“I sit because I lost respect for this country.”

Angel Van Horn

I’ve stood up for the pledge of allegiance every morning since kindergarten, but this changed in November 2016.    

Due to the recent events such as the Sandra Bland case, the woman who was brutally arrested by cops two summers ago, the Charlottesville riots and the election of Donald Trump, standing up for the pledge has turned into a rebellion and political statement.  

I’ve lost respect for this country after the election, standing for the pledge has transformed from an obligation to a refusal.

On Sept. 11, Trump tweeted “I would like to extend my best wishes to all, even the haters and losers, on this special date, September 11th”. This proved that someone how childish and disrespectful Trump is, yet he was granted the power to make decisions for this country.

People who oppose the protest accuse the protesters of being unpatriotic, but voting for someone who will destroy other countries as well as the one we call home is not patriotic.

The movement started with athletes, the majority of them being African-American, kneeling for the national anthem instead of standing. This movement angered predominantly white coaches and sports organizations who considered this act of protest “unpatriotic.”

It all starts with one person who makes the decision to remain seated during the national anthem which will lead to the realization of others that praising America for its recent wrongdoings makes no sense.

   Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback for the 49ers,  began to sit during the national anthem in honor of African-Americans in this country who have been victims of social injustices and police brutality. However, starting in September of last year, he made his statement a lot more bold by kneeing during the national anthem.

   Resisting the sudden urge to stand for the pledge due to the many years of being told to do so has been a challenge to easily overcome, even after being told to do so since kindergarten.  The obligation to stand is no longer an option. This action of a small protest is for the sake of the race I identify with, black, being oppressed in this nation and the other half, white, being the oppressors.

Exercising the First Amendment shouldn’t be considered an act of treason. Not standing for the pledge shouldn’t be considered “disrespectful” and kneeling for the national anthem shouldn’t get a football player benched.

Remain seated, kneel or stand. It’s your choice.