Why did he do so? Not because it has the phrase "Under God" in it, which some have protested against. No, he did so because of the phrase "Liberty and Jutice for All" in it.
Speaking to CNN's John Roberts on CNN's American Morning on Monday, Will said he remained seated four straight days while his classmates repeated the words, "with liberty and justice for all."
Will, who wants to be a lawyer, said he was analyzing the meanings of the Pledge of Allegiance, the weekend before his protest. When asked what he found in the Pledge that caused him refusal, Will said:
"Well, I looked at the end and it said 'with liberty and justice for all.' And there isn't really liberty and justice for all. There's ... Gays and lesbians can't marry. There's still a lot of racism and sexism in the world. Um, yeah."When asked what he told his substitute teacher when he was given grief over the issue, Will said:
Roberts: "So you think then that the country isn't living up to the ideals of the Pledge, and you took it upon yourself to sit down, not recite the Pledge Allegiance until the country comes in line to embody the ideals that are embodied in the Pledge.
"I eventually, very solemnly -- with a little bit of malice in my voice -- said, 'Mam, with all due respect, you can go jump off a bridge.'"While his father initially reacted as most parents might, which is with anger, once he spoke to Will and realized the reason for his stance, his tune changed, and he became supportive. Once again, when asked why he took the position he did, Will said:
"Because I have many -- I've grown up with a lot of people and good friends with a lot of people that are gay and I really -- I think they should have the rights all people should. And I'm not going to swear that they do."This video is from CNN's American Morning, broadcast Nov. 16, 2009, via Raw Replay.