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LISTEN: Oregon lawmakers vote to change lyrics to state song after accusations of it being “racist”

Per The Hill:

Lawmakers argued in the resolution that since the song’s adoption, there has been a “significant cultural, historical, economic and societal evolution” that warrants changes to ensure “Oregonians of all backgrounds deserve an inclusive way to celebrate our great state in song.” 

The resolution also said that the lyrics must be read within the context of the “de jure exclusion” of Black and Chinese people “in the early decades of Oregon’s statehood,” and that Oregon “has been, and continues to be, home to native peoples from time immemorial.”

Oregon musician Amy Donna Shapiro modified lyrics.

The “Land of the Empire Builders, Land of the Golden West; Conquered and held by free men, Fairest and the Best,” has been changed to “Land of Majestic Mountains, Land of the Great Northwest; Forests and rolling rivers, Grandest and the best.”

The line “Blest by the blood of martyrs,” was also changed to “Blessed by the love of freedom.”

Shapiro said in an interview with The New York Times on she did not like the lyrics and was hesitant to teach the song to students.

“I didn’t like the song and I didn’t like the words,” she said.

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