Just days ago, the president of the Santa Barbara City College Board of Trustees said they were scrapping a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at meetings because the ritual symbolized “nativism and white nationalism.” Robert Miller also noted the problem with the phrase “Under God” in an email to a former professor who wanted the Pledge to remain on the agenda.
All Miller did was not say the Pledge at meetings — then justify the decision when asked about it. He wasn’t saying people couldn’t say it silently or before the meeting. But the conservative backlash was fierce — the likely result of a California college president suggesting a faux-patriotic ritual wasn’t awesome — and Miller has now unfortunately caved.
Yesterday, the school said the Pledge would return to the agenda… for now. At least until the trustees could discuss the matter more thoroughly.
Effective immediately, the Pledge of Allegiance will be recited at Board of Trustee meetings until some future date when the matter may be considered by the Board. This decision, which restores the status quo, follows an appeal for reinstatement from members of the public who raised important issues at the January 24 board meeting.
While the College recognizes that there are different opinions about the Pledge of Allegiance, it expects that the First Amendment rights of members of the public to comment at board meetings will be respected. It is inconsistent with those rights for other audience members to interrupt and mock speakers on this topic, as happened at the January 24 Board meeting.
The conservative website Campus Reform, which spearheaded the campaign to reinstate the Pledge, quoted a student who said the SBCC’s policies always “advanced the radical left.” The site still hasn’t acknowledged the truth of Miller’s justification for why he nixed the Pledge. They haven’t admitted he was right to say the Pledge was written in order to unite “true” Americans against immigrants and people who weren’t white.
They’re not going to do that, either. Acknowledging our nation’s troubling history is a violation of conservative beliefs about how amazing and perfect we are — and always have been.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)