By Kinsley Kurtz, Contributor
Apparently, singing is now considered an act of potential terrorism…
That’s the cold, harsh reality that people leaving the nation’s capital on Thursday, January 7th, received after attempting to sing The Star-Spangled Banner on a United Airlines flight leaving the D.C. area.
Reportedly, these “rabble-rousers” were wearing red MAGA hats, chanting “U.S.A.,” and singing the national anthem in an attempt to lift spirits after the recent violence left many rally attendees frustrated and disappointed. Many who were on the flight reported that chanting and singing did not get out of hand, even though United Airlines workers aboard the flight were growing “increasingly more frustrated and upset” with the display of patriotism.
Leaving peacefully, paying the consequences
For the hundreds of thousands of people that attended the historic rally on January 6th, 2021, many honored the President’s plea to leave the city peacefully, paying tribute to the nation they loved by returning home without incident. After citing his appreciation for the outpouring of love and support from those who attended, he urged people to remain calm yet speak out in support of justice and integrity.
Eyewitness accounts of the day’s events showed many who were peacefully demonstrating; the tone was one of optimism, hope, and a desire for change. The few who were involved in heinous acts of violence, insubordination, and disrespect were unfortunately in the public eye, presenting an erroneous view of the political divide that threatens our country with every liberally-soaked story presented by mainstream media. Now, those who were in compliance with the law have the unfortunate future of ostracism, rejection, and unlawful action ahead of them.
United Airlines employees reacted to the outpouring of patriotism and attempted “unity” by promptly grounding the flight and deboarding passengers who were posing a “threat to national and international security.” Their crimes? Making others feel uncomfortable by singing our national anthem.
These same peaceful attendees are returning home to a different reality than they’d hoped for. Suzie Tinsley, who attended the Trump rally on January 6th, is facing economic repercussions as people in her hometown of Menlo Park boycott her candy store, The Sugar Shack.
Helena Duke, an 18 year old from Boston, Massachusetts, was shocked when she learned that her mother had attended the rally in support of the President. Helena is a Black Lives Matter movement supporter. She publicly identified her mother after seeing footage of her being punched in the face by violent protesters. Since returning to Boston, her mother has faced the loss of her job and public shaming by friends and family.
The TSA has recently considered identifying those who attended the rally on the 6th and placing them on travel restrictions, including putting them on “no-fly” lists, making it nearly impossible to travel in the future, regardless of the reason.
Will You Speak Out?
Is this the consequence for speaking out? For sharing beliefs that aren’t in line with an upcoming agenda? When will the censorship stop? When will speaking and living from the heart reign supreme again, despite the threat of repercussions? What will you do when you are asked to stand by your beliefs? By no means are we advocating violence or unrest, but there must be a way to make concerns heard and to express opinions, beliefs, and ideas without fear of experiencing social, political, or even physical backlash.
“If you aren’t comfortable speaking your truth, then are you really free?” --Leslie Smith
Speak, sing, chant, write, do what you must, but we deserve to live the fullest expression of freedom.
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a signal to wake up.
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