The president of the Santa Barbara City College Board of Trustees has stopped reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at board meeting over its ties to “white nationalism.”
According to a report from Campus Reform, President Robert Miller of the Santa Barbara City College Board of Trustees says that the board will no longer cite the Pledge of Allegiance because it is racist.
“I decided to discontinue use of the Pledge of Allegiance for reasons related to its history and symbolism,” Miller said in an email correspondence with a professor at the college. “I have discovered that the Pledge of Allegiance has a history steeped in expressions of nativism and white nationalism.”
But that’s not all. Miller said that the Pledge of Allegiance violates the separation of church and state principle upon which America was founded.
“I also object to the phrase ‘one nation under God,’” Miller added in the email. “The First Amendment not only protects freedom of speech and religion [but] it also expressly prohibits laws that establish a religion. The U.S. Supreme Court has expressly extended those rights to those who express no belief in God. Thus, I disagree with the 1955 act of Congress to add this phrase to the Pledge of Allegiance.”
Professor Celeste Barber is not a fan of Miller’s decision to ban the pledge at board meetings. When she appeared before the board to criticize Miller’s ban, a group of student protesters began shouting at her, attempting to drown her voice out.
“You are an elected body at a public institution at a public institution serving a community college,” Barber said during the board meeting. “When you recite the Pledge of Allegiance, you are recommitting your oath to uphold and defend this country’s constitution.”
A former student at Santa Barbara City College told Campus Reform that Miller’s decision is proof that the college does not care about American values.
“All it really was is proof in print that they officially disregard America,” the student said. “[Miller] says in his email that he would rather pledge allegiance to the Constitution and that’s great and all that but if that really was the case, why [does] he and the rest of Santa Barbara City College embrace removing different aspects of the First Amendment? Why do they not openly embrace the Second Amendment if they’re so enamored by the Constitution?”