Ann Arbor City Council Takes a Knee During Pledge of Allegiance

Four Ann Arbor city council members choose to take a knee instead of standing for the Pledge of Allegiance which opened a meeting on Monday.

Taking a knee in protest during the national anthem has spread from the NFL to colleges and high schools across the country. Ann Arbor city council opens meetings with the Pledge of Allegiance, and some council members choose to join in on the player protest.

Chip Smith, 5th Ward; Chuck Warpehoski, 5th Ward; Sumi Kailasapathy, 1st Ward; and Jason Frenzel, 1st Ward all joined in on the protest.

Chuck Warpehoski wrote on his website that he choose to kneel out of “attention, concern, and respect.” Warpehoski seems to think that standing with a hand placed over one’s heart doesn’t meet those needs.

Warpehoski wrote on his website:

I can’t speak to what is in each person’s heart, but for me to “take a knee” is an act of attention, of concern, and of respect. And it is in that spirit that I take a knee at tonight’s City Council meeting: out of respect for the aspiration that we be a nation “with liberty and justice for all,” with full attention that we fall short of that ideal in many ways, and with humble dedication to continue to work that the promise of the pledge may be fulfilled.

Not every Council member gave reasons for kneeling which are already met by standing at attention.

Kailasapathy said the protest was done to show “solidarity with the group of people who have been doing this at the national level.”

She is obviously referring to NFL players who refuse to stand for the national anthem.

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

Kailasapathy said during the meeting that she was kneeling for the pledge in order to demonstrate she was committed to upholding Democratic values.

“For me, taking a knee is also showing solidarity with the group of people who have been doing this at the national level,” she said.

The demonstrations reflect the NFL national anthem protests that began last year. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem last season in order to draw attention to racial injustice. Some other players in the NFL followed suit, but it didn’t become a national phenomenon until late September of this year after President Donald Trump said NFL owners should not tolerate kneeling during the national anthem. He went on to say that if a player kneels, they should “get that son of a bitch off the field.”

Ann Arbor’s City Council chose to resist President Trump’s assessment that such protests disrespect the flag and the country. City Council members have every means of spreading their reasons for protest without disrespecting the flag, but they instead decided to get down on the floor in order show demonstrate their “attention.”

Can City Council in Ann Arbor think of no better way to promote “attention” than protesting the Pledge of Allegiance at their own meetings?

H/T: Michigan Live