The student government at Grand Valley State University in Michigan is the latest group to do away with the useless tradition of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at meetings. On Thursdays, the Student Senate voted to get rid of it with a 22-10 vote. There were 10 abstentions.
The reason? The Pledge does more harm than good.
Those petitioning the removal of the pledge argued it’s not inclusive to international students and non-religious or non-Christian students, according to Student Senate spokesperson Ryan Fritz.
“A lot of students didn’t feel comfortable with the ‘under God’ aspect of the pledge,” the political science and communications senior said, adding that the student senate pushes for inclusion and equity.
We can go beyond that. We don’t really have “liberty and justice for all” in this country, so why lie about it? The Pledge was written to promote anti-immigrant sentiment. This country, under Republican rule, isn’t one that deserves much admiration at the moment. The list goes on.If the end goal is some kind of patriotic unity, then the students can achieve it in more meaningful ways.
Not that everyone agrees. The ignorance among the dissenters was ripped right out of a conservative playbook.
Dorian Thompson, a political science senior and student senator, called the situation a “disgrace.”
“This is three days after Veterans Day,” Thompson said. “I had veterans pull me aside angry at what was going on. This is a big slap in the face.”
A bigger slap in the face is forcing people to say a loyalty oath they don’t feel comfortable saying. (And if three days after Veterans Day is no good, what’s the right time to pull this off? Thompson should at least give us the months when removing the Pledge would be acceptable to him… or stop pretending that the timing is the issue here.)
Thompson added that he would request the reinstatement of the Pledge at all future meetings. Presumably because there’s nothing useful he could be doing there instead. Ah well. Let him make the motion. I don’t mind seeing student leaders vote against the Pledge month after month.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)