A new controversy has emerged featuring the much loved Irving Berlin song, “God Bless America.”
The issue has flashed from Philadelphia to New York City, affecting not only this iconic song, but two major league sports teams, and all hinging on a famous female vocalist who has been dead for 33 years.
The signature version of this song is by radio and recording star Kate Smith, whose recording of a 1931 song has lyrics interpreted by today’s standards as extremely racist. This has resulted in the use of “God Bless America” being temporarily and most likely permanently discontinued by the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Yankees.
In Philadelphia, the statue of Kate Smith outside the stadium had been covered in a shroud, and subsequently has been completely removed.
Pioneer Valley Radio’s Brad Shepard appeared with WMAL, Washington, D.C. guest host, Michael Harrison, to discuss the many levels of this issue, particularly where political correctness and historical context meet.