Take a knee? The West Hollywood City Council decided instead to take a pass.
City Councilmember Lauren Meister and her colleagues stood and gave their standard Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of tonight’s City Council meeting without acknowledging Meister’s recent question on on her Facebook page about whether they should do that. (@WeHoCity Shall we #TakeAKnee on Monday night? #RightToProtest #ImWithThem #WeHo)
In her Facebook post Meister was alluding to a movement launched by Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers in August of last year. Kaepernick decided to kneel rather than stand during the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner” before the start of a pre-season game to protest police brutality against African-Americans.
The West Hollywood City Council actually does not sing the Star Spangled Banner before its twice-monthly meetings. But Council members do stand and invite a local resident to lead them in the Pledge of Allegiance. Virtually all members of the audience in the City Council Chamber join them. So the question really was whether the City Council should give the Pledge of Allegiance, not sing a song it has never sung.
Meister’s post had gotten 55 responses on Facebook as of 7 p.m. tonight, with all but two positive. Nearly 500 people read a WEHOville story about Meister’s proposal, a story that attracted 30 comments from all sides of the issue.
While she didn’t “take a knee” or decline to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance at tonight’s Council meeting, Meister did speak up to say that she disagreed with those who have said it is disrespectful for people to do so.
Meister said every person should be able “to peacefully exercise your right” to express one’s self. What is disrespectful, Meister said, are President Donald Trump’s recent statements attacking NFL athletes who have decided to “take a knee” and his tweets attacking San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz who criticized Trump for describing the devastation wrought on Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria as a “good news story.”