Liberty & Justice for All

Via Progressive Puppy: “A ten-year-old Arkansas boy named Will Phillips has taken a stand for gay rights by refusing to take the Pledge of Allegiance at his local elementary school. He figures that since ‘liberty and justice for all’ doesn’t apply to LGBT folks, he’s not going to recite something that he knows is a lie.”

Will told the Arkansas Times that he hoped to be a lawyer one day and when the newspaper asked him what it means to be American, he replied: “Freedom of speech. The freedom to disagree. That’s what I think pretty much being an American represents.” Indeed.

I’d like to see this kid in a death-cage, um, debating match with that insufferable conservative wunderkind Jonathan Krohn (although he’s got a few years on the even younger Will so it might not be an entirely fair match-up…).

But seriously, it’s encouraging to see kids of this young age alive to the issues around them… And not only being aware, but then actually speaking, writing and acting on their beliefs. It takes a lot of courage, especially at that age, to stick one’s head up over the parapet of dull conformity, regardless of what your political inclinations may happen to be, and take a principled stand for the civil rights of others.

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11 Comments

Filed under Civil Rights

11 responses to “Liberty & Justice for All

  1. Good for him. It’s great that a kid is allowed to think for himself.

    You are not born a bigot….bigotry is taught.

  2. Jerome Bastien

    Yes, good for him.

    Just curious Red Tory, what is your stance on s.13 of the Human Rights Act?

    RuralSandi:
    That is an interesting point you make re: being born a bigot or not. I have a 10 month old daughter, who is clearly more distraught when she is handed to one of my non-white friends. I dont know, maybe she got the racist gene, maybe kids are just more comfortable with people who look more like their own parents.

  3. Jerome — I’m pretty much of a free speech absolutist, so I’d favour abolishing it (per Bill M-446). Of course, if it’s a case of incitement to violence, that’s another matter and there are specific criminal provisions to deal with that.

  4. Jerome Bastien

    Thanks RedTory, Im glad to hear it. I share that view as well.

    That puts you in a very exclusive club amongst libloggers.

  5. Jerome Bastien – it’s probably because she is not used to it. The more it happens, the more it would become familiar and not out of the norm

  6. Jerome Bastien

    RuralSandi:

    exactly right. so i would just qualify your statement: hateful bigotry is taught, unease with those who are different might be natural, and can be dissipated with exposure.

  7. Ti-Guy

    I see Bastien is riding is favourite hobby-horses….

  8. how do you know a bigot’s a bigot (aside from the obvious)? by the lengths he’ll go to rationalize bigotry.

    can i get an “amen”, ti-guy?

    KEvron

  9. Ti-Guy

    Ameen.

    *ululates*

  10. landjforall

    Will,

    Your right not not recite the Pledge is enshrined, not just in the First Amendment, but in the Supreme Court ruling West Virginia v. Barnette. I encourage you to cite this ruling in addition to your first amendment rights when you state your right to not stand. You go, Little Dude!

  11. takedeadaim

    I can agree with the sentiment that it’s increasingly important for kids to have a defendable opinion of the issues of their time (since increasing most kids don’t, although i’d say we should start with adults before we move on to the kids).

    And obviously one isn’t and shouldn’t be forced to recite the pledge.

    But i imagine that most of the grinning over this clip is based on how much it probably pisses off conservatives.

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