As millions Tuesday celebrated the anniversary of America's Declaration of Independence, a comedian and blogger hopped online and made a very different kind of declaration.
Angie Grace wrote that she recently told her daughters, ages 10 and 8, that they can stop saying the Pledge of Allegiance at their Los Angeles-area public school.
"They can stand with the rest of the class if they want, but they don't have to recite the pledge or salute the flag," Grace noted. "When they asked why, I explained to them what's been going on in the news lately. I told them about Ferguson, about Philando Castile and Sandra Bland."
Grace said she then told her daughters that "when young black men lose their lives as the result of a police shooting, the police aren't always held accountable for their actions."
She added that her family is half-black and half-Latino, and "I said I didn't feel comfortable pledging allegiance to a country that regularly disregards the lives of people of color like us, and my kids seemed to understand my position."
Not that Grace has barred her kids from reciting the Pledge — she wrote that she'd let them if they wanted to — and that "sometimes kids want to do what other kids are doing, and they might want to say the Pledge just so they won't be ostracized by the other students."
More from Grace's piece:
I love America, and I am happy we get to live in this country, but I was not raised to be patriotic. People in my family have served in the military (my uncles and my grandfather all fought in wars), and I have tremendous respect for veterans. But it's hard to teach my children to be blindly patriotic in light of how much we have had to question our own safety in this country lately.
Now that Donald Trump is President and executive orders like the travel ban are now officially in effect, things are much harder for people of color in the United States. On top of that, police officers still continue to shoot innocent black men. As recently as last week, a police officer was acquitted for shooting and killing Philando Castile. How can I teach my children to respect the flag of a country where our lives don't matter? Where I'm constantly afraid of being stopped by a police officer for no good reason?
She also said NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick was "brave" last season for taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem before games to call attention to racism — and that his controversial move inspired her own stance.
"My daughters seem to understand my reasoning," Grace continues. "They tell me that at school, they don't say the words and they don't put their hands over their hearts, but they still stand with the other kids. So far, no one has said anything to us, and none of my kids have gotten in any trouble, though they do say they've gotten some weird looks from other kids."
(H/T: Heat Street)