Toni Smith

Toni Smith, a varsity basketball player for Manhattenville College is refusing to face the flag during the national anthem, as a protest against current US policy.

Read her statement

Read the college’s response.

Check out some of the press about her.

Check out ESPN’s take on it, and atheletes & activism more generally

Finally, look at this ESPN Poll on the matter. I was amazed at how many people disagree with this quiet statement. Most amazingly was the response to the last question ‘Should the U.S. go to war with Iraq?’, which when I answered was 60% in favour. Although I suppose that shouldn’t surprise me, really

48 Replies to “Toni Smith”

  1. I feel that this is an outrage. If you do not like the way this country does things, leave. The flag represents something that you can’t replace, human lives. It isn’t something that a snotty little girl should be able to disgrace. Simply put, if she doesn’t like America, get the hell out of our country.

  2. I feel that this is an outrage. If you do not like the way this country does things, leave. The flag represents something that you can’t replace, human lives. It isn’t something that a snotty little girl should be able to disgrace. Simply put, if she doesn’t like America, get the hell out of our country.

  3. The essence of democracy is debate and freedom of opinion Tim. I don’t think that Toni Smith has ever said she doesn’t love America. Where her problem lies is with America’s current administration, and she is perfectly capable of criticizing them while still loving America. I might argue that if you did love America, you should be critical of your administration, or at least watch your administration with a critical eye (because they’re bound to do somethings you approve of, and some that you don’t).

  4. The essence of democracy is debate and freedom of opinion Tim. I don’t think that Toni Smith has ever said she doesn’t love America. Where her problem lies is with America’s current administration, and she is perfectly capable of criticizing them while still loving America. I might argue that if you did love America, you should be critical of your administration, or at least watch your administration with a critical eye (because they’re bound to do somethings you approve of, and some that you don’t).

  5. First, if I remember correctly Ms. Smith is an AMERICAN citizen. That means she doesn’t have to leave the country because she has the guts to stand up for a principal she believes in. Second, lets get to what the flag represents. The flag not only represents the best of what America is, but also the worst. It also stands from freedom and that includes the freedom to turn your back on the flag. I know some think if a person doesn’t agree with everything this country does, or more correctly, what President Bush does then that person is some kind of traitor. Well, guess what you are not. All of those people whom fought and died for America did so for people like Ms. Smith. If this is not the case and they only served or died so we could salute the flag, and blindly follow anyone whom leads the country and allow the injustice that still plague this country continue, then I guess these sacrifices were just made in vain.

  6. First, if I remember correctly Ms. Smith is an AMERICAN citizen. That means she doesn’t have to leave the country because she has the guts to stand up for a principal she believes in. Second, lets get to what the flag represents. The flag not only represents the best of what America is, but also the worst. It also stands from freedom and that includes the freedom to turn your back on the flag. I know some think if a person doesn’t agree with everything this country does, or more correctly, what President Bush does then that person is some kind of traitor. Well, guess what you are not. All of those people whom fought and died for America did so for people like Ms. Smith. If this is not the case and they only served or died so we could salute the flag, and blindly follow anyone whom leads the country and allow the injustice that still plague this country continue, then I guess these sacrifices were just made in vain.

  7. I personally agree with Toni Smith. I feel that what she has done and is doing is what many have been feeling for so long. The ideal of the typical american saluting the United States flag is not the picture or not the right thing for many americans today. In the whole incident she has not once said that she does not like the United States she just belives that the Flag stands for more then just the Freedom of the Nation. She seems more then what others are tought to believe.

  8. I personally agree with Toni Smith. I feel that what she has done and is doing is what many have been feeling for so long. The ideal of the typical american saluting the United States flag is not the picture or not the right thing for many americans today. In the whole incident she has not once said that she does not like the United States she just belives that the Flag stands for more then just the Freedom of the Nation. She seems more then what others are tought to believe.

  9. I personally agree with Toni Smith. I feel that what she has done and is doing is what many have been feeling for so long. The ideal of the typical american saluting or standing for the United States Flag, but the truth is that is just what we are tought to do but we all have our own opinions and now that she is old enough to know the truth about somethings then she has every right to express how she feels and i Totally support her. In the whole incident she has not once said that she does not like the United States she just belives that the Flag stands for more then just the Freedom of the Nation. She sees more then what others are tought to believe.

  10. I personally agree with Toni Smith. I feel that what she has done and is doing is what many have been feeling for so long. The ideal of the typical american saluting or standing for the United States Flag, but the truth is that is just what we are tought to do but we all have our own opinions and now that she is old enough to know the truth about somethings then she has every right to express how she feels and i Totally support her. In the whole incident she has not once said that she does not like the United States she just belives that the Flag stands for more then just the Freedom of the Nation. She sees more then what others are tought to believe.

  11. To deny Toni Smith the right to protest is ignorant. You can’t preach freedom then deny someone the right to protest.

    To tell her to leave the country is also ignorant. The greatest part about the United States is its flexibility. Our Goverment is constantly changing to the nature of the current times, and protest and critizism will always help lead our nation into a positive light.

    My question is: Why protest the American flag? Is that not hypocritical? Why is she protesting the very symbol of a country that allows her to make her voice heard? A country doesen’t silence her simply because she does not agree with the administrations current views?

    While Ms. Smith may have some valid points, I beleive she is ruining it by choosing to express it in her current forum. I would bet that most antiwar supporters find ways to protest and STILL show the American Flag the respect it deserves.

  12. To deny Toni Smith the right to protest is ignorant. You can’t preach freedom then deny someone the right to protest.

    To tell her to leave the country is also ignorant. The greatest part about the United States is its flexibility. Our Goverment is constantly changing to the nature of the current times, and protest and critizism will always help lead our nation into a positive light.

    My question is: Why protest the American flag? Is that not hypocritical? Why is she protesting the very symbol of a country that allows her to make her voice heard? A country doesen’t silence her simply because she does not agree with the administrations current views?

    While Ms. Smith may have some valid points, I beleive she is ruining it by choosing to express it in her current forum. I would bet that most antiwar supporters find ways to protest and STILL show the American Flag the respect it deserves.

  13. I respect that Toni Smith has strong convictions. I do believe, though, that she is a bit misguided in a few respects. First, she is politicizing basketball games. Take your protest out of the gym. As a girls high school basketball coach I see her actions as being very selfish and distracting to her teammates. They shouldn’t have to deal with the backlash. Basketball is meant to be enjoyable, not a political morass. Second, I have heard her reasoning behind protest as stated that the flag represents the millions of indigenous peoples murdered by the country that the flag represents. I believe that most Natives were long killed off by Europeans and their diseases before the U.S. was born. Protest the imperialism of England and Spain, Toni. Certainly, the U.S. has done a great disservice to our Native population, which can never be rectified; however, her protest smells more like anti-Bush sentiment that Liberals and Socialists on campuses have tried to stir up since the election of 2000. Was Toni protesting the Anthem when Clinton was President and bombing folks in Bosnia, Iraq, Sudan, etc.. Toni Smith is ultimately a “useful idiot”, as Lenin called Westerners like herself, for the Socialists on campuses nationwide.

  14. I respect that Toni Smith has strong convictions. I do believe, though, that she is a bit misguided in a few respects. First, she is politicizing basketball games. Take your protest out of the gym. As a girls high school basketball coach I see her actions as being very selfish and distracting to her teammates. They shouldn’t have to deal with the backlash. Basketball is meant to be enjoyable, not a political morass. Second, I have heard her reasoning behind protest as stated that the flag represents the millions of indigenous peoples murdered by the country that the flag represents. I believe that most Natives were long killed off by Europeans and their diseases before the U.S. was born. Protest the imperialism of England and Spain, Toni. Certainly, the U.S. has done a great disservice to our Native population, which can never be rectified; however, her protest smells more like anti-Bush sentiment that Liberals and Socialists on campuses have tried to stir up since the election of 2000. Was Toni protesting the Anthem when Clinton was President and bombing folks in Bosnia, Iraq, Sudan, etc.. Toni Smith is ultimately a “useful idiot”, as Lenin called Westerners like herself, for the Socialists on campuses nationwide.

  15. toni smith as much as said she doesn’t like america: “For some time now, the inequalities that are embedded into the American system
    have bothered me,” Smith said in a written statement released to the media. “As
    they are becoming progressively worse and it is clear that the government’s priorities are not on bettering the quality of life for all of its people, but rather on expanding its own power, I cannot, in good conscience, salute the flag.”
    she also said at a press conference that the flag represented all the indigenous people that were massacred so that this country could be founded and all the people who were killed so that this country could gain power. well, excuse me, but i think you call those casualties of war. show me a successful country where the people live as well as you and i do without ever having gone to war and i will show you utopia. instead of trying to cause a scene, maybe toni smith should do what she says america isn’t – work to better life for people in this country; however, if this little girl ever ventured outside of this country, she might be in for a rude awakening. i’d love to see her play pro basketball in iraq or afghanistan…gee, just don’t see that happening.

  16. toni smith as much as said she doesn’t like america: “For some time now, the inequalities that are embedded into the American system
    have bothered me,” Smith said in a written statement released to the media. “As
    they are becoming progressively worse and it is clear that the government’s priorities are not on bettering the quality of life for all of its people, but rather on expanding its own power, I cannot, in good conscience, salute the flag.”
    she also said at a press conference that the flag represented all the indigenous people that were massacred so that this country could be founded and all the people who were killed so that this country could gain power. well, excuse me, but i think you call those casualties of war. show me a successful country where the people live as well as you and i do without ever having gone to war and i will show you utopia. instead of trying to cause a scene, maybe toni smith should do what she says america isn’t – work to better life for people in this country; however, if this little girl ever ventured outside of this country, she might be in for a rude awakening. i’d love to see her play pro basketball in iraq or afghanistan…gee, just don’t see that happening.

  17. Hey Erik, first off the playing of the national anthem at sporting event politicizes these games. This politicization has caused trouble here in North America when fans on both sides of the Canadian and American boarders jeered and booed each countries anthem at NHL games last season. Maybe the playing of the anthems should be removed from these games and get rid of the chance of any trouble? Second, you said and I quote “I believe that most Natives were long killed off by Europeans and their diseases before the U.S. was born.” What history have you been reading? Have you not heard of the Trail of Tears? Who do you think forced Native Americans on to reservations or destroyed their way of life in the West by almost driving the American Bison into extinction? This wasn’t Spain Great Britain or France. Oh, then there was the comment that the “Socialists” are out there behind this. Every time someone says something a “flag waving” right-winger doesn’t like they are accused of being a pinko commie. Guess what, maybe Ms. Smith looked at the world and decided for herself she is against this war and that there are real inequalities in this country. It might be hard to believe but maybe, just maybe these ideals came to her recently and not when she was in High School when Clinton was in office (we all know in Dubya’s New World Order everything is Clinton’s fault). Finally, Paula I come to you and your comment, what was that “show me a successful country where the people live as well as you and I do without having to go to war and I will show you utopia.” Well, I guess that means Sweden and Switzerland must both be the utopias, which you speak because neither country has been to war in centuries, and they are just as successful (except in war making) as the United States. In addition, where did you get rude, she has been respectful with her protest and is not throwing it in peoples face like a lot of her intolerant protesters? What Ms. Smith is doing is what the flag truly stands for.

  18. Hey Erik, first off the playing of the national anthem at sporting event politicizes these games. This politicization has caused trouble here in North America when fans on both sides of the Canadian and American boarders jeered and booed each countries anthem at NHL games last season. Maybe the playing of the anthems should be removed from these games and get rid of the chance of any trouble? Second, you said and I quote “I believe that most Natives were long killed off by Europeans and their diseases before the U.S. was born.” What history have you been reading? Have you not heard of the Trail of Tears? Who do you think forced Native Americans on to reservations or destroyed their way of life in the West by almost driving the American Bison into extinction? This wasn’t Spain Great Britain or France. Oh, then there was the comment that the “Socialists” are out there behind this. Every time someone says something a “flag waving” right-winger doesn’t like they are accused of being a pinko commie. Guess what, maybe Ms. Smith looked at the world and decided for herself she is against this war and that there are real inequalities in this country. It might be hard to believe but maybe, just maybe these ideals came to her recently and not when she was in High School when Clinton was in office (we all know in Dubya’s New World Order everything is Clinton’s fault). Finally, Paula I come to you and your comment, what was that “show me a successful country where the people live as well as you and I do without having to go to war and I will show you utopia.” Well, I guess that means Sweden and Switzerland must both be the utopias, which you speak because neither country has been to war in centuries, and they are just as successful (except in war making) as the United States. In addition, where did you get rude, she has been respectful with her protest and is not throwing it in peoples face like a lot of her intolerant protesters? What Ms. Smith is doing is what the flag truly stands for.

  19. Russ, how does an anthem at a United States college basketball game politicize the event? It is only the actions of individuals, like Smith, that politicize the anthem. I am a teacher of United States History. I would stand by my statement that most Natives were killed off by diseases long before the Constitution was approved. By the time of the Trail of Tears only some 125,000 Natives lived east of the Mississippi. Not to diminish the suffering, but the Trail of Tears only involved a few thousand Natives. Most certainly the U.S. and its “Indian” policies are shameful, but Euro-imperialists are responsible for the destruction of Native cultures in North America, South America, Africa, Asia,…. well everywhere. Bush and his Administration are probably NWO, but Clinton is the posterchild for NWO. If he could have, the Constitution would have been made subordinate to the UN Charter during Clinton’s “reign”. And wake up, dude, our Universities and Colleges are breeding grounds for Socialism, just as our NWO leaders want it. Maybe Toni Smith’s protest is born originally from her own mind, but I doubt it. The college age is a time where the mind is very impressionable and easily manipulated and Smith probably has some Sociology or History profs guiding her down this bleeding heart road. Finally, what is Smith doing to improve the inequities of “the system”? I expect that we’ll see her 10-15 years from now as a congresswoman fighting to change the system. Whatever!

  20. Russ, how does an anthem at a United States college basketball game politicize the event? It is only the actions of individuals, like Smith, that politicize the anthem. I am a teacher of United States History. I would stand by my statement that most Natives were killed off by diseases long before the Constitution was approved. By the time of the Trail of Tears only some 125,000 Natives lived east of the Mississippi. Not to diminish the suffering, but the Trail of Tears only involved a few thousand Natives. Most certainly the U.S. and its “Indian” policies are shameful, but Euro-imperialists are responsible for the destruction of Native cultures in North America, South America, Africa, Asia,…. well everywhere. Bush and his Administration are probably NWO, but Clinton is the posterchild for NWO. If he could have, the Constitution would have been made subordinate to the UN Charter during Clinton’s “reign”. And wake up, dude, our Universities and Colleges are breeding grounds for Socialism, just as our NWO leaders want it. Maybe Toni Smith’s protest is born originally from her own mind, but I doubt it. The college age is a time where the mind is very impressionable and easily manipulated and Smith probably has some Sociology or History profs guiding her down this bleeding heart road. Finally, what is Smith doing to improve the inequities of “the system”? I expect that we’ll see her 10-15 years from now as a congresswoman fighting to change the system. Whatever!

  21. Russ, Switzerland houses all the gold, riches and blood money for murdering dictators, despots and genocidal maniacs. What a wonderful Utopia!

  22. Russ, Switzerland houses all the gold, riches and blood money for murdering dictators, despots and genocidal maniacs. What a wonderful Utopia!

  23. Hey Erik, since you are a history teacher you know that the people who founded this country are European. JThe Constitution was approved by Europeans who decided to declare independence from another European country (i.e.: Great Britian). The approvle of the Constitution does not aslove us of these crimes. The proof of this is that the killing and prescution of Natvie peoples did not stop once the Constitution was approved. Remember, when the Constitution was approved it was for land owing white men. African Americans were slaves, women could not vote and we know what happen to native peoples. The European imperalist gave way to American Imperalist, We have had our hands in revoulation and the overthrow of government around the world. It maybe hard for you to understand, but people in the Middle East or Asia see us as a continueation of Western Imperalism that was pratcticed by Great Britian, France, Germany and other European nations. Where did you get that Clintion would have suborated the Constitution to the UN. If you had watched the news (and I am not talking about Fox) you will see Clinton agrees with Bush on one point that the U.S. has the right to unlateral action. The action the U.S. goevremnet took under Clinton in Kosovo used NATO not the UN, who Clinton saw as not acting. Hey “dude” the way to try and improve an inequal system (one you should know since you are a teacher and are grossly under paid) is to make light of said inequalities. Oh, Erik don’t worry the socalist are not coming to get you. Oh Andrea I didn’t forget about you. I will agree with what you said, the point is that there is no utopia including America. Remember, we suppled Hussine with biological agents in the 1980’s, we have supporeted didctors around the world, and after World War II our goverment brought Nazi war crimminals to this counrty letting them escape the justice there victims deserved.

  24. Hey Erik, since you are a history teacher you know that the people who founded this country are European. JThe Constitution was approved by Europeans who decided to declare independence from another European country (i.e.: Great Britian). The approvle of the Constitution does not aslove us of these crimes. The proof of this is that the killing and prescution of Natvie peoples did not stop once the Constitution was approved. Remember, when the Constitution was approved it was for land owing white men. African Americans were slaves, women could not vote and we know what happen to native peoples. The European imperalist gave way to American Imperalist, We have had our hands in revoulation and the overthrow of government around the world. It maybe hard for you to understand, but people in the Middle East or Asia see us as a continueation of Western Imperalism that was pratcticed by Great Britian, France, Germany and other European nations. Where did you get that Clintion would have suborated the Constitution to the UN. If you had watched the news (and I am not talking about Fox) you will see Clinton agrees with Bush on one point that the U.S. has the right to unlateral action. The action the U.S. goevremnet took under Clinton in Kosovo used NATO not the UN, who Clinton saw as not acting. Hey “dude” the way to try and improve an inequal system (one you should know since you are a teacher and are grossly under paid) is to make light of said inequalities. Oh, Erik don’t worry the socalist are not coming to get you. Oh Andrea I didn’t forget about you. I will agree with what you said, the point is that there is no utopia including America. Remember, we suppled Hussine with biological agents in the 1980’s, we have supporeted didctors around the world, and after World War II our goverment brought Nazi war crimminals to this counrty letting them escape the justice there victims deserved.

  25. Hey Erik, since you are a history teacher you know that the people who founded this country are European. The Constitution was approved by Europeans who decided to declare independence from another European country (i.e.: Great Britain). The approval of the Constitution does not absolve us of these crimes. The proof of this is that the killing and persecution of Native peoples did not stop once the Constitution was approved. Remember, when the Constitution was approved it was for land owing white men only. African Americans were slaves, women could not vote and we know what happen to native peoples. In world events, European imperialist gave way to American Imperialist; we have had our hands in revolution, economic oppression and the overthrow of governments around the world. It maybe hard for you to understand, but people in the Middle East or Asia see us as a continuation of Western Imperialism that was practiced by Great Britain, France, Germany and other European nations. Where did you get that Clinton would have subordinated the Constitution to the UN. If you had watched the news (and I am not talking about Fox) you will see Clinton agrees with Bush on one point that the U.S. has the right to take unilateral action. The action the U.S. government took under Clinton in Kosovo was a NATO action not a UN, because Clinton saw the UN as not acting. I know you are probably one of those guys who see the “Black UN Helicopters,” but the UN does have a purpose in the world. Hey “dude” the way to try and improve an unequal system (one you should know since you are a teacher and are grossly under paid) is to make light of said inequalities. Oh, Erik don’t worry the socialist are not coming to get you. Oh Andrea, I didn’t forget about you. I will agree with what you said about the Swiss. However, the point is that there is no utopia including America. Remember, we supplied Hussein with money, intelligence and biological agents in the 1980’s. The very terrorist groups we now fight (the likes of Bin Laden, Hekmatyar and others) we supplied and funded, and we have supported dictators and right-wing death squads around the world. Oh and after World War II our government brought Nazi war criminals to this country because we found them useful, letting them escape the justice their victims deserved.

  26. Hey Erik, since you are a history teacher you know that the people who founded this country are European. The Constitution was approved by Europeans who decided to declare independence from another European country (i.e.: Great Britain). The approval of the Constitution does not absolve us of these crimes. The proof of this is that the killing and persecution of Native peoples did not stop once the Constitution was approved. Remember, when the Constitution was approved it was for land owing white men only. African Americans were slaves, women could not vote and we know what happen to native peoples. In world events, European imperialist gave way to American Imperialist; we have had our hands in revolution, economic oppression and the overthrow of governments around the world. It maybe hard for you to understand, but people in the Middle East or Asia see us as a continuation of Western Imperialism that was practiced by Great Britain, France, Germany and other European nations. Where did you get that Clinton would have subordinated the Constitution to the UN. If you had watched the news (and I am not talking about Fox) you will see Clinton agrees with Bush on one point that the U.S. has the right to take unilateral action. The action the U.S. government took under Clinton in Kosovo was a NATO action not a UN, because Clinton saw the UN as not acting. I know you are probably one of those guys who see the “Black UN Helicopters,” but the UN does have a purpose in the world. Hey “dude” the way to try and improve an unequal system (one you should know since you are a teacher and are grossly under paid) is to make light of said inequalities. Oh, Erik don’t worry the socialist are not coming to get you. Oh Andrea, I didn’t forget about you. I will agree with what you said about the Swiss. However, the point is that there is no utopia including America. Remember, we supplied Hussein with money, intelligence and biological agents in the 1980’s. The very terrorist groups we now fight (the likes of Bin Laden, Hekmatyar and others) we supplied and funded, and we have supported dictators and right-wing death squads around the world. Oh and after World War II our government brought Nazi war criminals to this country because we found them useful, letting them escape the justice their victims deserved.

  27. It is one thing to quietly distance oneself from this mindless flag waving society. Certainly it requires a degree of conviction. One needs to think for her or himself, and this is something society discourages. And how much more courage does it take to express this openly, In front of 100s, maybe 1000’s of people 20 or 30 times in one basketball season? How about in front a school full of brainwashed military cadets full well knowing their reaction will be loud and perhaps violent?

    Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. She did this once. She is a hero forever. Toni Smith is doing it again and again, game after game. Surely there are others who agree with Toni and would like to do away with this cowardly ritual of saluting a flag day after day. But they have not the guts to separate themselves from the crowd. Toni Smith is a truly authentic individual. One doesn’t see this quality often.

    Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh said: “When you speak the truth, the masses are against you. Truth is dangerous, dangerous to all those people who have been living in fictions, beautiful lies, nice dreams, utopias. Truth is bound to be looked on as an enemy by all these people, because it is going to shatter all that they have believed and lived for. Truth is just the death of all kinds of lies, howsoever consoling they may have been. Nobody wants to be disturbed during a sweet dream.”

    Flags, religions, and polititians are there simply to exploit the weaknesses inherent in people. Most are not strong enough, not courageous enough to move away from the crowd. Toni Smith receives a harsh response from not only those who wrap themselves in the security blanket of the red white and blue, but also those who are put to shame by her, those who know they will never be the quality of individual that she is. They are put to shame because Toni Smith is right.

    Mike
    runcaz@yahoo.com

  28. It is one thing to quietly distance oneself from this mindless flag waving society. Certainly it requires a degree of conviction. One needs to think for her or himself, and this is something society discourages. And how much more courage does it take to express this openly, In front of 100s, maybe 1000’s of people 20 or 30 times in one basketball season? How about in front a school full of brainwashed military cadets full well knowing their reaction will be loud and perhaps violent?

    Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. She did this once. She is a hero forever. Toni Smith is doing it again and again, game after game. Surely there are others who agree with Toni and would like to do away with this cowardly ritual of saluting a flag day after day. But they have not the guts to separate themselves from the crowd. Toni Smith is a truly authentic individual. One doesn’t see this quality often.

    Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh said: “When you speak the truth, the masses are against you. Truth is dangerous, dangerous to all those people who have been living in fictions, beautiful lies, nice dreams, utopias. Truth is bound to be looked on as an enemy by all these people, because it is going to shatter all that they have believed and lived for. Truth is just the death of all kinds of lies, howsoever consoling they may have been. Nobody wants to be disturbed during a sweet dream.”

    Flags, religions, and polititians are there simply to exploit the weaknesses inherent in people. Most are not strong enough, not courageous enough to move away from the crowd. Toni Smith receives a harsh response from not only those who wrap themselves in the security blanket of the red white and blue, but also those who are put to shame by her, those who know they will never be the quality of individual that she is. They are put to shame because Toni Smith is right.

    Mike
    runcaz@yahoo.com

  29. It is one thing to quietly distance oneself from this mindless flag waving society. Certainly it requires a degree of conviction. One needs to think for her or himself, and this is something society discourages. And how much more courage does it take to express this openly, In front of 100s, maybe 1000’s of people 20 or 30 times in one basketball season? How about in front a school full of brainwashed military cadets full well knowing their reaction will be loud and perhaps violent?

    Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. She did this once. She is a hero forever. Toni Smith is doing it again and again, game after game. Surely there are others who agree with Toni and would like to do away with this cowardly ritual of saluting a flag day after day. But they have not the guts to separate themselves from the crowd. Toni Smith is a truly authentic individual. One doesn’t see this quality often.

    Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh said: “When you speak the truth, the masses are against you. Truth is dangerous, dangerous to all those people who have been living in fictions, beautiful lies, nice dreams, utopias. Truth is bound to be looked on as an enemy by all these people, because it is going to shatter all that they have believed and lived for. Truth is just the death of all kinds of lies, howsoever consoling they may have been. Nobody wants to be disturbed during a sweet dream.”

    Flags, religions, and polititians are there simply to exploit the weaknesses inherent in people. Most are not strong enough, not courageous enough to move away from the crowd. Toni Smith receives a harsh response from not only those who wrap themselves in the security blanket of the red white and blue, but also those who are put to shame by her, those who know they will never be the quality of individual that she is. They are put to shame because Toni Smith is right.

    Mike
    runcaz@yahoo.com

  30. It is one thing to quietly distance oneself from this mindless flag waving society. Certainly it requires a degree of conviction. One needs to think for her or himself, and this is something society discourages. And how much more courage does it take to express this openly, In front of 100s, maybe 1000’s of people 20 or 30 times in one basketball season? How about in front a school full of brainwashed military cadets full well knowing their reaction will be loud and perhaps violent?

    Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. She did this once. She is a hero forever. Toni Smith is doing it again and again, game after game. Surely there are others who agree with Toni and would like to do away with this cowardly ritual of saluting a flag day after day. But they have not the guts to separate themselves from the crowd. Toni Smith is a truly authentic individual. One doesn’t see this quality often.

    Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh said: “When you speak the truth, the masses are against you. Truth is dangerous, dangerous to all those people who have been living in fictions, beautiful lies, nice dreams, utopias. Truth is bound to be looked on as an enemy by all these people, because it is going to shatter all that they have believed and lived for. Truth is just the death of all kinds of lies, howsoever consoling they may have been. Nobody wants to be disturbed during a sweet dream.”

    Flags, religions, and polititians are there simply to exploit the weaknesses inherent in people. Most are not strong enough, not courageous enough to move away from the crowd. Toni Smith receives a harsh response from not only those who wrap themselves in the security blanket of the red white and blue, but also those who are put to shame by her, those who know they will never be the quality of individual that she is. They are put to shame because Toni Smith is right.

    Mike
    runcaz@yahoo.com

  31. Casualties of war? You call stealing people’s land, killing them in the process, raping their women, burning their houses, killing their animals, and driving the remaining of them…..consequences of WAR? what war are u taking about? The only Wars the US has ever taken part in are:
    1. the american revolution war
    2. french and indian war
    3. civil war
    4. WWI
    5. WWII

    these are wars that i call wars. The stuff about killing the indians was a massacre…hitler style. I dont have a stance on the Vietnam War, Gulf War, Afghan War, or this next war. These are also catalyst wars….everything else were in defense. If u start a war…u are the agressor.

    jsut get ur facts straight boya.

  32. Casualties of war? You call stealing people’s land, killing them in the process, raping their women, burning their houses, killing their animals, and driving the remaining of them…..consequences of WAR? what war are u taking about? The only Wars the US has ever taken part in are:
    1. the american revolution war
    2. french and indian war
    3. civil war
    4. WWI
    5. WWII

    these are wars that i call wars. The stuff about killing the indians was a massacre…hitler style. I dont have a stance on the Vietnam War, Gulf War, Afghan War, or this next war. These are also catalyst wars….everything else were in defense. If u start a war…u are the agressor.

    jsut get ur facts straight boya.

  33. Oh gee, all of America should stop and listen to poor little toni smith, bitching annd moaning how the flag only stands for America as a whole taking care of people who are only “already taken care of”. How about her…maybe she should give back the governement money (my tax dollars)that is helping her through that nice school where she makes her rediculous political statements.How else does smith make her political views public? keep to playing b-ball little toni

  34. Oh gee, all of America should stop and listen to poor little toni smith, bitching annd moaning how the flag only stands for America as a whole taking care of people who are only “already taken care of”. How about her…maybe she should give back the governement money (my tax dollars)that is helping her through that nice school where she makes her rediculous political statements.How else does smith make her political views public? keep to playing b-ball little toni

  35. IN MY OPINION I DON’T AGREE WITH TONI SMITH’S PROTEST.THERE ARE 100’S OF DIFFERENT WAYS TO PROTEST. YA THIS IS AMERICA IT’S A FREE COUNTRY.BUT IT IS STILL NOT RIGHT TO PROTEST AGAINST THE FLAG. THOUSANDS OF AMERICAN SOILDERS DIE FOR THAT FLAG.HEY RUSS I GOT 1 FOR YOU.YA THE FLAG DOES REPRESENT THE BEST OF AMERICA AND THE WORST AND FREEDOM. LIKE U SAID THAT INCLUDES TURNING UR BACK TO THE FLAG.BUT Y WOULD IT BE FOR HER SHE’S TUNRING HER BACK TO IT THAT MEANS SHE’S NEGLECTING IT SO Y WOULD IT COUNT HER Y WOULD IT BE FOR HER? TONI U SHOULD GO A TRY TO GO PLAY PRO IN AFGANISTAN OR IN IRAQ. SEE WHAT HAPPENS TO U THEN. AND WHAT ABOUT THE MAN THAT WAS PROTESTING TO TONI ON THE COURT. Y DID HE GET ESCOTED OUT OF THE GYM Y DOESN’T TONI? HE’S ALSO PROTESTING JUST LIKE HER AND WHAT HAPPENS TO HER UHHHH NOTHING.WHAT HAPPEN TO HIM HE GOT ESCORTED OUT OF THE GYM. DID HE DISRESPECT ANYONE OR ANYTHING? I THINK NOT. DOES SHE DISRESPECT ANYONE OR ANYTHING AT EVERY GAME? NO THEY JUST WATCH HER.

  36. IN MY OPINION I DON’T AGREE WITH TONI SMITH’S PROTEST.THERE ARE 100’S OF DIFFERENT WAYS TO PROTEST. YA THIS IS AMERICA IT’S A FREE COUNTRY.BUT IT IS STILL NOT RIGHT TO PROTEST AGAINST THE FLAG. THOUSANDS OF AMERICAN SOILDERS DIE FOR THAT FLAG.HEY RUSS I GOT 1 FOR YOU.YA THE FLAG DOES REPRESENT THE BEST OF AMERICA AND THE WORST AND FREEDOM. LIKE U SAID THAT INCLUDES TURNING UR BACK TO THE FLAG.BUT Y WOULD IT BE FOR HER SHE’S TUNRING HER BACK TO IT THAT MEANS SHE’S NEGLECTING IT SO Y WOULD IT COUNT HER Y WOULD IT BE FOR HER? TONI U SHOULD GO A TRY TO GO PLAY PRO IN AFGANISTAN OR IN IRAQ. SEE WHAT HAPPENS TO U THEN. AND WHAT ABOUT THE MAN THAT WAS PROTESTING TO TONI ON THE COURT. Y DID HE GET ESCOTED OUT OF THE GYM Y DOESN’T TONI? HE’S ALSO PROTESTING JUST LIKE HER AND WHAT HAPPENS TO HER UHHHH NOTHING.WHAT HAPPEN TO HIM HE GOT ESCORTED OUT OF THE GYM. DID HE DISRESPECT ANYONE OR ANYTHING? I THINK NOT. DOES SHE DISRESPECT ANYONE OR ANYTHING AT EVERY GAME? NO THEY JUST WATCH HER.

  37. IN MY OPINION I DON’T AGREE WITH TONI SMITH’S PROTEST.THERE ARE 100’S OF DIFFERENT WAYS TO PROTEST. YA THIS IS AMERICA IT’S A FREE COUNTRY.BUT IT IS STILL NOT RIGHT TO PROTEST AGAINST THE FLAG. THOUSANDS OF AMERICAN SOILDERS DIE FOR THAT FLAG.HEY RUSS I GOT 1 FOR YOU.YA THE FLAG DOES REPRESENT THE BEST OF AMERICA AND THE WORST AND FREEDOM. LIKE U SAID THAT INCLUDES TURNING UR BACK TO THE FLAG.BUT Y WOULD IT BE FOR HER SHE’S TUNRING HER BACK TO IT THAT MEANS SHE’S NEGLECTING IT SO Y WOULD IT COUNT HER Y WOULD IT BE FOR HER? TONI U SHOULD GO A TRY TO GO PLAY PRO IN AFGANISTAN OR IN IRAQ. SEE WHAT HAPPENS TO U THEN. AND WHAT ABOUT THE MAN THAT WAS PROTESTING TO TONI ON THE COURT. Y DID HE GET ESCOTED OUT OF THE GYM Y DOESN’T TONI? HE’S ALSO PROTESTING JUST LIKE HER AND WHAT HAPPENS TO HER UHHHH NOTHING.WHAT HAPPEN TO HIM HE GOT ESCORTED OUT OF THE GYM. DID HE DISRESPECT ANYONE OR ANYTHING? I THINK NOT. DOES SHE DISRESPECT ANYONE OR ANYTHING AT EVERY GAME? NO THEY JUST WATCH HER.

  38. IN MY OPINION I DON’T AGREE WITH TONI SMITH’S PROTEST.THERE ARE 100’S OF DIFFERENT WAYS TO PROTEST. YA THIS IS AMERICA IT’S A FREE COUNTRY.BUT IT IS STILL NOT RIGHT TO PROTEST AGAINST THE FLAG. THOUSANDS OF AMERICAN SOILDERS DIE FOR THAT FLAG.HEY RUSS I GOT 1 FOR YOU.YA THE FLAG DOES REPRESENT THE BEST OF AMERICA AND THE WORST AND FREEDOM. LIKE U SAID THAT INCLUDES TURNING UR BACK TO THE FLAG.BUT Y WOULD IT BE FOR HER SHE’S TUNRING HER BACK TO IT THAT MEANS SHE’S NEGLECTING IT SO Y WOULD IT COUNT HER Y WOULD IT BE FOR HER? TONI U SHOULD GO A TRY TO GO PLAY PRO IN AFGANISTAN OR IN IRAQ. SEE WHAT HAPPENS TO U THEN. AND WHAT ABOUT THE MAN THAT WAS PROTESTING TO TONI ON THE COURT. Y DID HE GET ESCOTED OUT OF THE GYM Y DOESN’T TONI? HE’S ALSO PROTESTING JUST LIKE HER AND WHAT HAPPENS TO HER UHHHH NOTHING.WHAT HAPPEN TO HIM HE GOT ESCORTED OUT OF THE GYM. DID HE DISRESPECT ANYONE OR ANYTHING? I THINK NOT. DOES SHE DISRESPECT ANYONE OR ANYTHING AT EVERY GAME? NO THEY JUST WATCH HER.

  39. hi i’m going to stay anonymous or however you say it, but i don’t agree with toni smith. I think she is a stupid B**** TRYING TO GET ATTENTION!

  40. hi i’m going to stay anonymous or however you say it, but i don’t agree with toni smith. I think she is a stupid B**** TRYING TO GET ATTENTION!

  41. Toni Smith should be rounded up with Jane Fonda, Cassius Clay (Muhammed Ali), all of the people who spit on our soldiers in the past along with the protesting movie stars of today and set to alcatraz and forced to under go medical experiments that will help to cure cancer, AIDS, and various other deadly diseases that plague this planet we all inhabit. This way their final wish to be remembered in an almost martyr status will come true. Its one thing to protest within rallies and so on but to turn your back on the National Ensign, to Fly to another country and make a radio address belittling your country to the enemy, or even to change your name to avoid war all sounds treasonous to me, but I’m just a hardcore 29 yr old patriot who loves his country
    God Bless America

  42. Toni Smith should be rounded up with Jane Fonda, Cassius Clay (Muhammed Ali), all of the people who spit on our soldiers in the past along with the protesting movie stars of today and set to alcatraz and forced to under go medical experiments that will help to cure cancer, AIDS, and various other deadly diseases that plague this planet we all inhabit. This way their final wish to be remembered in an almost martyr status will come true. Its one thing to protest within rallies and so on but to turn your back on the National Ensign, to Fly to another country and make a radio address belittling your country to the enemy, or even to change your name to avoid war all sounds treasonous to me, but I’m just a hardcore 29 yr old patriot who loves his country
    God Bless America

  43. Wow, it’s like you people are yelling advertising slogans at each other or rally chants, at, say, a basketball game.

    But help me out here… I thought that, for instance, american gun owners defend their position to own whatever weapons the gun makers care to invent was that the american revolution was won by property owners who overthrew their own corrupt government and that the whole idea was to make sure that people could always have the means to overthrow their own government if it became oppressive. So protest (which arguably is a few notches down from armed resistance) is supposed to be an option available to all americans in times of trouble. I think I’ve got this right so far.

    Of course these are principles, and actions in the real world have real consequences. So maybe she will get dropped from her team, or even arrested by the government, or experimented on in basements by the CIA as was suggested. These consequences of course are important questions justice, but this is not what I’m hearing in this debate. I’m hearing a debate as to whether an american protester has the right to retain citizenship.

    It strikes me as strange that americans wouldn’t see her actions as virtuously american, whether or not they agree with her cause or actions. Otherwise it’s like saying invididual rights are sacred but not if you’re going to act like an idiot.

    I think it’s quite open for debate whether she should be protesting the way she is – that is, whether it’s the right thing to do or not – but what I don’t think is up for debate is whether she becomes a second class citizen for protesting in the way she sees fit, marginalized as a “little girl” or exiled to other countries. Is america so weak that it can’t withstand controversy, debate or protest and has to physically exclude all dissent?

    I know this is just a little blog out of thousands, but what I’ve heard read here is echoed in the media, and I would suggest that the level of debate needs to rise above the level of bullying each to one based on principles worth talking about. Otherwise, the US has already lost any moral authority it might have in, say, going to war against the wishes of the international community. If americans can’t disagre with each other in a civilized way, then how is anyone supposed to respect how they treat other countries?

  44. Wow, it’s like you people are yelling advertising slogans at each other or rally chants, at, say, a basketball game.

    But help me out here… I thought that, for instance, american gun owners defend their position to own whatever weapons the gun makers care to invent was that the american revolution was won by property owners who overthrew their own corrupt government and that the whole idea was to make sure that people could always have the means to overthrow their own government if it became oppressive. So protest (which arguably is a few notches down from armed resistance) is supposed to be an option available to all americans in times of trouble. I think I’ve got this right so far.

    Of course these are principles, and actions in the real world have real consequences. So maybe she will get dropped from her team, or even arrested by the government, or experimented on in basements by the CIA as was suggested. These consequences of course are important questions justice, but this is not what I’m hearing in this debate. I’m hearing a debate as to whether an american protester has the right to retain citizenship.

    It strikes me as strange that americans wouldn’t see her actions as virtuously american, whether or not they agree with her cause or actions. Otherwise it’s like saying invididual rights are sacred but not if you’re going to act like an idiot.

    I think it’s quite open for debate whether she should be protesting the way she is – that is, whether it’s the right thing to do or not – but what I don’t think is up for debate is whether she becomes a second class citizen for protesting in the way she sees fit, marginalized as a “little girl” or exiled to other countries. Is america so weak that it can’t withstand controversy, debate or protest and has to physically exclude all dissent?

    I know this is just a little blog out of thousands, but what I’ve heard read here is echoed in the media, and I would suggest that the level of debate needs to rise above the level of bullying each to one based on principles worth talking about. Otherwise, the US has already lost any moral authority it might have in, say, going to war against the wishes of the international community. If americans can’t disagre with each other in a civilized way, then how is anyone supposed to respect how they treat other countries?

  45. I personally am insulted, as an American, to have another member of my country disrespect the honor,tradition,and sign of freedom the American flag represents.These kinds of acts or protests are allowed in this country, but there is a point where things get out of line. I wonder if this girl ever thought about the soldiers protecting the rights this country gives her. By turning her back to the flag not only will promote more anti-americanism but will give the brave troops risking their lives for this country the impression that their country is not behind and supporting them. Oh, i almost forgot this girl looks of middle eastern decent, therefore, putting out the image that ALL middle eastern persons are against America, even those who live in it. This protest coming from a middle eastern decent will only promote more racism towards these people during this war and the future. This girl needs to think before she acts.

  46. I personally am insulted, as an American, to have another member of my country disrespect the honor,tradition,and sign of freedom the American flag represents.These kinds of acts or protests are allowed in this country, but there is a point where things get out of line. I wonder if this girl ever thought about the soldiers protecting the rights this country gives her. By turning her back to the flag not only will promote more anti-americanism but will give the brave troops risking their lives for this country the impression that their country is not behind and supporting them. Oh, i almost forgot this girl looks of middle eastern decent, therefore, putting out the image that ALL middle eastern persons are against America, even those who live in it. This protest coming from a middle eastern decent will only promote more racism towards these people during this war and the future. This girl needs to think before she acts.

  47. Yes, Toni Smith does have the right, as an American citizen, to protest. However, I totally disagree with what she is doing. She should realize that the American flag stands for those who have lost their lives and fought for this country so that she can have freedom of speech and all other freedoms.

    Yes, mistakes have been made. Injustice has occured. But sadly so many people in the world do not live in a democratic country and many basic rights that every human should have are being taken away from them. Doesn’t the flag represent everything that makes our country great? Seeking justice? I believe that we should support our country in trying to improve and trying to do the right thing, and respecting those who have died so that we could have these rights. Turning away from the flag is very disrespectful for those who have had the courage and bravery to try to make this country.

    Oh, and, by the way–Toni Smith went to school on the Upper West Side. I know what kind of school she attended since my cousin was her classmate. It’s a pretty good school, most of the student body is very liberal. She’s probably anti-war. I don’t know if that would affect anyones opinion or make any difference, but I just thought I’d add that in.

    thanks

  48. Yes, Toni Smith does have the right, as an American citizen, to protest. However, I totally disagree with what she is doing. She should realize that the American flag stands for those who have lost their lives and fought for this country so that she can have freedom of speech and all other freedoms.

    Yes, mistakes have been made. Injustice has occured. But sadly so many people in the world do not live in a democratic country and many basic rights that every human should have are being taken away from them. Doesn’t the flag represent everything that makes our country great? Seeking justice? I believe that we should support our country in trying to improve and trying to do the right thing, and respecting those who have died so that we could have these rights. Turning away from the flag is very disrespectful for those who have had the courage and bravery to try to make this country.

    Oh, and, by the way–Toni Smith went to school on the Upper West Side. I know what kind of school she attended since my cousin was her classmate. It’s a pretty good school, most of the student body is very liberal. She’s probably anti-war. I don’t know if that would affect anyones opinion or make any difference, but I just thought I’d add that in.

    thanks

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