The student media of Cinco Ranch High School

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Student’s suspension for sitting during Pledge unjust, represents larger problem

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When Cy-Fair ISD senior India Landry sat down during a routine recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance on Oct.2, she was not only suspended, but lost her ability to graduate.

Growing up as a black student in America, it wasn’t until recently when I started learning more about the ugly truth of America’s past that I began thinking more about the incredible political and social weight that being black carries to this very day. The incident vividly reminded me of Colin Kaepernick being kicked out the NFL for kneeling during the Pledge of Allegiance, which at the time went over my head. I kept trying to tell myself that surely this was the kind of problem that would have its eventual solution and disappear from the news cycle. But as the issue continued to make headlines a year later, I became frustrated at how many people misinterpreted Kaepernick’s protest as a hatred of America. In reality, he was trying to raise awareness of the systematic injustice and oppression felt by African Americans across the country.

This issue is more than patriotism and respect for the flag; it’s about what it means to be black in a country that has a long, deep-rooted history in the dehumanization and oppression of my race. Unfortunately, people only seem to look at this issue through a single lens.”

In light of the recent social and political upheaval regarding Kaepernick’s protest, I didn’t find it surprising that something like this would eventually happen in a school setting. Landry is paying an unfair price for something she has a complete right to do, just like Kaepernick. Both of their protests were misunderstood and brought about severe consequences. This issue is more than patriotism and respect for the flag; it’s about what it means to be black in a country that has a long, deep-rooted history in the dehumanization and oppression of my race. Unfortunately, people only seem to look at this issue through a single lens.

I love my country, and I have no doubt in my mind that people like Kaepernick and Landry feel the same. But loving your country goes beyond hosting Fourth of July picnics and faithfully reciting every word in the Pledge of Allegiance. Believing in the freedom and right to take a stand for issues that mean a lot, to not just yourself, but everyone you’re taking a stand for, is far more patriotic. And until we recognize this truth, the problem will only grow worse.

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The student media of Cinco Ranch High School
Student’s suspension for sitting during Pledge unjust, represents larger problem