Every morning it is routine to stand and pledge allegiance to the flag but it is my belief that we need to stop until our country stands for what we state in that pledge. Our country has changed a lot since the pledge was first written in 1855 and though we could also argue that the country is in much better shape than it was in 1855, it still does not stand for what is written in the pledge.
Now for the most part the pledge is okay, but the last line is where there are some problems. The line “for liberty and justice for all” has been wrong since the day it was written. Since 1855 people have been saying the pledge, but “liberty and justice for all” has only come in the past century (give or take a few years). If I’m going to pledge allegiance to the flag and use the words “for liberty and justice for all”, I’m going to mean for all. For all the ethnic groups that live in America, for all the queer people and all the other minorities still fighting for their liberty and justice.
In America today many of those aforementioned groups are still fighting for their liberty and justice, or just recently received it. In the past few months, we have seen this first hand with the Black Lives Matter movement because in today’s America, many still see the life of an African American as less than the life of a white American. African Americans are still facing unwarranted hostility and being discriminated against by the color of their skin. To me that doesn’t seem like “liberty and justice for all”.
Also, in the past 50 years queer people have just started to get their rights. People in the LGBT community are also still heavily discriminated against. In 32 of the 50 states it is legal to murder a person in the LGBT community and get away with it because the person was queer, this is known as the “gay panic” defense and is justified in a court of law. LGBT members also can’t adopt children in 10 states, but hey, at least queer people have legally been able to marry… since 2015. But now that right might be taken away from them if Trump thinks it’s necessary. This “liberty and justice” for all doesn’t really seem to be true.
Another group that’s still being discriminated against is women. Maybe people might not think so because in “the land of the free” everyone can do anything they want. World Bank Blogs stated that “today women have three quarters of the legal rights as men,” and even though women today are more equal than they’ve ever been, they’ve only gotten these rights in the past century. The equal rights amendment was passed less than 100 years ago in 1923. It allowed women to buy property, be employed and have an education. But that’s only a few of the struggles women have faced in the past 100 years. Back in 1963 the equal pay act was instated, but as we know today there’s still a pay gap between men and women. All this “liberty and justice for all” just seems to be slipping away.
These are only a few examples of the problems in America with discrimination. Many people in America are still facing problems when it comes to their equality. All this “liberty and justice for all” doesn’t seem to be so true when there’s so many people in America not getting their liberty. If our country can’t stand for everything it states in the pledge, why stand for it at all.
Yuri is a freshman at Sweet Home High School. They enjoy standing out from the crowd and music. Yuri plans on writing for Life & Arts and Opinions.