Sheryl Lee Ralph performs in a red gown.

GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert Is Flipping Out After Learning More Than One Song Is Sung at the Super Bowl

Two songs is too "woke" for Rep. Boebert.

Rep. Lauren Boebert, the ultra-conservative congresswoman from Colorado, dropped a drama bomb into the Twitterverse on Super Bowl Sunday and threw in some of her signature openly racist beliefs for good measure. Boebert’s anger rose to the writing-in-all-caps level when she took to social media to hate on the production decision to present both Christ Stapleton singing “The Star Spangled Banner” and Emmy Award-winning actress Sheryl Lee Ralph singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a traditional hymn that is beloved in the Black community.

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“America only has ONE NATIONAL ANTHEM,” Boebert tweeted. “Why is the NFL trying to divide us by playing multiple!? Do football, not wokeness.”

The so-called “wokeness” Boebert seemed to be referring to negatively is the cultural significance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which is widely known as the Black National Anthem. The lyrics were written in 1900 by NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson and the music was composed by his brother, John Rosamond Johnson. The hymn was also frequently used during the civil rights movement as a “rallying cry,” according to the NAACP. 

As you might expect, there’s a good amount of beefing going on in Boebert’s comments. One Twitter user, journalist Kristin V. Shaw, pointed out that the message of the second song is not at all divisive, and is instead all about unity and togetherness, writing: “Perhaps we might educate you on the lyrics: ‘Lift every voice and sing / Till Earth and heaven ring / Ring with the harmonies of Liberty / Let our rejoining rise’. There are 100 reasons to share this beautiful song with our fellow Americans. There are zero reasons for you to complain.”

Writer David Weissman also points out that some of the official Anthem lyrics are far from “appropriate for all Americans.” The original text by Francis Scott Key, not all of which made it into the verses we sing, includes mentions of war-sacrificed slaves and more that is just so not acceptable. 

Several hours later after Boebert’s hateful statement, her far-right, QAnon-aligned partner in congressional bigotry, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, echoed her sentiment, tweeting, “Chris Stapleton just sang the most beautiful national anthem at the Super Bowl. But we could have gone without the rest of the wokeness.”

“America the Beautiful,” by Katharine Lee Bates, has also been sung along with the “Star Spangled Banner” at Super Bowls since 2009. It was also performed at the 1967 Super Bowl instead of the Nation Anthem. It is unclear if Boebert and Greene are losing their minds over the inclusion of this “traditionally” patriotic song written by a white woman. We will keep an eye on their Twitter accounts.

By the way, in case you missed it, Sheryl Lee Ralph’s performance was absolutely incredible, as anyone with a speck of taste could have told you.

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Cammy Pedroja
Author and independent journalist since 2015. Frequent contributor of news and commentary on social justice, politics, culture, and lifestyle to publications including The Mary Sue, Newsweek, Business Insider, Slate, Women, USA Today, and Huffington Post. Lover of forests, poetry, books, champagne, and trashy TV.