Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Twenty for twenty: Number 5.



Please remain standing.

Back in the 80's at my Southern California high school, every single day we started the morning the same way: By standing and reciting the pledge of allegiance. First in English and then in Spanish. Every. Single. Day.

Yep.

After we finished the English version, the person on the PA system would say in this booming voice, "PLEASE REMAIN STANDING." After that, came a chorus of Spanish--from everyone. The nerds. The jocks. The gangsters. The mean girls. The popular kids. The weirdos. The new wavers. Even the teachers. It was actually pretty cool. Back then we thought nothing of it but now I realize the symbolism in those three words:

PLEASE REMAIN STANDING.

It was so unifying and was an act of inclusion. Every single kid in our school recited those words together. And whether you are a fan of the pledge of allegiance or not--somethng about a few hundred (unilingual) kids speaking Spanish in unison with their bilingual sisters and brothers is kind of powerful. I bet you every kid who went to Morningside High while I was there STILL remembers saying this every day:

"PLEASE REMAIN STANDING. . . .

Juro fidelidad a la bandera de Los Estados Unidos de América
Y a la república que representa
una sola nación bajo de Dios 
indivisible con libertád
y justicia para todos."

I stand with the DREAMERS, man. Indivisible con libertád y justicia para todos.

Para TODOS.

Yeah.

***

2 comments:

  1. Wish I had attended your high school. LN

    ReplyDelete
  2. I attended first grade in El Paso, Texas, and we did the same thing! (Sadly, the schools in Oklahoma -- where we moved after that -- did not embrace everyone like this.) PS: Glad you're back, Doc!

    ReplyDelete

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