You Don’t Have to Stand for a Country That Won’t Stand for You


America was founded on the discrimination, slaughter, & slavery of women and people of color, so why should we be pressured into standing for a pledge which glorifies it? We, as Americans, have the right to sit, stand, kneel, or do whatever we want during the pledge.

On September 18, 2016, Colin Kaepernick, a San Francisco 49’ers quarterback, took a kneel during the pledge before his game. Kaepernick had previously sat during the anthem, but later decided he would kneel to pay respect to U.S soldiers.

Instant backlash followed the incident, causing him to release a statement regarding his actions. He kneeled to shine light on the police shootings targeting blacks & racial inequality. (

Tamir Rice, a 12 year old boy, was fatally shot twice by police for having an airsoft gun in public. Eric Garner, died from a combination of compression to the chest, being put in a chokehold by an NYPD officer, & poor health for allegedly selling cigarettes without tax stamps. Philando Castile, shot seven times in front of his girlfriend and 4 year old daughter regarding a traffic stop.

In Florida, a white teen fatally shot a random couple and began to consume their bodies, still in the act when police arrived, all wearing Trump’s infamous “Make America Great Again” hat.  Why wasn’t he shot? Because he was white. (

Kaepernick is an advocate for women, people of color, the disabled,& the LGTBQ community, as seen in his Twitter feed. Many people have boycotted his team, or even the NFL as a whole, regarding his views; some of them fellow athletes, celebrities, or politicians.

Alabama senator, Roy Moore, told Time Magazine, “It’s against the law, you know that?” in an interview on Oct. 16, & continued to recite Title 36, Section 301, concerning proper etiquette during the pledge.

Title 36, Section 301 states, “Persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart.” But this is merely a suggestion.

According to the Black Law Dictionary, unless a passage uses the word “shall”, the law is not enforced, & in the passage it uses the word “should”.

You, as a student, also have that same right.

In June 1943, the verdict of the West Virginia State Board of Education v Barnette case ruled that “compelling children in public schools to salute the US flag is an unconstitutional violation of their freedom of speech and religion”.

The anthem is an oath of loyalty to the U.S, you’re not disrespectful for choosing not to stand, that’s your right.