This I think is an impressive young woman who for many of her own reasons and as a member of the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation refused to be coerced into a pledge that she fundamentally disagrees with by a rather strident nationalist teacher.
“After I said I was not going to participate, my teacher raised her voice and said she refused to educate ungodly and unpatriotic students,” said Fields. “She was angry and told me that I needed to take an online course to better understand why I needed to participate.”
Fields continued, “After I refused to pledge to the flag, my teacher removed me from class by taking me into the hallway in direct view of some of the students. My teacher questioned me and screamed at me about how her father missed a year of her life in Vietnam and how her husband was an Afghanistan war veteran.”
It seems this teacher doesn’t understand the “Freedom of Speech” includes the ability to not speak when one chooses to. She doesn’t get that the pledge is not part of the Constitution, and that supporting our vets has nothing to do with the flag, but instead it has to do with preservation of the values and freedoms that the Constitution protects.
Including freedom of speech.
Fields is a survivor of sexual assault and last year attended the White House Summit of Violence against women didn’t make this decision out of ignorance, she knows what she was doing and has her reasons why.
Fields is active in social justice work, and has been involved in anti-rape advocacy work. She marched at the Oklahoma women’s march in support of Native Rape Survivors and the Violence Against Women Act with a sign that read, “1 in 3 Native women are raped. I did NOT ask to be the ONE.”
“As a Native youth, I do not agree that there is liberty and justice for all people,” Fields said of her decision to not pledge or stand. “To tell me such a thing and bring into question my rights to take a stance is in direct violation of the First Amendment and West Virginia State School Board Vs. Barnette. Such behavior by a teacher also violates the Religious Freedom Act of 1978, as it questions my beliefs.”
“Religious Freedom” — something that Donald Trump and Michael Pence say they care for deeply, except perhaps when a football player decides to sit down or kneel for the national anthem, then they say they should “maybe find some other country” — but I think young people like Ms. Fields is exactly the kind of person of convictions and courage we want in America.
Apparently Trump only cares about “free speech” and being “political incorrect” when someone is saying something false and bigoted about minorities.