During a live performance at the Essence Festival, R&B singer and actor Jill Scott criticized America by changing the words of the National Anthem to highlight what she perceives as systemic racism in the country. She claimed that America is not the land of the free but an oppressor state. Essence, the magazine hosting the festival, supported Scott’s performance, stating that her rendition would be the only National Anthem they recognize going forward. Scott’s performance drew widespread criticism from patriots and activists disgusted with her rendition. Many pointed out that she has done little to help those in black communities with her $15 million net worth.
NEW YORK POST: R&B singer Jill Scott blasts America during National Anthem performance: ‘Blood built this land’
By Hannah Grossman; July 6, 2023
R&B singer and actor Jill Scott blasted America by changing the words of the National Anthem into claiming it is an oppressor state during a live performance on stage.
Jill Scott was performing on the second day of the Essence Festival on the perceived systemic racism in America, saying the country is “not the land of the free.”
Essence, a lifestyle magazine that hosts the festival, commented, “Everyone please rise for the only National Anthem we will be recognizing from this day forward. Jill Scott, we thank you!”
The lyrics said:
“Oh say can you see by the blood in the streets / That this place doesn’t smile on you colored child / Whose blood built this land with sweat and their hands / But we’ll die in this place and your memory erased / Oh say, does this truth hold any weight / This is not the land of the free, but the home of the slaves!”
Scott has previously said in an interview with Jemele Hill that she has considered leaving America due to the racial climate, and would look forward to a better education system.
“There are some things you don’t have to deal with in other countries. We’re looking at Holland… The education is dope, the healthcare is dope. There’s very few confines on your personality. If you want to go get some a– or buy some a– ain’t nobody tripping on you… I like the idea of people being able to be free as long as you’re not harming anybody.”
In protest of perceived racial injustice, entertainers and athletes have used their stage performances and games to drive home their concerns.
Athletes in the NBA, the NFL and other sports have kneeled for the National Anthem, starting in 2016 when Colin Kaepernick, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers.
The decision to kneel started a firestorm across the league and even reached the upper echelon of the White House.
Other singers like Beyoncé have released songs with similar messages, including “Black Parade,” which discusses racial division.
“Put your fists up in the air, show Black love,” she sang. “Need peace and reparation for my people.”