20 thoughts on “LETTER: Open Letter from Town Councilor About Kneeling During Pledge of Allegiance

  1. “There is not a liberal America and a conservative America—there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America—there’s the United States of America.” -Barack Obama

    “There are children in our country who can not grow up expecting the same rights as other children, solely because of the color of their skin.” -Some idiot we just elected to town council

    Give me a break. In an already divided country, she is further ripping apart a community in an effort to make some sort of personal anti-Trump point. Children in this country and town are provided the same rights regardless of the color of their skin. Some children are born wealthier/poorer than others, and that’s part of the capitalistic society we live in. Locally, in the town she is supposed to be representing, all children are literally born with the same rights, same school system, and same community. Regardless of the color of their skin. Kneeling serves no productive purpose, we are all Americans and locally we all are working towards the common good.

    Whether or not you support President Trump, residents of Watertown like myself have no interest in these sort of divisive rhetoric. Did she kneel during her election process publicly? I can’t imagine our residents would have voted for that.

    Stop trying to score cheap political points and make the news, and do your job for your community.

    Cheers to making this dividing useless bureaucrat a 1 term councilor.

    A horrified resident

    • “Give me a break. In an already divided country, she is further ripping apart a community in an effort to make some sort of personal anti-Trump point. Children in this country and town are provided the same rights regardless of the color of their skin. ”

      John, forgive me if I assume incorrectly that you are a white person. However your comment makes me certain you are. Why don’t you ask an African American friend (if you might have any) about their opinion on your comment above?

      Sir, I believe that it is you who are doing the dividing. The Councillor was well within her 1st Amendment rights and I believe that most of Watertown agrees with that, whether or not they agree with the statement in its entirety. The hatred and bile pouring forth in some of these comments is sickening.

      • Joseph, what does the color of my skin matter? White people can’t think for themselves and make observations? Only black people can analyze the subject?

        If you read my full post- you would’ve seen my larger point. She’s not representing America, she’s representing Watertown. What kids in Watertown are born with different rights? None

        Obviously she’s legally allowed to do it, that’s not the argument I’m making. She’s entitled to freedom of speech as am I.

        My argument is that she’s a disgrace to our town by trying to get personal publicity instead of just shutting up, respecting her country and the town that elected her, and doing her job. If she’s so embarrassed, why doesn’t she leave the country?

        For the record, one of my best friends of the last 10 years is black.

  2. Caroline. Thank you for your explanation as to why you feel compelled to explain your total irreverence towards our American flag and all SHE represents. Your choice is not necessarily ours. And I will continue to respect the many freedoms SHE has afforded the thousands of Watertown residents who will continue to adore the very fabric of our community that you have attempted to tear away. Let me be clear. You individually will never tear us apart despite your best efforts. Your actions, while your personal beliefs, have no power over us. You diss us, your constituents. The ones who voted for you and who are now regretting their decision. Had you been truthful while you were campaigning about you true beliefs in our American justice system, I assure you there would never have been a need to explain your disgust for the true meaning of the privilege of representing us. You are not worthy of roll call or your seat behind the bar at the Town Council meetings. Please do us all a favor. Step down and allow another to represent OUR best interests and not YOURS.

  3. “I leave symbols for the symbol minded” — George Carlin
    People getting this bent out of shape about someone exercising their right to free speech need to find a new hobby.
    To me running for office and actually participating in our government shows much more patriotism than reciting a rote pledge.

  4. Dear Caroline,

    Thank you for representing and speaking to issues and concerns that represent many in this town. It’s clear that others find fault with what you do, which is fascinating as much as it is sad. I mean in the end, you respectfully disagree about whether a tenet of our social contract that we all but mandate children to pledge to is not being upheld by society (By the way–completely an aside and rhetorical question-why, in a country that totes freedom about like it’s Dunkin Donuts coffee, do we require a daily pledge of allegiance–that is, a textbook definition of indoctrination, no?).

    It’s unclear how your actions can be seen as divisive unless said people chose to ignore your meaning and come up with their own. Perhaps, they have decided, despite the overwhelming evidence of inequality in this country, that your willingness to speak to such truths is not something they are prepared to emotionally, socially, or intellectually consider. To which, I would say is why we need representatives like you all the more!

    Thank you for this,

  5. You are a town councilor. Keep the streets free of potholes and the school buses running on time. Enough of this political garbage, just do the rather mundane and necessary job of keeping the town running, ok?

  6. Shame on you John Kelly, good luck nana.
    You people seem to think that the resident Trump is making America great again when in fact he is THE biggest force behind ‘making America HATE again’ you are prime examples. Just look at yourselves. Caroline is making efforts to reach out to be true to herself and what she believes yet trying to not offend those like you who chose to be blind to experiences you have not known. Just because you have not witnessed it does not make it not true. I applaud Caroline for clearly trying to represent all sides. Contrary to your partisan statement Mr. Kelly. If you can’t see that it’s because of your hate towards the very people you say aren’t being discriminated against. I as a white man have been discriminated against. Just recently in fact so I applaud anyone who will stand for a true America for one and an America for all. That’s what I hear Caroline saying.
    PS Mr. Kelly, everyone should be making anti-Trump points though I heard non Caroline’s letter. Trump or Rump I call him ( T is silent like he is when it comes to representing anyone who is not himself or those that can help him).
    Rump has spent a life time stealing from others so he can have more. How anyone can not see that fact is beyond my understanding. I work hard not to be corrupted by the same hate that blinds Rump supporters. It’s hard so I get how hard it must be for those people to not get sucked into it from listening to Rumpian lies.
    Seek the truth and you will be set free.
    My public school teachers taught me to question. Always ask questions until you are sure you have the truth as best can be seen.
    It’s maybe the best thing about public education. Also the most endangered idea that’s being taken away by the funneling away of our $ from public school to Charter schools.
    Many charter schools are a front for religious education which teach people not to question but to just believe. That will I guarantee to be the death of America. A free America. The America which should be an opportunity for all but as some of us know, it is not and this year has gotten much less so.
    – from one who knows personally.
    John and Nana,
    I hope you seek out people who need help, who have been discriminated against.
    Go to shelters, food kitchens. There in grocery stores, many other places too.
    Listen to them. You will learn a lot.
    God bless 🙂

    • Your false assumption that I don’t already seek out people who need help in the community, town and country is the problem. Your blind automatic hatred for Trump and his supporters – literally written in your reply – makes you equally as disqualified to analyze this as you seem to think I am.

      For the record, I’m not a huge trump supporter, and I still think her actions are unnecessary and disrespectful to the town that elected her. She sure didn’t do this before her election.

  7. check out Boston Sunday Globe West weekly page 1 girl scouts saying the pledge of allegiance not one of them taking a knee! part 2 of knee gate councilor bays statement in the watertown tab making Watertown a welcoming city. just last year the previous councilor was bent on making our town a sanctuary city even when chief Lawn stated it wasn’t a problem, put it in writing and was stated by that councilor that it wasn’t good enough because if there was a change of police chiefs it may not be honored by the new one. only a bylaw or whatever would be good enough. so councilor Bays when you walk down the staircase from the chamber please stop & take the time to read the names of our forefathers on the pillars you’ll see the name of my grandfather to show how long my family has been here, as a kid I was active in helping out in campaigns in the town because of being a friend of the great Charlie Tobin’s family dropping leaflets on doors for some great people involved in this town that never had this kind of B/S going on! please lets get focused on the real important issues of the need for new schools not just rebuilding, just think i’d rather see my tax dollars go for a new school than a CPA tax, how about a single family home for a single family not a duplex or such, or maybe or maybe not the future loss of travel lanes in an about to become rather over developed town. thank you

  8. Mr. Aitcheson,
    You can post your political rhetoric all you want and can preach your beliefs to anyone who wants to hear them. That’s your right to do so. What many seem to be misunderstanding including you is it is not a constitutional right for anyone to do so in the workplace. In the private sector, any employer has the right to discipline, suspend, or terminate an employee for expressing political views on the employer premises during work or at any time the employee is conducting the business of the employer. The reasons employers have such rights is to prevent their workplace from becoming disruptive or possibly a hostile, divisive, and non-productive environment. It is also the employers right to protect the politically impartial image of the company. I can tell you that without a doubt I would be seriously disciplined or terminated at my place of employment for violating any of the company policies in this area. That’s the reality of working in the real world.
    I have no issues with Ms. Bays exercising her rights to express her views or to protest whatever she chooses to. I do have a problem with her intermingling it with the official business of the town of Watertown. That is a conflict of interest. She is a paid employee of the town, not a volunteer political activist. In her job as councilor at large, the entire town becomes the workplace. She has sworn to represent the best interests of all the towns’ people and not just any specific group(s) she may favor. Her actions have obviously created an angry, hostile, and divisive environment within the town. I don’t see this improving going forward and expect it to likely worsen. The town officials can be viewed as supporting and aligning with her political views if they permit the on the job political activism to continue. That would be an even bigger problem since it could reasonably imply that the town management and leadership are no longer politically impartial as a whole.
    I think this is now a matter for the Town Manager, the Town Council President, and the Town Attorney to review. I have clear rights to politically impartial town management and leadership as a taxpaying citizen. I will never accept that any of my paid taxes be used directly or indirectly to support any political agenda, ideology, or movement.

    • You bring up an interesting point–would you be expected to take the pledge of allegiance at work? Why do we think it should be a requirement or a ritual of any place of employment, public or private? After all, if it is a blind-pledge (which it is by the fact that people are expecting her to take it and just shut up–but pledges are typically supposed to be a choice and I would bet a significant amount of money that her job description she applied for did NOT require a pledge of allegiance).

      She has sworn to represent the best interests; that’s what all politicians do, so arguing that she has somehow not done that or needs to be reviewed seems to indicate that elected officials are always supposed to do exactly what the public wants–a proposition that is impossible.

      I would be curious as to where you find your “clear rights to politically impartial town management and leadership”. What laws or case laws are you actually drawing upon in making that claim or is that just what you assume is a right? Honestly, because every person in a government (and citizen) for that matter is acting directly or indirectly on their own political agenda, ideology, or movement. To pretend otherwise is like pretending one can live without oxygen.

  9. Taking a knee is the new “Thoughts and prayers. It’s an action that requires no follow through, signals some sort of virtue for the person kneeling and that’s about it. Kneeling does nothing. Improve the town, improve the country, let that be your action. Kneeling is vapid and useless. It’s the illusion of contribution. Why not just dab?

    • I know about nations who with/through prayers and tears washed away the oppressive stains from the flag….Only in the manner you point out, those type of actions will lead one on the Moon, possibly on Mars and maybe at the end of the Universe; and guess what! a science teacher usually says there is NOTHING beyond the end of the Universe! There, there is no detergent’s chemical formula to wash clean the human heart! So, if I understand from your statement that a person should not admire another person who prays in public (please notice that neither you nor I speak about where in public!!) than I guess I am just in the wrong discussion……sorry

  10. I appreciate Councilor Bays’ act of conscience kneeling during the Pledge of Allegiance. There is a lot that anyone who participates in the political and community life of our town can wish for –and can do. Why would her actions diminish my values? They might make me think beyond the usual, which they did. They might make me try to dedicate a little more time to seeing my values represented in the world we live in. The Councilor and I may not always agree on particular votes and issues (and I’ll try to find out why), but I voted for her because I believe that our values and goals are the same. Now let’s just see if Councilor Bays does the work and the listening that will make her position in Watertown useful and positive, open-minded and just. We should all aim to do the same.

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