American Strong; United We Stand

KwaTashea Marfo, Editor-in-Chief

The reason I don’t stand for the pledge of allegiance is because it goes against my religious belief. Why can’t you respect my decision?

Why should I stand for the pledge when the country we live in doesn’t respect races that aren’t Caucasian?

The pledge of allegiance says “liberty and justice for all” but some people aren’t willing to accept new changes that will occur in America. Take the LGBTQ community for example. They deserve to have the same rights as everyone else; after all they are human too. But why do some people treat them differently if the pledge of allegiance says liberty and justice for all instead of a select few. I will not stand for the pledge if they do not refer to all humans alike, no matter what they classify as.

These are a few reasons why people choose not to stand for the pledge of allegiance. Each person believes they are standing up for a cause―a movement that will cause others to see outside of the picture frame. However, they are weakening America as a whole.

America was built based on the core ideas of independence and freedom. After all, that is why our founding fathers wanted to escape the British ways. They dreamed of a country with a limited government that would allow men to express their ideas and creativity, while maintaining their fundamental rights. But to obtain their dreams, they had to fight for what they believed in.

They sent soldier after soldier into wars, trying to protect their country in which they believed in, because they knew their dream was worth fighting for. Although soldiers lost their lives fighting for the US, they helped pave the way for the freedom we have today.

The red, white and blue flag that contains 50 stars in its upper left corner is not meant to express how much power our government has. The flag is used to show how far we came from escaping the British government into the country we blossomed into today. The flag stands for the soldiers that have fallen to protect all 50 states, so we can retain those fundamental rights.

So, yes as US citizens’ we have fundamental rights, which includes our freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and even the right to bear arms. But, we are taking away from the bigger picture when people choose not to stand for the pledge.

Not standing for the pledge because of a religious reason is acceptable because citizens do have the freedom of religion. But for people to not stand because they believe the government does not care about other races that aren’t Caucasian is ludicrous.

There are still a select few in the US who are slow to change and may even still be racist. But this shouldn’t cause us to believe that the US doesn’t care for others.

All races―Caucasian, Hispanics, African-Americans―and many more have contributed to the foundation that the US stands on today. Without the diversity of races in the US, we wouldn’t be half as successful as we are today.

People will be slow to change because they aren’t willing to accept the idea that the US isn’t always going to be the same way they knew growing up as a child. Instead of holding onto a grudge, they should let go of history. They should realize that without changes, an African-American would not have been able to run in the presidential election and win or women wouldn’t be able to share the same jobs as men.

You cannot force someone to stand for the pledge because it’s their preference. However, they should know by not standing for the pledge, other than a religious reason, they are not giving respect to the soldiers that have fallen to ensure we have our fundamental rights and freedom that we are born with as US citizens. It’s not about whether the country respects all races, it’s about being respectful and considerate for all the hard work, dedication and fallen soldiers that went into the making of the United States of America.