Change the Pledge of Allegiance to “with liberty and justice for those who aren’t gay, Black, or women”
Florida students staged a massive walkout to protest the "Don't say gay" bill on March 8, 2022. (USA Today)
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It’s time to go ahead and take “with liberty and justice for all” out of the Pledge of Allegiance because it’s the biggest lie told next to Trump’s taxes.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, liberty is defined as the quality or state of being free: the power to do as one pleases: freedom from physical restraint: freedom from arbitrary or despotic control: the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges: the power of choice.

For the purposes of this piece, let’s put emphasis on the quality or state of being free and the power of choice.

Now I’m not even going to go into the “justice for all” piece because a 400-word blog post would turn into a book with as many pages as the Bible. But, I do want to touch on the contradiction of liberty, specifically as it pertains to Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill (HB 1557)–more commonly known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Students expected to pledge allegiance despite bills targeting their identities and history

First of all, can we just agree that Florida is the most politically trash state in the country? It’s sometimes neck and neck with Texas for the title of “Most Ghetto”, but lately, Florida has been showing out and proving it’s number one.

Along with the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, the state passed the Anti-Riot Bill that pretty much restricts our First Amendment right to peacefully protest. It also passed the abortion ban, which basically governs women’s bodies. And the one that really pisses me off but is appropriately named for people that want to uphold white supremacy and America’s attempt to whitewash history, the “Stop Woke” Act.

This muzzles the teaching and discussion of critical race theory, race in general, discrimination and gender in schools and workplaces. Florida is basically saying all Floridians need to present as conservative, Christian patriots. 

The passing of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill is just the latest assault on marginalized communities.

How can this country and that state talk about liberty with a straight face when it makes a mockery of the lives of people that can’t fully enjoy it? How can y’all ask those kids who identify as LGBTQ+ to stand in schools and pledge allegiance to a flag and country that seeks to shame and make them invisible? 

Let’s be real about the hate we give

In prohibiting honest conversations about individuality and what makes us special as humans, it outlaws people’s freedom to show up as who they are and be represented in the public spaces they occupy. 

Now, I’ve always been a proponent of choice and parents’ rights to decide or filter what their child learns, especially at an early age. But, if parents don’t want their children “exposed” to matters of the general public, don’t send them to public school.

Moreover, if a parent chooses to shield their children from certain people or conversation in schools–basically shielding them from the realities of the world–they need to homeschool them and possibly bear the responsibility for raising close-minded humans.

Their “rights” shouldn’t supersede those of other parents. Point, blank, period.

So here’s what y’all need to do. As I said above, go ahead and take “with liberty and justice for all” out of the Pledge of Allegiance and replace it with “liberty and justice for those that aren’t gay, aren’t Black, and aren’t women.”

Let’s keep the racism, sexism, homophobia and overall discrimination real so those of us in these marginalized groups can know who to come for.

Tanesha Peeples is driven by one question in her work--"If not me then who?" As a strategist and injustice interrupter, Tanesha merges the worlds of communications and grassroots activism to push for radical...

2 replies on “Opinion: Take “liberty and justice for all” out of the Pledge of Allegiance”

  1. I’ve saying Republicans only require the pledge to be said but not mean a word. There is no concept more repulsive to the Republican soul than “liberty and justice for all.”

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