News and Commentary

College Board Bans Pledge Of Allegiance At Meetings. Rob Lowe Smacks Them.

Decrying the Pledge of Allegiance as being “steeped in expressions of nativism and white nationalism,” the new president of the Santa Barbara College Board of Trustees announced this year that the board would no longer recite the pledge during its meetings.

“I decided to discontinue use of the Pledge of Allegiance for reasons related to its history and symbolism,” wrote the board’s president, Robert Miller, in an email to former faculty member Celeste Barber first reported by Campus Reform. “I have discovered that the Pledge of Allegiance has a history steeped in expressions of nativism and white nationalism,” he explained later.

“Our flag is a powerful symbol of freedom and our system government, but I prefer to pledge allegiance to our constitution instead of a physical object,” he wrote, adding: “I also object to the phrase ‘one nation under God.’ The First Amendment not only protects freedom of speech and religion, it also expressly prohibits laws that establish a religion. The U.S. Supreme Court has expressly extended those rights to those who express no belief in God. Thus, I disagree with the 1955 act of Congress to add this phrase to the Pledge of Allegiance.”

After Campus Reform’s report was picked up by other national outlets, including Fox News, Miller quickly issued a statement temporarily reinstating the pledge. “Effective immediately, the Pledge of Allegiance will be recited at Board of Trustee meetings until some future date when the matter may be considered by the Board,” he wrote in a statement posted to Facebook Tuesday. “This decision, which restores the status quo, follows an appeal for reinstatement from members of the public who raised important issues at the January 24 board meeting.”

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On Wednesday, actor Rob Lowe weighed in on the shenanigans going on over at Santa Barbara City College with a succinct tweet highlighted by Campus Reform: “Humiliated for Santa Barbara City College making national news for their idiocy.”

In its initial report, Campus Reform notes that while video of the board’s meeting on December 13 showed them saying the pledge, during their January 10 meeting, Miller’s first meeting as president, the board chose not to recite the pledge. Called out about the decision by Barber, Miller sent his response in the letter obtained and published by the watchdog group:

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Barber has been a strong critic of the board’s actions handling of the issue. Having noticed that the board refused to recite the pledge in a spring 2018 meeting, she expressed her concerns to the board president and it was similarly reinstated.

Amid shouts from protesters, Barber spoke in defense of the pledge in its January 24 meeting, stating, “You are an elected body at a public institution at a public institution serving a community college. When you recite the Pledge of Allegiance, you are recommitting your oath to uphold and defend this country’s constitution.”

Citing her own experience living under Russian oppression in East Berlin, she gave a powerful defense of the symbolism of the flag, which she described as inextricably tied to the sacrifice of American soldiers. “Those men saved the world from a tyranny too horrifying to imagine,” she said. “They stopped fascism and halted communism. Some of those fathers never returned home.”

“At the conclusion of her speech, while Barber recited the Pledge of Allegiance, protesters stomped on the ground and shouted,” Campus Reform reports. “The students also sat down during the Pledge of Allegiance, according to Barber.”

Related: WATCH: Students Slam ‘Trump’ Wall Quotes, Then They Learn Who Actually Said Them

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  College Board Bans Pledge Of Allegiance At Meetings. Rob Lowe Smacks Them.