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US boy scout takes a knee during Pledge of Allegiance in protest against racism

US boy scout takes a knee during Pledge of Allegiance in protest against racism

A 10-year-old boy scout who dropped to his knees while leading the Pledge of Allegiance at a city council meeting in North Carolina has attracted significant media attention. 

Liam Holmes made the silent protest popularised by NFL players at the meeting in Durham earlier this week. ,

“What I did was took a knee against racial discrimination, which is basically when people are mean to other people of different colours,” he told the WNCN news channel. 

Durham Mayor Steve Schewel began the meeting by thanking the boy.

He said: “To the scout that expressed his conscience by kneeling, we will say that we endorse and appreciate all expressions of conscience in the Durham City Council.”

Liam’s father, Scott, told the CBS 17 news channel that his son had talked with him about the protest beforehand. But Scott said he wasn’t sure whether his son would follow through with the idea.

“When he did it, I was really surprised, but also really proud,” he told the station. In a separate interview with the Raleigh News & Observer newspaper, he said that the family was overwhelmed by the media coverage.

The decision to kneel during the pledge of allegiance, or the national anthem, has been a lightning rod of discussion over the last few years.

The practice began after Colin Kaepernick, then a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, first kneeled to protest the police shootings of unarmed black men.

 It spread through the NFL and took on intense political and cultural dimensions as it reverberated through the country’s partisan media echo chambers.

Donald Trump has criticised those who took part on several occasions.

The issue has since faded from the forefront of the national conversation, but remains a sensitive issue.

In their report covering Liam’s protest in Durham, CBS 17 included the comments of a veteran and former scout who had reached out to the organisation to express his displeasure Liam’s actions.

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“I just don’t understand why it has to be during the Pledge of Allegiance,” Brandon LaRoque told the news outlet.

A reporter, anticipating the response that the outlet’s story would cause, asked Liam to respond to people who might not support his actions.

“Well, those people just don’t listen,” the 10-year-old said.

The Washington Post

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