Two students at one of America’s most elite liberal arts colleges recently decried America as not offering “anything worth being proud of.”
When our field hockey team stood for the national anthem Saturday, it didn’t feel right. We didn’t feel proud to be standing for America because we didn’t feel that America offers anything worth being proud of.
Both Kline and Hayes are students at Oberlin College, currently ranked the 26th top liberal arts college by U.S. News and World Report. Comprehensive tuition is $67,917 for one year alone, not including expenses like travel and books.
Citing America’s history of slavery, Kline and Hayes justify their actions by claiming that their “blackness” supersedes their identity as Americans. Despite being college-sponsored athletes, both argue that they are “are always Black first and athletes second.”
Standing for the National Anthem, they claim, is something they just can’t do:
Simply standing for the flag because it’s what we’ve been conditioned to do isn’t enough for us anymore. Because we can’t stand for all of America, we kneel.
In an interview with PJ Media, Ua Hayes, a freshman at Oberlin, said that Trump’s presidency was the deciding factor behind her decision to take a knee:
The fact alone that Trump is president is enough reason for me to never stand for the anthem.
Hayes added that the history of the National Anthem also justifies it, since the song was written while slavery was still legal. Even though slavery is over, Hayes contends that the history of slavery is still intertwined with the lyrics, and thus its connection to slavery cannot be removed.
Hayes also says she has never stood for the National Anthem, always preferring to “remain seated,” even before college. She urges Americans who feel patriotic to reconsider why they have pride in America, and why they stand for the National Anthem.
A patriotic person can do whatever they want, they can praise America if they want, but before they do I think they should ask themselves what patriotism means, what it stands for, and why they stand for it.
After standing for the National Anthem, the field hockey team lost to Rhodes College, 9-0. No word if Oberlin students were too distracted by the National Anthem to play well.
Students at dozens of other colleges have refused to stand for the National Anthem in the last few weeks, including at Columbia University, the University of New Mexico, and Cornell University. Contempt for America runs deep in academia, and many professors have also recently expressed disapproval of patriotic holidays and symbols, too.
The other co-author of the article, Oberlin College student Kennedy Kline, did not respond to multiple requests for comment from PJ Media.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen