Denver, CO – Tay Anderson, the newly elected director of the Denver public schools board of education, said that he will remained seated for the Pledge of Allegiance during the meetings.
Anderson pointed to police “murders” of black people for his reason. He wrote he would sit during the Pledge of Allegiance while “Black and Brown people are being murdered by those who are supposed to ‘protect and serve’ our communities.”
Anderson made his comments in a Chalkbeat.org news article.
On Dec. 23, Anderson posted on Facebook on his school board page, “For those who are lost on why I sit during the pledge of allegiance… here are 69 reasons why.”
Anderson posted an articles from Newsone.com with the headline, “69 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police”. The article cites Trayvon Martin, who was shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, not a police officer.
The list includes people who died of medical episodes or were killed by police while actively trying to murder police officers.
“I have decided not to stand because we need our leaders to have the courage to fight alongside communities in sending a clear message that we will not stand while white supremacy is thriving,” Anderson said, according to Chalkbeat.org.
In a letter written on Denver Public School Board of Education stationary, Anderson wrote, “Today, and everyday, I am reminded that Sandra Bland, could’ve been me. Botham Shem Jean, could’ve been me. Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Jessica Hernandez, Marvin Booker, Paul Childs, and Elijah McClain all could’ve been me.”
Half of the people named in his letter were not killed by police.
Anderson, who was elected in November to his seat, has received praise for his decision to sit, according to Colorado Public Radio.
“A lot of these people that are expressing disappointment are white individuals who do not understand what it means to live the life of a person of color,” Anderson said, according to Colorado Public Radio. “I understand and respect their opinions but I also wish that they would understand and respect mine.”