Hillary Clinton expressed her support on Wednesday of an 11-year-old girl who kneeled during the Pledge of Allegiance, telling her to “keep up the good work.”
The two-time failed presidential candidate was responding to a video about Mariana Taylor, a sixth grade student at a Baltimore County, Maryland, middle school, which explained the girl was reprimanded by her teacher over her protest during the pledge.
“It is in my rights that I am allowed to kneel,” said Taylor, who modeled her demonstration after former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who did the same during the National Anthem to protest racial injustice.
According to a Washington Post report about the girl, Taylor has “strong beliefs about racial injustice, sexism, gay rights and President Trump’s proposed wall at the Mexico border."
“I kind of wanted to show people that what’s going on is not okay,” she told the paper.
But the reaction to the girl’s protest has touched off questions about school policies and students’ rights that have reverberated beyond her classroom at Catonsville Middle School. She and her family say a teacher reprimanded and humiliated her, in earshot of other students. Her parents became involved, as did the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland. […]
The conflict goes back to February, shortly after Mariana had written a paper about Kaepernick for an English class. She says she was asked to write about a person she admired, and she chose the quarterback.
“He stood up for what he believed in even though he could get fired,” she said.
On the third day of her taking a knee, she said, her teacher told her the rule was to stand and that she should stand to honor the good things in America, rather than worry about injustice. The teacher also mentioned having family overseas and said Mariana was disrespecting the country by kneeling, according to a detailed letter from the ACLU. (WaPo)
In tweeting out the video, Clinton said “it takes courage to exercise your right to protest injustice, especially when you’re 11!”
It takes courage to exercise your right to protest injustice, especially when you’re 11! Keep up the good work Mariana. https://t.co/vnGheuWyJ0— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 15, 2018
This is not the first time the former secretary of state has defended kneeling, saying last October that Trump’s criticisms of NFL players kneeling are “very clear dog whistles” to his base.
"Actually, kneeling is a reverent position," Clinton said. "It was to demonstrate in a peaceful way against racism and injustice in our criminal system,” she continued, noting that the protests are “not against our anthem or our flag.”