On Monday, four Ann Arbor city council members chose to kneel during the Pledge of Allegiance. Chip Smith, 5th Ward; Chuck Warpehoski, 5th Ward; Sumi Kailasapathy, 1st Ward; and Jason Frenzel, 1st Ward; stood in front of the council's table, then faced the American flag and knelt when the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Warpehoski had written on his website that he would take such an action, opining:
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. 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 then quoted women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony:
It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union. And we formed it, not to give the blessings of liberty, but to secure them; not to the half of ourselves and the half of our posterity, but to the whole people — women as well as men.
Kailasapathy offered her rationalization for kneeling during the meeting afterward, stating, "For me, taking a knee is also showing solidarity with the group of people who have been doing this at the national level.”