Saying the Pledge in America Today
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Does this truly stand for what our country’s values are? Does America live up to what the pledge says? Should students be forced to stand for the pledge? Being a student, one thing I do not like to do is say or stand for the pledge. I have been called disrespectful, stubborn, and even insubordinate for it.
I'm sure that one reason others do not like to say the pledge is because they’re just lazy, but that is not why I do not stand for it. In my case, I realized that our pledge is not solely based on what America is about these days and we are still forced to stand for it in school, even though we have no idea what it truly means. We tend to not be “one nation under God’ because of our different races, religions, and cultures. Some people exclaim that the pledge does not appeal to what our country stands for because of the certain parts contained within it and what they truly mean. The pledge is looked at by some as the school showing respect for those who fought for us to be living in America ‘peacefully,’ but as a student, one of the first things you learn at school is the pledge. But, we do not get an elaborate description of it.
Ultimately, this has become a big problem in America because it has been debated and argued for years now. For example, recently Colin Kaepernick quarterback of the 49ers refused to stand for the national anthem before games last season to protest the treatment of African Americans in the U.S. If you analyze each line of the pledge, people can see that we are truly just making an oath to America, a country in which we do not even know what we are all about and in which others do not even understand our values. For example when it states “liberty and justice for all,” there are beliefs that recently America has been unfair and serves injustice, mainly to people of color, rather than “justice for all” and people cannot even notice because we are not taught the true meaning only taught on how to memorize it. An example of injustice is Emmett Till, a boy who was kidnapped, lynched and killed for being accused of talking to a white woman. Sources state that the lady recently just admitted that it was false and that he had never spoken to her. We never had justice for him and the lady is still in a perfect state and condition unlike Emmett Till.
We have tools as citizens that we can use to work on this issue; we can talk to the school board or even take it to congress as a whole. Citizens can use their freedom of speech to explain on how it should not be made mandatory for students attending school to say the pledge and propose that we should practice what the pledge states. We need people to take action by asking questions relating to each line of the pledge and decide if the pledge lines up with our morals as a country. Furthermore, citizens need to make up their minds on what they think their country is as a whole and stand by it. But, the question is, does the pledge stand for what citizens believe their country is? Which is viewed as a free and wholesome country.
Although there are valid points with people who choose not to say the pledge, choosing to say the pledge shows how patriotic some can be. Some believe that if students do not stand, they should be met with a swift and enforced punishment. They say it is a very simple thing to do and shows a lot about your character and how you're seen as a person and that the least we can do for the men and women fighting for our freedom overseas is to stand up and say the Pledge of Allegiance. They say, it should be considered an obligation, and a privilege to pledge your allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, but that is not my stance.
Overall, my main argument is that students in the U.S. should not be forced or punished for not saying the pledge until the country they live in lives up to what they ‘preach’ in the pledge. There should be precautions to take , for instance, educating children on what each part of the pledge stands for and what it means to them and why it is significant for the country. This becomes important to America because it shows our values as a country and it is important to practice what we ultimately preach.