NORMAN, Okla. (CBS Local) — A student government body at the University of Oklahoma passed a resolution last week removing the Pledge of Allegiance from its agenda after some members argued it represents a history of oppression of minorities.
The Undergraduate Student Congress approved the resolution Tuesday night by a vote of 15-11, stating the pledge “was written for the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America, ignoring Columbus’ occupation and abuse of natives and their land.”
“It was written as a celebration of Columbus Day in 1892, and in the city of Norman we don’t celebrate Columbus Day, we celebrate Indigenous People’s Day,” OU senior Gabi Thompson, who authored the resolution, told KFOR.
After lengthy debate, the Undergraduate Student Congress passed a bill during last night's meeting removing the Pledge of Allegiance from the congressional agenda: https://t.co/aj53izJxSY
— OU Daily (@OUDaily) September 25, 2019
The resolution also stated the pledge “is incompatible with the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment as pledging your allegiance to the flag of the United States as one nation under God conflicts to our rights to free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, and to petition the government for redress of grievances.”
But critics of the resolution argue the pledge represents the flag and national unity.
“Not reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is un-American,” UO senior Sophie Brousseau said.
“I think that’s just pretty much a load of crap,” UO student Philip Aldridge said.
Despite the criticism, Thompson is standing behind her resolution.
“I realized that there would be no better place for me to (make) some change than where I’ve been the entire time I’ve been at OU,” she told the UO Daily.