Nationalist Jerks Opine on Kid Not Saying Pledge

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the Pledge of Allegiance is constitutional, largely because it’s voluntary, students can opt out. But the reaction of the community in Texas where a kid was punished by the school for not reciting the pledge shows why this voluntary claim is illusory in practice.

Most folks around town Thursday had just one reaction to Mason sitting it out.

“Oh that’s wrong,” said Needville resident Peggy Janczak.

The pledge brings up strong and powerful associations.

“I think he’s being disrespectful to the flag, and those folks who gave their lives for him to have his opinion,” said Needville resident David McDonald.

Another neighbor, Jimmie Pekar added, “If you live in the United States, the greatest country in the world, you should support the United States.”

“The soldiers are out there, they’re doing their job and he should stand up,” said neighbor Jo Castillo.

Janczak added, “You’ve got a lot of things here that a lot of people don’t have, that’s respect, that’s freedom.”

Fuck you. Fuck every single one of you and every person who thinks the same way.

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  • colnago80

    What else should be expected in Texas? Wall to wall white trash there.

  • cottonnero

    Can’t you just hear the Bellamy salutes from those guys?

  • Jafafa Hots

    Gotta respect that flag!

    The constitution? Not so much…

  • sugarfrosted

    @Calnago80, Seriously, wtf. Stop with the fucking scattershot attack on Southerners. So Aron Ra doesn’t exist? So Austin, Texas doesn’t exist?

    PS. People with numbers in their handles are all idiots.

  • sugarfrosted

    (Not really about the number thing, just making a point. Also sorry for the double post.)

  • cswella

    Soldiers died to protect your freedom to not be able to express your opinion on the pledge of allegiance.

  • Gregory in Seattle

    “I think he’s being disrespectful to the flag, and those folks who gave their lives for him to have his opinion.”

    Who is being more disrespectful: the person exercising a right won and preserved at high cost, or the people who would shame him for exercising that right?

  • shadowwalkyr

    “I think he’s being disrespectful to the flag, and those folks who gave their lives for him to have his opinion.”

    So . . . the solution is to punish him for having an opinion?

  • thebookofdave

    The commenters were generally more supportive those interviewed, right down to his fellow Texans. Self-identified veterans, especially, came out in his defense.

    Just goes to show you how far our culture of hedonism and permissiveness has driven society into decline. When we begin to express our gratitude for the freedoms that made our nation great by failure to recite it on cue, and even our troops turn their backs on their country, then it’s only a matter of time before kids like Mason Michalec feel entitled to disrespect the NSA.

  • Artor

    Why do I get the feeling that many of the same people excoriating Mason for disrespecting the flag are also cheering for Cliven Bundy, with not a shred of cognitive dissonance?

  • D. C. Sessions

    I wish someone would run a poll in Texas on whether the kids should be waterboarded until he recites the Pledge.

  • Modusoperandi

    thebookofdave, +1 internet.

  • footface

    Of course, the quasi-compulsory loyalty oath bothers me. But… since when is the Pledge a love letter to the military?

  • dugglebogey

    Every time a young child says the pledge, a soldier gets his angel wings!

  • iknklast

    Yes, freedom is protected by forcing a child to stand up and say words he doesn’t believe, and in some cases, doesn’t understand. In the 60s, I was forced to say the pledge every morning. I was not yet 10. It was many years before I had a clue to the meaning of the words I was mumbling.

  • D. C. Sessions

    But… since when is the Pledge a love letter to the military?

    They stand for everything good in the USA: pistols, automatic rifles, strict obedience, explosives, tanks, heavy artillery, Jesus, helicopters, testosterone, fighter planes, submarines, torture, nuclear weapons, killing subhumans, …

  • marcus

    shadowwalkyr @ 8

    “I think he’s being disrespectful to the flag, and those folks who gave their lives for him to have his opinion.”

    So . . . the solution is to punish him for having an opinion?

    That is some convoluted logic, they died to protect his right so we should abnegate that sacrifice by punishing the exercise of that right.

    There goes another irony meter.

  • stephenfoster

    I suppose this means my right to free speech does not include the right to remain silent.

  • magistramarla

    The “good” people of Texas would be shocked to see the attitudes of many of their teenagers. I’ve been in many, many Texas classrooms. When I worked as a substitute teacher, I was in a different one every day.

    It was always my policy to ignore what the students did during the pledge, and sometimes a kid would tell me that the regular teacher forced them to stand and recite.

    I would see students remain in their seats, check their phones, carry on conversations, read a book or frantically work on homework during the pledge and moment of silence. The kids simply aren’t concerned about it.

  • augustpamplona

    They are free to opine and be jerks about it. I don’t care about the reaction of the community, if we are referring to the words said (as long as it’s just words on a newspaper and it doesn’t involve actual harassment). The issue is with the school suspending the kid.

  • colnago80

    Re Sugarfrosted @ #4

    Unfortunately, Aron Ra (and Stephen “Darkside” Andrew) and the good people of the Peoples Republic of Austin are greatly outnumbered by the peckerwoods and the rednecks.

  • imthegenieicandoanything

    The taste of ‘Mer’kin freedom can only be savored when one is kneeling before authority and the majority’s opinion.

  • khms

    I wonder why every time someone mentions the pledge, I think of apples and arrows … (and also of fascist and communist and other authoritarian nations).

  • dan4

    *Shrugs*. Those opinions by the Needville residents (at least the ones in the blockquote, anyway) are pretty tame, or certainly tame enough not to warrant a “Fuck you. Fuck every single one of you and every person who thinks the same way” response. From the headline, I was expecting much more vicious and virulent responses, like “Get out of my country, commie!” or “If he hates this country so much, he is free to leave.”

  • gardengnome

    “The greatest country on Earth…”. This from someone who’s probably never even travelled interstate, let alone overseas.

    There is much to admire about the United States, but the attitudes of the people quoted above make it plain why I’d never want to live there.

  • billdaniels

    It pisses me off to hear people say that the people in the military died to protect our freedoms. Just exactly how were the people of Vietnam, Grenada, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. a threat to our freedom. I respect the service our military provides us but I just can’t justify how killing innocent people who mean us no harm protects us.

  • dono

    Yes! Thank you, BillDaniels. I’ve been saying this for years.

  • democommie

    I’ve not been asked to lead, or even recite, the PofA since whenever. If such a thing happened I would have to say:

    “No, thank you. I love my country (in the abstract, at least) I pay my taxesl; I served, honorably, in its military; I obey the law and I vote. If you do or have done all of those things then we are equals and the thoughtless rote recitation of a loyalty oath will not make either of us more patriotic. As for the “one nation under GOD” part? Well, fuck no. Oh, btw, if you support the crowdcompulsory Pledge AND have Teabaggist ideas about overthrowing the gummint you don’t like, well, fuck YOU, you hypocrite.”

    I’m guessing that I wouldn’t make it past the first half of that before people started shouting obscenities and threats.

  • tynk

    I served in the U.S. Army, a moment during my college life afterwords comes to mind.

    As I left my dorm on the way to my National Guard drill weekend, across the road were a loud group of people protesting the war (desert storm) and the military. I walked over and approached the loudest of the group. And I offered my hand to shake. He tentatively took it, at which point I said ” thank you. Your right to stand here and protest the government, and me, is why I joined the military.” I then smiled and continued on.

    The thing is, I think it was at that moment I realized that was why I joined.

    Those who decide what is and is not an insult to me, my family members who served, or the rest of those who served, voluntarily or not, need to step back a moment and listen to us. ALL OF US! And realize we are as diverse and unique as the civilian populace. And they have no right to decide what we think.