A 10-year-old Cub Scout is going viral after he took a knee during the Pledge of Allegiance at a city council meeting in Durham, North Carolina.
During Monday’s Durham City Council meeting, Cub Scout Troop 451 was asked to lead the crowd in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. But 10-year-old Liam Holmes chose to kneel, invoking the protest made popular by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Explaining the reason for his action, Liam Holmes told CNN affiliate WNCN:
What I did was took a knee against racial discrimination, which is basically when people are mean to other people of different colors.
The little boy’s action won over the mayor, but not everybody was happy about it and it’s led to a debate on social media.
Liam was asked what he’d say to people who didn’t approve of what he did and he replied:
Well, those people just don’t listen.
No one saw it except the people who were watching. And the mayor noticed and he thanked me.
Mayor Steve Schewel said:
Thank you, councilman, and thank you, scouts. To the scout that expressed his conscience by kneeling, we will say we endorse and appreciate all expressions of conscience in Durham City Council
Liam’s dad, Scott Holmes, who is a Civil Rights attorney, activist, and professor at NC Central University, said Liam spoke to him about it beforehand, but he wasn’t sure if he’d follow through.
Mr Holmes said his family members are Quakers and for religious reasons do not believe in taking oaths. He said he was shocked and proud of his son.
So we’ve talked about that sort of thing before. We never really talked much about, kind of, 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 said he did not want to pressure his son but wanted him to feel supported.
I told him that it (taking a knee) is just an idea and he should do whatever he feels comfortable with. Because I know how it can feel weird, awkward to do something different than other folks.
When he did it I was really surprised and also really proud of him.
Liam says he plans to take a knee again in the future, hoping that people will eventually listen and be a little nicer to one another.
Watch the video below.