Enough of Carrie “Pleasuring Myself for Jesus” Prejean.  Stand back, because here comes a story that’s so sweet and heartening, it might even make your day like it did mine.

Will Phillips is a 10-year-old Arkansas elementary school student who decided that he could no longer in good conscience stand to pledge allegiance to the flag every morning in class, as long as the country continued to discriminate against gay people:

“I’ve always tried to analyze things because I want to be lawyer,” Will said. “I really don’t feel that there’s currently liberty and justice for all.”

After asking his parents whether it was against the law not to stand for the pledge, Will decided to do something. On Monday, Oct. 5, when the other kids in his class stood up to recite the pledge of allegiance, he remained sitting down. The class had a substitute teacher that week, a retired educator from the district, who knew Will’s mother and grandmother. Though the substitute tried to make him stand up, he respectfully refused. He did it again the next day, and the next day. Each day, the substitute got a little more cross with him. On Thursday, it finally came to a head. The teacher, Will said, told him that she knew his mother and grandmother, and they would want him to stand and say the pledge.

“She got a lot more angry and raised her voice and brought my mom and my grandma up,” Will said. “I was fuming and was too furious to really pay attention to what she was saying. After a few minutes, I said, ‘With all due respect, ma’am, you can go jump off a bridge.’ ”

Predictably, Will took some flak for his protest action.  Even at the age of 10, it sounds like he’s already encountered irrational right-wing rage:

“They [the kids who don’t support him] are much more crazy, and out of control and vocal about it than supporters are.”

But he seems to be taking it all in stride with great calmness — knowing you’re right will do that for you.

There’s a lot of  ugliness and hate in the world, and it’s good to attack it with the  mockery it deserves.  But sometimes it’s also good to remind ourselves that for every Carrie Prejean and her group of supporters, there’s a Will Phillips with a much larger and steadily increasing group of supporters.

(h/t skinny dipper)

19 Responses to “Sweet”

  1. 1 Janus Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 3:51 pm


    Gonna be a lawyer, is he? I wonder if he’ll accept a retainer now, for future representation?

  2. 2 JJ Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Yes, I bet he’ll be a good one! He’s seems to have considered all the angles and come to his own intelligent conclusions, quite an amazing kid. That’s the future 🙂

  3. 3 Jasper Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    I can just imagine the moonbat parents this kid must have, to brain wash him like this.

    I suppose I could have my 8 year old not say the pledge because our country kills unborn children, but I wouldn’t do that.

    btw: gays can marry in this country.

  4. 6 Jasper Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    No, you can’t marry somebody of the same sex, but one can certainly marry the opposite sex.

  5. 7 West End Bob Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Ignoring Jasper, the story of the “Arkansan” 10-year old is great, JJ! Thanks for posting – I’ve sent it on to my “peeps” in the US suggesting there may be hope yet.

    (They have advised that they’re not holding their breath, but enjoyed the story nonetheless . . . . )

  6. 8 deBeauxOs Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Jasper, you missed the point of the story. Reading comprehension challenged much?

    Will Phillips, of his own volition and not ‘brainwashed’ by his parents as you charged (but then, isn’t that standard operating procedure for fundamentalist religious zealots like you, by your admission, to have their children follow their christofascist ideology?) took this action.

  7. 9 JJ Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 6:06 pm


    No, you can’t marry somebody of the same sex, but one can certainly marry the opposite sex.

    Well, that doesn’t do them a fuck of a lot of good, does it now?

    That would be like you being forbidden to marry a woman, but “free” to marry another guy.

    See why that’s not okay?

  8. 10 JJ Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    West End Bob – Heh, ignoring Jasper is usually the best thing to do with him, but occasionally I succumb to my baser instincts. I guess I should repent.

    I’m glad you & your peeps liked the story. I thought it was so encouraging that such a young person could come to the conclusions he did. And stand up for it. Kids like him are the future. The momentum is on the side of equality, there is no doubt about it.

  9. 11 Bleatmop Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Awesome story!!! Thanks for sharing! This one just made my week. This kid, with how composed and thoughtful he is, is either a savant or one of the minds that is going to change the world for the better. Lets hope it is the later.

  10. 12 JJ Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 6:15 pm


    Jasper, you missed the point of the story.

    You’re surprised by this? 😉

  11. 13 Brian Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    I believe Will Phillips is going to turn out to be one great American.

  12. 14 CK Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    That is certainly a great story. When or if this kid becomes a lawyer, I just hope he doesn’t get caught up in the wingnuttery that would sure continue to surround him.
    But good on him, for standing up for a principle.

  13. 15 Phatbiker Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    I have mixed feelings about this. While I agree with this childs sentiments, it kind of reminds me of when teabaggers drag children to their rallys and have them hold placards denouncing Obama. Children should be allowed to be children, they will have to confront the adult world soon enough.

  14. 16 JJ Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Phatbiker – True enough. I had similar mixed feelings because of the hate and bigotry he’s facing from those opposed to him. That’s adult stuff.

    But, if he cares that much, that’s remarkable. I can’t blame his parents for being proud of him and letting him make his stand. (But I know what you mean about the kid/adult world.)

  15. 17 JJ Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Brian – Can’t say I disagree 🙂

  16. 18 JJ Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    CK – I can totally picture this kid as a lawyer 😆

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