As I read Markwayne Mullin’s article in today’s, 6/12, Claremore Progress regarding HIS understanding of the “Pledge of Allegiance” I agreed with much of what he wrote but was upset by what he left out. Was he being intentional by neglecting the key phrase, “...and justice for all”? Does he intend to represent all of us or just those who agree with him? I challenge him to present his understanding of the word “all” and the word “justice” in what he so carefully overlooked, “...and justice for all.”He also conveniently substituted the word, “freedom” for “liberty”.

One interpretation of liberty entails the responsible use of freedom under the rule of law without depriving anyone else of their freedom. Freedom is often taken as more broad in that it represents a total lack of restraint or the unrestrained ability to fulfill one’s desires. In today’s times the use of the words “all” and “justice” are to be taken very seriously when considering that only 99 years ago the burning and looting of black businesses & homes by white rioters in Tulsa in 1921 and the killing of many black citizens.

I recall remarks made in one of the books I read about this atrocity was that whites carrying their loot out of black homes were heard to say, these people don’t deserve such fine things. Does “all” include the liberty taken from the man recently murdered under the knee of the law officer or the two kids hassled for jaywalking while just a few miles away people jaywalk-while-White in my neighborhood every day it’s not raining or too cold.

Yes, our flag is an aspirational symbol far from being fulfilled when we lie to our school children by omission by not telling the honest disgraceful acts our nation has committed against Native Americans as the trail of tears, and Black Americans as slavery and Jim Crow laws as well as the excessive exploitation and misuse of people and resources.

The list of our nations injustices are very long & ugly. Germany, for example, does a superior job of educating their youth about their national injustices then our nation. I respect the need for patriotism, and our great nation does have a lot to be proud of, but patriotism not balanced by our nations missteps is basically propaganda.

Ken Seidel


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