Missouri state senator Jamilah Nasheed on Wednesday became the latest politician to decline to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance. The St. Louis Democrat said she took the action in the state capitol on Wednesday in a show of solidarity with the 49ers quarterback, The Associated Press reported.
Jamilah Nasheed is well known for being arrested during protests in Ferguson. She was taken into custody for ignoring orders by police to get out of the street. Police say they smelled alcohol on her breath and found a loaded gun in her possession.
Kaepernick has refused to stand during the national anthem to protest racial oppression.
“I love America, but I want to support a brother who is shining a light on injustice,” Nasheed told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch before her protest.
Nasheed reiterated her thoughts on Twitter:
Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, who presided over the Senate Wednesday, issued a statement criticizing Nasheed’s action. “My reaction to Sen. Nasheed’s demonstration is not one of indignation or anger,” he said. “Instead, it’s an occasion for great sorrow. The Pledge of Allegiance, like the National Anthem, is an occasion for all Americans to stand together in national unity. There is no question of the senator’s right to remain seated during the Pledge, but it’s a question of the propriety of her action. I worry about the example she is setting, particularly for our young people.”
On Wednesday, New York City councilman Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn) refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance during a meeting in solidarity with Kaepernick.
Jamilah Nasheed earns about $50,000 a year in total compensation, including state health benefits as a part time legislator. The Missouri senate is typically in session about 60 days per year, which is when Nasheed earns her salary.
Missouri has the country’s lowest average wage for other state workers (except for legislators). Full time, year round, Missouri state workers earn an average salary of $36,058. In terms of state senators, though, Missouri, ranks among the top 3rd of state legislator salaries.