A Missouri state senator refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance Wednesday, remaining seated in the chamber to show solidarity with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has now repeatedly refused to stand during the national anthem at NFL games as a protest against police brutality and racial injustice, The Blaze reports.
“I decided to not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance today to stand in solidarity with the cause of injustice that Colin Kaepernick has shined a bright light upon. I am not anti-America, and in fact, it is because I love this country that I take this stand,” state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, a Democrat from St. Louis, said.
“I am doing so not because of past transgressions by America, but to call attention to current injustices here in this state and country,” she added.
According to The Blaze, Nasheed went on to list the “current injustices,” including the injustice of police brutality, the injustice of voter suppression, the injustice of mass incarceration, the injustice of poverty and more.
“The Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem stand not just for what America is, but for what it should be. ‘Liberty and justice for all’ are not just words—they are our country’s ideals. We must commit ourselves to honoring those principles not just by speech but also through our actions,” Nasheed said, KCRG-TV reports. “This is why I, as a matter of conscience, chose not to stand today.”
Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican, acknowledged Nasheed’s right to remain seated for the pledge, but added that “it’s a question of the propriety of her action.”
“I believe our best hope for tackling the tough issues of racial unity and economic opportunity is through the shared commitment to the principles and ideals that make America great. Standing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and for the national anthem symbolize our unity of purpose to keep America the ‘land of the free, the home of the brave, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,'” Kinder said.