Immigration activist Cesar Vargas, the co-chairman of the Dream Action Coalition, penned an extraordinarily misguided (and arrogant) op-ed for The Hill this week in which he argued that it was time for the United States to do away with our old, musty, “racist” Pledge of Allegiance and replace it with something a little more palatable to his tastes.
Get your barf bag ready.
From The Hill:
The pledge’s history is deeply rooted in nativism and white supremacy. Composed in 1892 by the minister Francis Bellamy, the pledge sought to define “true Americanism” that didn’t include people of color and immigrants particularly those coming from southern and eastern Europe.
At worst, the pledge’s disturbing history excludes countless communities, including my own family. At best, reciting the pledge has become a perfunctory exercise of rote memorization.
Our pledge of allegiance should be rooted in optimism, not stem from the fear of a white native-born Protestant culture. It is time to upgrade our pledge so we can truly recite words that live up to a nation that takes pride in our immigrant heritage and equality of all Americans.
It might have been advisable for Vargas to stop there, read over what he had written, consider how his words might be taken by those who think that illegal immigration is ruining our nation, and put the entire document in his computer’s recycle bin. Barring that, he would have been well-off to leave the “rewritten” Pledge of Allegiance up to the reader’s imagination.
Alas, he didn’t do that either.
“Amending the Constitution is a difficult political and procedural endeavor. However, upgrading our expression to our country and each other should not be,” he wrote. “The upgraded version should read: ‘I pledge allegiance and love to our indigenous and immigrant heritage, rooted in the United States of America, to our civil rights for which we strive, one voice, one nation, for equality and justice for all.’
We don’t particularly see this pledge catching on outside Vargas’s home (and perhaps certain cliques within the University of California, Berkeley), but if it should ever happen to replace the version of the pledge we have now, we might have to finally bite the bullet and join those NFL players in taking a knee. Not because this version is so inherently offensive (although it has some problems) but because it is a slap of disrespect to the nation that our forefathers built – the nation that we have enjoyed, thrived within, and loved dearly our entire lives. We will not trade that for some thinly-disguised progressive agenda. Not today.