I am disgusted with the St. Louis Park (Minn.) City Council whose spokesperson said about a recent vote that the Pledge of Allegiance would not be said at all council meetings as “an effort to serve a more diverse community.” 

Well I might be wrong, but no matter your ethnicity you are an American unless you are either a legal or illegal immigrant. In either of those cases, neither should be put off by the host nation’s citizens pledging allegiance. I had a high school social studies teacher ask each student his -- an all-boys school not to be considered politically incorrect -- nationality. We had students of many ethnicities in the class and he emphasized that ethnicity was different from nationality. He stressed we were all Americans no matter of religion or race. 

I think that this is an important point. Granted there have been many dark periods and practices in this country; slavery, Jim Crow laws, a Civil War that tore this country apart, the Indian wars, mistreatment of coal miners, prejudicial treatment of the Chinese, Japanese, Poles, Irish, Jews and many other nationalities and religions. But, we grew and corrected and are correcting these for the betterment of the republic. 

I would like to call out the St. Louis Park City Council and ask, “why?” No one, and I mean no one, should be affronted if the pledge is recited. It should be to remind us all that this is America, and as Americans we should be loyal even if critical of our country. Americans one and all should unite in this activity and pledge our allegiance. Be critical, but be loyal.

Charles Smith


Editor’s note: According to media reports, the St. Louis Park City Council is revisiting its decision to drop the Pledge of Allegiance from its council meetings. The council is expected to tackle the issue at a July 8 meeting.