The other night I was sitting in a lecture with three hundred other students, when our professor was talking about our individual morals, and how everyone has different views. I was listening intently on her discussion, and how she was relating it back to the overall class of human reproduction.
Until she said something that literally made my mouth drop.
I'm all for the first amendment, I believe it's one of the things that makes our country so great. But, I believe that what this professor had said, in front of three hundred students, is something that is completely unacceptable.
My professor began to tell our class how she has very old views on life, until she finished with something that made me want to pull up a list of all the soldiers that have lost their lives for her... for her to say something so disrespectful.
My professor said that she believes people have the right to burn the American flag.
When my professor said this my mouth dropped, and I'm not exaggerating. So to my professor, who said something that is extremely disrespectful, extremely un-American, and something that no professional individual should say, this is a letter to you.
To My Professor,
People in our country have the right to do what they want to do, be who they want to be, and say what they want to say. I think that's one of the many things that makes this country so great.
Now, notice how I said people have the freedom to say what they want to say. But I, along with many others, believe that when it comes to your beliefs, you keep them to yourself. You keep these beliefs from your class of three hundred students, some of these students who lost their parents, grandparents, and friends overseas.
A few nights ago, you told my class how you believe people have the right to burn the American flag. This is not only disrespectful to our country, but to the soldiers that serve our country. Is this something you should be discussing with your class when you're supposed to be setting a professional example for us? When you're supposed to be teaching us on a totally different subject, one that has nothing to do with the American flag? You would think for someone who's highly educated, you would know all this.
Have you lost a family member or a friend over seas? If not, please tell someone who has lost someone they care about, what you just told our entire class.
The American flag isn't just a flag. The American flag represents our freedom, it represents the lives that have been lost overseas fighting for every single American, and it represents the greatest country in the world.
You say that people have the right to burn the American flag, but why? Why is it okay for someone to burn what represents our country's freedom, everything this country allows us to become, a country that isn't controlling every aspect of our lives. If someone has the nerve to burn the American flag, while living here in America, then leave. No one is begging for you to stay, and if you think America is such a bad country, then why are you still here? Why do you feel the need to burn a flag? What is that accomplishing, besides reaching the highest level of disrespect?
Tell the five-year-old boy who just lost his dad overseas that it's okay for people to burn our flag. When his father was fighting for what that flag represents. That father had missed out on his son's birthday, Christmas with his family, and every other important event. This father will not get to see his son graduate high school, see him get into his dream school and watch him get married.
Tell it to the women that lost her two lower limbs due to an explosion, did she want that to happen? No, obviously not, but you know what she wanted? She wanted to fight for that flag, for our country, for our freedom and for the people of this nation. That's what she signed up to do, and I'm sure she would go back and do it all over again.
That's what us Americans do.
These soldiers aren't fighting overseas to have people say things like this, especially to a large crowd.
Professor, you get to go to sleep peacefully every night, you get to go home to your family, something that these brave individuals don't get to do.
When you look at that American flag, you shouldn't just see a flag. You should see the lives that have been lost fighting for what you have today, you should see the families' whose lives have been drastically changed because they lost their parent, or their child. You should see the lives we get to live here in America, compared to the countries that don't allow their people to have the freedom, and all the rights that we do.
You telling us that people have the right to burn the American flag is telling us that these people's lives don't matter, that our freedom doesn't matter and that everything that this country stands for and represents doesn't matter.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and that's why I'm here voicing how I felt when you said this to our entire class.
I hope one day you realize that things you say to your students changes their outlook on the way you teach, the type of individual you are. I hope you realize that the flag is more than just some fabric sewn together, that freedom isn't free, and what that flag stands for.
An outraged student and a proud American.