history to be an educator and teacher to help us improve in the future. We’re gonna change history. What we don’t like, we’re gonna just erase. And it’s whoever’s offended at that time is the one that’s pushing the issues.”

“That’s Why Darkies Were Born” originated in the 1931 Broadway revue “George White’s Scandals,” and was considered a satire of racism. It includes the lyrics, "Someone had to pick the cotton. Someone had to pick the corn. Someone had to slave and be able to sing, That's why darkies were born."

Smith recorded a version of the song. Paul Robeson, an African American singer, actor and civil rights activist, recorded a version as well.

Troiano referred to Smith’s version of the song as “satirical.”

“This was a Broadway play. The song was written by an African American gentleman,” he said. “These guys, we look at them, and we view them as great people. And it’s not what color you are, who you are, what you look like. It’s the craziness.”

Records show “That’s Why Darkies Were Born” was written by Ray Henderson, a white American, and Lew Brown, who was Ukrainian (kike!). George White, the producer of “George White’s Scandals,” was also a white American.

Troiano also brought up offensive lyrics in hip hop music while defending Smith.

“Should all these rap songs be banned? All the conversations about women, kill the police, the N word dropped all over the place,” he said. “Where’s the outrage to that?”

Smith’s song “Pickaninny Heaven,” which was featured in the 1933 film “Hello Everybody,” also features the singer describing an afterlife for African American children steeped in racist stereotypes.

Smith’s likeness also appears in a 1939 ad that heavily uses the mammy caricature, one of the most well-known racist depictions of black women.

The debate over Smith is the latest example of an ongoing culture war over controversial historical icons. Last year, a statue of Philadelphia former mayor and police chief Frank Rizzo ignited protests between people critical of his strong-arm tactics and residents who wanted to honor his memory.

Last month, Dallas City Council voted to remove a Confederate monument from a local cemetery.

That vote came just weeks after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam refused mounting calls for his resignation after a photo surfaced on his yearbook page showing people in blackface and a KKK robe, stressing that he "truly" doesn't believe he was in the picture.
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  #4  
Old 04-25-2019, 07:22 AM
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Default Re: Yankees Stop Using Kate Smith's 'God Bless America' Amid Racism Allegations

https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/20...-to-the-shore/

‘Kate Smith Is Miss Patriotism’: Wildwood American Legion Creates Petition To Bring Smith Statue To The Shore
By CBS3 Staff
April 25, 2019 at 8:14 am

WILDWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — The Wildwood American Legion is now petitioning to bring the statue of Kate Smith to town. It comes after the mayor of Wildwood said he also wants the statue, which was removed from the sports complex by the Flyers.

American Legion Post 184 “will be happy to put the statue at the post,” post commander Harry Weimar told Eyewitness News. A petition will be available on Legion184.org for people to sign and show their support.

“’God Bless America’ represents every veteran,” Weimar said. “Every veteran is affected by this. As far as I am concerned, Kate Smith is Miss Patriotism.”

Mayor Ernie Troiano says he’d love to have the statue there, perhaps even on the boardwalk.

On Monday, Troiano announced Smith’s version of “God Bless America” will still be played daily at 11 a.m.

“I agree with Mayor Troiano. I feel Wildwood is a very veteran friendly city and there would be no bigger honor than to have Kate Smith here in Wildwood,” said Weimar. “Myself and Post 184 fully support the Mayor. There is no other non-veteran that I know who supports the veterans as much as Ernie does.”

The controversy surrounding Smith erupted after it came to light that she recorded at least two racist songs back in the 1930s. Both the Flyers and New York Yankees have said they will no longer play her rendition of “God Bless America.”
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