Flag as my Witness
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Here is "Flag as my Witness," from my mysapce. It turns out those who think we should ban flag burning hate freedom more than those who are burning the damn flag.
A while ago in my senior civics class we got to the subject of flag burning. Should people be allowed to burn the American Flag? If we said yes, then we move to the left side of the class room, if we said no, then we move to the right side of the class room. I normally sit at the right side of the class so I had to pick up all my stuff and migrate to the ever emptying seats of the left side. I settled down and looked around me. There were four other students on the left side, and they looked as if they were only over there because they didnt want to get up. In other words they were sleeping on the desks or had head phones on or something like that. But we were pretty much exposed compared to the other side of the class so Im sure some form of justice was involved in keeping them on that side.
But unfortunately twenty or more of the students were packed in on the right side of the class room. Their position: Illegalize Flag Burning. Our civics instructor then asked someone from the right side of the class to say why they chose that side. Immediately someone said, Its a respect issue. If someone doesnt like our country, they can move.
Then the left side was asked and I, of course, was the representative. I was, more or less, furious. I was shocked, I was angered, and I was appalled at the majority of this class being such shallow minded ignorant foolish black-hearted freedom-hating dumbasses. Sorry, but I call them like I see them, and my name calling is merely a fact, like it or not. I mean, I dont like the name calling either, but Im not going to lie, theyre just a bunch of shallow minded ignorant foolish black-hearted freedom-hating dumbasses, no more, no less. Those words have definitions, and the right side of the class room met them beautifully.
They were on the side of restricting freedom, or taking away a right, illegalizing an opinion. What was their reasoning? Its a respect issue. In other words, they wanted to illegalize the opinion because they didnt like it. The majority of students (at least in my selected bunch) want to ban views that are not their own. Well, I pointed this out immediately. You dont have to agree with the view, you dont have to agree with what is being said, but if you have any ounce of human dignity in any of the cells in your damn body youll defend the right of another to their opinion. To their property. They werent on the side of the class room because they dont want to burn the flag, but because they want to stop others from doing it with force, legal force. They literally wanted to force their views on others with no merit other than they wanted to. Still think I was being too harsh calling them shallow minded ignorant foolish black-hearted freedom-hating dumbasses? I was being liberal with them. Theyre a hell of a lot worse.
Dont get me wrong. I respect their right to their views. However the particular view I do not and never will respect, for it desires to remove another of their views. It would remove another of their rights. They wanted to force their side, and that I will not respect, that I will not allow, that is evil if anything is, that is an enemy to freedom.
They then said, But if they dont like America, they can just move! Why the hell should someone have to surrender to your advice? Maybe they want to, maybe they will, or maybe they need to stay or want to stay and change things. Who the hell are you to command someone to leave the country if they dislike it? If anyone should have to leave the country, it should be the ones who attack its freedoms, the right side of that classroom.
Theyre right. This is a respect issue. The right side of the class room respected and protected a peace of cloth. The left respected what it stood for. The right disrespected what it stood for. If you would prevent the burning of the flag with legal action, then you would burn what it stands for. The right side of the class room was disrespectful to freedom beyond words could ever express.
I sit during the pledge of allegiance. When a shallow minded fool sees that, they think I am disrespecting the flag. However, foolish is what foolish does. Their belief is could not be more incorrect. I sit because I respect the flag. Half of you morons just had a heart attack, I know, but for you thinkers Ill continue to elaborate. I sit because there are people out there, right now, Americans, who think I shouldnt be allowed to. There are people being treated as slime in other states, like Sam Smith, because they execute their rights as Americans, and as human beings. And so long as there is that, I sit. And I sit. And if they try and make it against the law to turn my back, Ill turn my back. And Ill turn my back. I do it out of respect not for the piece of cloth, but for what it stands for. If they would make it against the law to burn the flag, then I would. I would light the sucker on fire. Flag after flag after flag. Someone of a shallow mind would immediately call that disrespect. But I do it for what the flag stands for. My right to do it. And if the flag were an entity, if it were what it symbolizes, if it were an embodiment of freedom and bravery, it would have me sit during the pledge and even burn it.
Theyre right. This is a respect issue. What do you respect? A piece of cloth or what it stands for? What do you respect, what do you fight for? Do you disagree with what people say but still defend to the death their right to say it, or do you throw out freedom and march to the tide of the ever ignorant irresponsible mass? Which are you? Do you seek to punish opinions or do you preserve the right to them, even if they differ from your own? Which are you? Are you a hero, a protector of freedom? Or are you a sheep? Which are you? Which side of the classroom would you take? The left or the right?
The faces of the right side were blank as I spoke, and a few did change sides. I annihilated their folly responses to my logic and I could see in their faces shame and doubt. Yet (aside from those who did have the courage to stand and come to my side of the classroom, which there were some) most only remained seated, with those dumb looks on their faces. Their eyes shifted to each other, double checking their numbers. All waited for others to move yet few did. Ladies and gentlemen: this is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave. What I had to unfortunately witness that day in class was a contradiction to that famous statement. I saw cowards who would take away the rights of others for no. god. damn. reason. They couldnt stand. They had to sit with everyone else. Oh, it is so much more difficult to stand when everyone else sits, ladies and gentlemen. As it is more difficult to sit when everyone else stands. It takes so much more damn courage to follow your heart than it does to follow the tune of general approval.
At the moving up assembly a couple days ago at my school, where the seniors file out of the gym between the rows of teachers and all the other classes move up to the next rank. Freshmen to sophomore, sophomore to junior, junior to senior. Its a nice little tradition, I think. Before all that happens, however, we do the national anthem. Normally I stand for it, like everyone else, but I felt that I should sit for that too. I got the usual weird, disapproving looks, but I decided to sit. And I looked up, and I stared right at that flag, and I sat up as straight as I could, tears even coming to my eyes, but I still sat. Hopefully, if, by chance, the flag is in any way an embodiment of freedom and bravery then I showed it something. That when the line, the land of the free, and the home of the brave was sung, I hope I showed it something. That at least for some of us Americans This land still is what its preached to be. Its true, it is more difficult to stand when everyone else sits and its more difficult to sit when everyone else stands. I felt the pull to stand. I thought that it wasnt a big deal. But I realized thats just the thinking that would remove a persons rights, a persons mind, and a persons heart. Fear, pressure, blind faith, shallow-mindedness; they are the greatest foes to freedom, and I will do everything I can to purge myself of those things. Big and small. I will never again be pressured into doing anything I disagree with, big or small. Flag as my witness.