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Should You Stand For the Pledge?

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Should You Stand For the Pledge?

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Kneeling for the national anthem in recent years has been much debated ever since former football player Colin Kaepernick took part in the said protest. Many criticized him for his actions saying that he is disrespecting veterans. Colin’s response was, I have great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country….they fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. That’s not happening. People are dying in vain because this country isn’t holding their end of the bargain up, as far as giving freedom and justice, liberty to everybody.”  Since the controversy no team has signed Kaepernick on. Colin Kaepernick was not the first to protest the national anthem, however, nearly 2o years ago, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf sat during the anthem due to his views on the injustices in America.

The national anthem protests have transcended into pledge protests in schools. There has been much controversy surrounding the consequences of protestors and if standing should be enforced. Wake County policy 3531 states: “No student will be compelled to salute the flag, recite the pledge of allegiance…stand to participate in the pledge of allegiance, or otherwise feel compelled to participate…” Despite the policy allowing these protests, there has been much tension in regards to protestors being “disrespectful.”  

According to the Washington Post, 42 percent of U.S. adults said it is appropriate to protest by kneeling during the national anthem, while 53 percent said it is never appropriate. American citizens opinions regarding the protests were divided amongst racial and partisan lines. A majority of white republicans believed that kneeling was inappropriate due to the freedoms and opportunities America has brought about for its citizens which to many protestors spoke volumes of white privilege shadowing the deep issues of racial injustice. 

Panther Creek students were asked on whether protestors, athletes specifically, should be punished for kneeling. According to the poll, more students felt that athletes should not be punished (20 students) than should (11 students). The majority opinion said it is a right that athletes and protestors have to protest. The differing opinions were on whether the protests were disrespectful or not. Many students felt as though the protestors were disrespectful to veterans.

“…it’s your choice to live here and you need to respect those who fight for us.””

— Ashley Fink

John Pegram and Tyler Masie shared similar sentiments of patriotism and respect. On the flip side, CJ Johnson and Sarai Rentrope believe that it’s an individual decision to stand or sit. Johnson went on to say, ”We need to influence ourselves and say, ‘Hey, we want change,’” insinuating that not only was kneeling acceptable but effective.  Rentrope expressed her sentiments regarding the, “Justice for all,” line in the pledge, “These innocent people getting shot every day but there’s no justice brought for them.”

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