Monday, November 14, 2016

Sitting Them All Out

Oshkosh Common Council member Caroline Panske has decided she is no longer going to take part in the Pledge of Allegiance before meetings at City Hall anymore--because President-Elect Donald Trump doesn't embody what she thinks the United States should be about.  It is certainly her right to do so under the First Amendment right to free speech--although I'm sure she would be the first to call for a ban on any free speech that she thinks people should find offensive.  But I have to wonder why she had been taking part in the Pledge before this?

Why was Caroline Panske saying the Pledge while the Obama Administration deported 2.4-MILLION illegal immigrants between 2009 and 2014?  Why did she not sit after President Obama approved drone strikes that killed American citizens in Afghanistan and Yemen in 2009, 2013 and again last year?  Is that what she believes America stands for>

She probably wasn't that old at the time, but did Panske refuse to stand for the Pledge after Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act--which barred the Federal Government from recognizing same-sex marriages?  Or when President Clinton signed crime and anti-drug laws that put millions of African-American men behind bars with mandatory prison sentences and felony convictions?

Caroline Panske wasn't born at the time, but would she have honored the flag after hearing Lyndon Johnson drop the "N-word" repeatedly in Oval Office recordings?  Would she have recited the Pledge after Franklin Roosevelt sent Japanese-Americans to internment camps after Pearl Harbor--or ordered the military services to segregate units by race?  Or when Woodrow Wilson screened the movie Birth of a Nation at the White House--and worked to keep Blacks from attending Ivy League colleges?

There would have been a lot of sitting during the seven Presidential administrations that fought the abolition of slavery before Abraham Lincoln was elected.  Not to mention when Andrew Jackson sent the tribes on the Trail of Tears.  And let's not forget that Thomas Jefferson and George Washington owned slaves--and did not free them upon their deaths.

So really the question for Caroline Panske should be why would you have ever been standing for the Pledge of Allegiance if the words of Donald Trump offend her so deeply--but the actions of his Democratic predecessors don't seem to bother her so much

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