Reflections: What is Freedom in Trump’s America?

freedomRecently, a video has surfaced of a Winters Mill High School student from Maryland kicking a chair from under his classmate during the Pledge of Allegiance. The student donned in American garb appeared upset over his classmate sitting during the Pledge. Critics of the video have been split. Some called the aggressive student a “bully”. The other student was minding his own business and sitting peaceful before the violent encounter. While others have praised his behavior and called him a “patriot”. Saying the young man was standing up to someone disrespectfully sitting during the Pledge.

Violence Should Never Be Engaged

Whatever opinion you have, it should be understood that America is supposed to be free. The Forefathers of this great country cared about freedom so much they included it under the First Amendment. Freedom comes in many forms. Sitting (or kneeling) during the Pledge of Allegiance or National Anthem may be disrespectful to some, but it is a form of freedom. Violence should never be engaged in because you disagree with another person.

Nevertheless, the student shown kicking the chair was disciplined. The exact punishment was not released according to the Baltimore Sun.

Trump’s America

Since the election of President Donald Trump, nationalism has been on the rise. Nationalism (some even say white nationalism) is an ideal  purported by Trump’s former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. There is nothing wrong with being proud of your country but extreme nationalism is frightening. Before President Trump’s election, Americans have regularly engaged in patriotism. Don’t believe me? Go down any street in suburbia and you will see our flag waving. Fourth of July is celebrated with pride. Better yet, take a gander at a military cemetery like Arlington National Cemetery. Take in all of those graves. You will see patriotism.

Like many, recent approval of xenophobia, racism, and violence by our fellow Americans is disturbing.  Violence perpetuated against anyone deemed an “other” or “disrespectful” is a slippery slope and dangerous . It isn’t American. It does not honor those who have died and/or served this country. United we stand, divide we fall.

Video credit: UnrestrainedOne | Youtube

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