Player turns back on flag

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Pastor_Bob, Feb 24, 2003.

  1. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob
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    Associated Press

    February 23, 2003

    PURCHASE, N.Y. -- An NCAA Division III college basketball player who turns away from the U.S. flag during the national anthem was jeered by flag-waving students at a road game, even while she was on the bench.

    Toni Smith, a senior at Manhattanville College, was booed at Mount St. Mary at a game Thursday night.

    Smith is protesting "that the government's priorities are not on bettering the quality of life for all of its people, but rather on expanding its own power." She has turned away from the flag all season.

    Before Thursday's game, the Mount St. Mary student government handed out small flags before the game. More than 500 people filled the small gym, and jeered Smith at every opportunity.

    At the end of the game between Manhattanville and Mount St. Mary, the crowd sang "God Bless America."

    When Manhattanville played at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy on Feb. 11, more than 300 flag-waving midshipmen greeted Smith with chants of "USA" and "Leave our country."

    When Smith picked up two fouls in the first three minutes and was benched, the crowd chanted, "We want Toni," according to The Journal News.

    "For some time now, the inequalities that are embedded into the American system have bothered me. As they are becoming progressively worse and it is clear that the government's priorities are not on bettering the quality of life for all of its people, but rather on expanding its own power, I cannot, in good conscience, salute the flag," Smith said in a statement released Thursday.

    Manhattanville president Richard Berman said he told Smith "what she's doing is courageous and difficult."
     
  2. stubbornkelly

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    Good for her for not standing down under pressure.
     
  3. Bro. James Reed

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    She has the right not to salute, and we have the right to jeer at her. God Bless America. [​IMG]
     
  4. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    Love it or leave it! :rolleyes:
     
  5. stubbornkelly

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    Is "work to change it" not an option, then?

    I love this country enough to want to change the way things are. I love it enough to let it be known that I'm not happy with some of the policies enacted by our government. It seems that many on this board do as well, including many of those with similar sentiments as yours, Sue. Otherwise, why would we have so many threads about "going back to basics" and "restoring the country to its Christian roots?" Love it or leave it, right? Or is it somehow different when what you like is that being protested?

    A country should grow and change. If ours had not, we'd still be selling people into slavery, restricting the education of women, and letting little children work in factories. Love it or leave it?
     
  6. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    How is turning your back on the flag going to change any policies? To me, that is nothing but a lack of respect and will accomplish nothing.
     
  7. stubbornkelly

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    " . . . to let it be known . . . "

    She's letting it be known. If her school is going to raise the flag, and she's a player, the school's action represents her, unless she does something about it. Raising and saluting the flag indicates pride, at least connotatively. Her doing nothing would be an act of acceptance, and she clearly does not accept what's going on with our country.

    We can't all do all the things we'd like to do. I can't go to Capitol hill every day and lobby my representatives - not if I want to eat. Similarly, this young woman is working to finish her education. Who knows what she will do once she has her degree. For now, she's doing something she can do. Making a public statement, even silent, as this one, can actually have a big impact. To see someone else with the courage to buck the system in such a visible way can be inspiring to those who might have simply sat back and said, "I can't change anything, so what's the use."
     
  8. Pastor_Bob

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    IMO, she is turning her back on the nation that gives her the right to turn her back. Men and women have died for the right to express themselves like this girl is. I don't think she fully realizes the freedoms that she enjoys by being a US citizen.

    The very fact that she can respond this way without severe repercussions gives credence to the fact that she lives in a great country. I think there is a better way to voice your disapproval than to turn your back on the symbol of the freedoms we enjoy everyday.
     
  9. Gina B

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    As Christians, are we obligated to support our country and officials in their decisions, or would it be appropriate if we expressed disagreement in a manner like this?
    Gina
     
  10. go2church

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    Gina, what if the country is anti-God, do we support them as well? Obviously not, so that shows there are limits to the support that Christians can show toward the government.

    The fact that she has been doing this all season tells me this is not a publicity stunt.

    I have tremendous problems with the foreign policy of this country. The agreements with countries (ie Saudi Arabia) that allow and even endorse the killing of Christians is detestable. That a country as corrupt as China could have "most favored nations" trading staus is mind-boggling. As great as this country is there is still much work to be done. I think this is what she is trying to say. Each year I show my displeasure in the voting booth, she has chosen to show her's in another manner. I view it much in the same light as I would the Boston Tea Party. What good did throwing tea into the ocean really do? Well I tell you, it sure got everyones attention! To parapharse "For tyranny to exist all that must happen is for good people to do nothing." She is doing what she feels she must, the same as any of you.
     
  11. Bro. James Reed

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    As I said before, she has every right to protest. I would never infringe on her right to do so. In fact, I have protested a few times myself! That said, I also have the right, when I'm not in agreement with her to tell her so.

    Besides, I think the message being sent to her by the other students was that they support the war effort. Otherwise, they wouldn't have been so fired up against her and singing "God Bless America."

    When I have protested, I have had many tell me, not in very nice words, that they don't agree with me. They are protesting my protest. We all have the right ot do that. That's what living in America lets us do.

    I don't like that she won't look at the flag, so I have the right to tell her that I think she is wrong. Then again, I am not going to stop her from doing it. It's her right. Make sense?

    Hope everyone can comprehend what I just said.

    God Bless. Bro. James
     
  12. tyndale1946

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    First of all my Grandfather in WWI... Dad in WWII... And me in Vietnam fought honorably for her right to turn her back on her America and the flag Old Glory its stands for... That said... Put her in a Marine Corp uniform... Give her a rifle... Ship her to Afganistan... And let her turn her back on the American Flag over there :eek: ... A basketball game is a piece of cake! :D ... Brother Glen... Once A Marine... Always A Marine [​IMG]
     
  13. Abiyah

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    America: love it or leave it.

    There was a time when I jeered that statement and
    those who said it. Funny -- I have caught myself
    thinking it a few times lately.

    People who make this statement, for the most
    part, do not believe that some things should not
    change; rather, it is a protest statement against
    those who deride our country without working
    toward solution and/or who mistreat its flag, which
    represents the blood and bravery of those who
    fought and/or died for our freedom.

    If someone doesn't like something about our
    country, they should do the actual work for
    change, not just make a lot of noise or do things
    to draw attention to themselves.

    If the woman wants to make an honest statement
    against something, there are many far more
    effective avenues she could take, other than her
    little silent-treatment/tantrum.
     
  14. Ben W

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    Her protest has obviously worked, Rightly or Wrongly we are talking about the issue she is campaigning for.
     
  15. j_barner2000

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    While I never saw combat, I served in the Army. I take the vow I ascribed to very seriously. I will defend our flag and the constitution it stands for. Period. That is the same constitution which assures her right to disrespect our flag. It also assures my right to tell her she is protesting in an inappropriate manner.
     
  16. christine

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    I'm sure if this girl wanted an interview to state her opinions on things, someone would give her one. If nothing else she could sit out of game representing the US. (oh wait, she would not get any money then!)
    Turning your back on the flag, or refusing to salute, is blatant disrespect for our country. No matter if you agree with the politics or not, you should always respect the country and our flag.
    let her go to some of the protests (i'm sure there are enough out there), let her stand in the cold, pace around for hours like the others that don't agree, or would this be too much for her to do to take her stand. It's easier to turn your back, in a warm stadium and collect money from the same country you disrespect.
    Retired US Navy
     
  17. Abiyah

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    Actually, Ben, she has not succeeded in making
    a proper protest. We are all here talking about
    Her, not her Issues. I have even forgotten what
    her issue was, and, not being interested, I am not
    going to bother to find out what it was. 8o)

    There are ways to do things right, and she has not
    chosen one of them.
     
  18. Abiyah

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    This whole thing reminds me of a segment on
    Animal Planet that I watched the day before
    yesterday. It was supposed to be about
    people's pets, but the one I saw was more
    about the pet-owner and her deep need for
    attention.

    She had an unusual pet, and she took it
    everywhere. She never talked about the joys of
    having her pet; it was all about her joy of getting
    attention because of the pet. The segment
    showed her in various areas, as well as driving
    about with her pet, and the camera showed how
    she would look about to see who was giving her
    attention. The lady needed a psychiatrist, not a
    pet.

    If this young lady wanted to really effect policy,
    several ideas for how she could do it have been
    mentioned here. Rather, she may just need a
    little attention.

    Wonder if she has an unusual pet she takes about.
     
  19. RomOne16

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    Our flag is a symbol of our great nation. When you disrespect the flag (IMO), you are disrespecting the generations of men and women who forfeited life and limb to defend the freedoms our flag stands for.

    Because of those very freedoms, citizens of this country have the right to such displays of disrespect, but thankfully, the rest of us have the right to let them know how we feel about it.

    May God continue to bless our great nation.
     
  20. Mike McK

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    I'm not a big letter writer, but I fired one off to the president of the school.

    Here it is:

    Dear Sir,

    I am very disappointed at the position your school has taken regarding our flag, especially now that our nation is in a time of national emergency. You may try to distance yourselves from the seditious actions of Ms. Smith but the fact remains that, when she wears your uniform, she is representing your school. For you to allow her to show such revolting disrespect to our flag and to those who rest beneath it, you are not merely supporting her right to free speech, but tacitly condoning and even supporting the speech itself.

    Whatever she (and, by logical extension, you) may think about the current hostilities we find ourselves in, the flag doesn't represent the president, Congress or our national policies. It represents our ideals of liberty and the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have given their lives to defend your right to desecrate their memory and to mock this nation which has given hope to so many around the world.

    To be honest, I'm not sure which disturbs me more: that you would permit her actions to be carried out in your name or that your school has not educated her in the history and nature of our country.

    As a concerned American, I am asking you to either censure her or to demand that she not use your school's uniform and the good name of your school as a platform for her controversial speech.

    Sincerely,
    Michael McK*****


    I would encourage you all to write the president at: [email protected]
     

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