To Stand or Not to Stand

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To Stand or Not to Stand

Traonna Ward, Staff Writer

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Recently, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick caused a media uproar. The media noticed Kaepernick not standing for the National Anthem, which caused him to be the topic all over the internet. He felt he shouldn’t stand for a flag whose country oppresses African Americans. But Kaepernick isn’t the only one not standing for the National Anthem.

Jeremy Lane of the Seattle Seahawks sat during the National Anthem, Megan Rapinoe, former soccer player knelt during the National anthem, and so many athletes are taking a seat during our anthem. Students in high school are even beginning to show their feelings by sitting during the Pledge of Allegiance, including some students at Granite City High School who are refusing to stand for the Pledge, not because of Kaepernick, but because of their own beliefs.

It’s a free country, so they say so, and I believe that if I don’t want to stand I simply don’t have to.”

— Jajuan Gibson

Junior student  Jajuan Gibson said, “It’s a free country, so they say so, and I believe that if I don’t want to stand I simply don’t have to.”

Senior student Treyvon Knight said, “I feel everyone should do as they please. Everyday I sit for the pledge because I feel America is still not making equal rights. So why should I respect a flag that doesn’t respect my ethnicity? Everyone is suppose to have freedom but we all don’t.”

So is standing for the flag a “race thing”? Many of the students felt that you should do as you please. If you stand you stand, and if you sit you sit, that’s your choice. Other students such as Morgan Ambruso said, “I personally believe we should all stand for the pledge, because it’s a form of respect, but I don’t think students should be forced to stand for the pledge. The gym classes don’t even hear the pledge, so how do you show respect for something you can’t hear?”

Sophomore student Justin Wiley Jr. said, “I feel students should stand for the pledge because it’s just like telling all of the armed forces past and present that we do not care they lost their lives to protect our freedom. It’s a sign of respect to those who fight for our country.”

Standing for the pledge could just be a rippling effect. One person stands, everyone stands. Just because you’re choosing to sit doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being disrespectful. We all have differing opinions about our American rights and equality, and if we feel strongly about our country’s problems, including institutionalized racism, respectfully sitting while the Pledge is being said is the least we can do.