‘What I did was took a knee against racial discrimination, which is basically when people are mean to other people of different colors…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) A 10-year-old Cub Scout garnered praise from the mayor of Durham, N.C., for kneeling during the Pledge of Allegiance at a city council meeting on Monday.
The Durham City Council invited Liam Holmes and his Cub Scout troop to lead the Pledge of Allegiance before the meeting.
His father, Scott Holmes—who identifies himself as an academic, attorney and civil rights activist—told his son about “racial inequality,” so Liam decided to break with his troop, take a knee and abstain from the pledge.
“What I did was took a knee against racial discrimination, which is basically when people are mean to other people of different colors,” Liam said, WSOCTV reported.
Liam said people who disagree with his decision to kneel during the Pledge of Allegiance “just don’t listen.”
The Holmes family adheres to Quaker beliefs, so they do not swear oaths.
“So, we’ve talked about that sort of thing before,” Scott Holmes said, according to ABC11. “We never really talked much about … the racial inequality part of taking a knee beyond something religious. So we talked about it as we waited for the city council to gather.”
Holmes admitted to planting the idea in his son’s mind before the meeting.
“I told him that it is just an idea and he should do whatever he feels comfortable with,” Scott Holmes said. “Because I know how it can feel weird, awkward to do something different than other folks.”
Durham Mayor Steve Schewel was happy to see the 10-year-old child express his “conscience.”
“When I saw one of the boys take a knee, I was surprised but also was very respectful and appreciative of him expressing his conscience,” Schewel said.
Brandon Laroque, a Scout and military veteran, said Liam’s actions disregarded the Cub Scouts oath.
“It just blew my mind that this was Cub Scouts and politics,” Laroque said. “Part of the Scout oath is to God and your country. I understand people have the right to freedom of speech, I just don’t understand why it has to be during the Pledge of Allegiance.”