“One Nation, Under God, With Liberty and Justice for All.” We repeated these words a thousand times over in our elementary schools and believed in these ideals, trusting in our recitals that we as Americans are guaranteed to these rights. But as we mature and grow into socially active people, we understand travesties occur under our flag, and begin to accept that these words are outdated and unfortunately false. It leads us to sit, kneel or stand silent as our pledge plays over the P.A. And as Simone Outlaw puts it, “Why should I stand?” Why should you stand? Why should any of us stand? The poem captures this inner crisis as, in a controversial and divided time spreads across the nation, we must decide for ourselves if it’s worth our promise to America to stand with it. But Simone captures why we as people refuse to stand in a short yet powerful piece.
From the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Freddie Gray to the evils done against the slaves of the 19th century and the muslims of the 21st, our pledge has never truly represented the treatment as American citizens we receive. Simone is able to summarize the struggles many of us have had to suffer through while being lead by the facade that the country is fair. Yet, I stand for the flag. Not for our president, no, but for our military who fight under that flag and protect us from those who wish to do us harm. Regardless of your reason for standing or not, Simone gave her reason, and gave it excellently.