Just In: City Council Takes a Knee

Kirsters Baish| It seems that NFL players aren’t the only ones trying to “make a statement” by disrespecting the American flag and the troops who have fought to protect it and everything it stands for. During a meeting on Monday, four Ann Arbor city council members decided to take a knee rather than standing and showing their support for their country during the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Now the trend of taking a knee during the National Anthem has spread from the NFL all the way to colleges and high schools across the United States. It is truly disheartening to see city council members giving in to such a ridiculous protest. All Ann Arbor city council meetings open with the Pledge of Allegiance, but four members of the city council decided that they were going to disrespect the tradition and join the protest.

Those who joined in the protest were Chip Smith, 5th Ward, Chuck Warpehoski, 5th Ward, Sumi Kailasapathy, 1st Ward, and Jason Frenzel, 1st Ward. 

It was reported that Chuck Warpehoski actually wrote on his own website that the reason he chose to kneel was out of “attention, concern, and respect.” I guess this guy thinks that the only way to show attention, concern, and respect is to take a knee and show zero respect for our country.

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 all the members of council gave concrete reasons for why they decided to kneel during the Pledge of Allegiance, and they are being ridiculed for their actions.

Kailasapathy stated that the reason they took part in the protest was to show “solidarity with the group of people who have been doing this at the national level.”

This woman is referring to the NFL players who don’t feel like standing for the National Anthem, even though they are being paid millions of dollars to follow the rules of the NFL.

The Washington Free Beacon reported:

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.

These protests completely reflect the National Anthem protests that began with the NFL in 2016. The man behind the original string of protests, former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, felt that kneeling during the National Anthem would suffice as a good way to protest “inequality” towards African Americans in our country. This year, many NFL players followed in Kaepernick’s footsteps. In late September, President Donald Trump spoke out against the protests, explaining that any NFL player that chose to kneel during the anthem should be fired.

The decision on the parts of the Ann Arbor city council members who chose to kneel during the Pledge of Allegiance was obviously an attempt at resisting President Trump’s wishes for Americans to respect the flag and in turn, our country. I think these city council members could have figured out a better way to show their support for the African American community.