Four Ann Arbor city council members refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance Monday, with two of the kneeling council members insisting their gestures were aimed at unity.
According to MLive, council members Chip Smith, Chuck Warpehoski, Sumi Kailasapathy and Jason Frenzel knelt while others stood for the pledge.
Writing on The Federalist Papers, Brian Thomas said this effort to emulate pro athletes is the wrong way to go.
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“Ann Arbor’s City Council chose to resist President (Donald) Trump’s assessment that such protests disrespect the flag and the country,” he wrote.
“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,'” he added.
“Can City Council in Ann Arbor think of no better way to promote ‘attention’ than protesting the Pledge of Allegiance at their own meetings?”
Twitter had some choice words for the council members.
But the council members insisted their actions were not a protest against anything.
“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,” Warpehoski wrote on his website ahead of Monday’s meeting and also stated at the meeting.
“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,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kailasapathy said her gesture was to show a connection with NFL national anthem protests in which players say they are protesting racism.
“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.
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