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Pledge of a grievance! Beep says all community board meetings should begin with a hand over the heart - Brooklyn Paper

Pledge of a grievance! Beep says all community board meetings should begin with a hand over the heart

Waving flag: Borough President Adams waved his rainbow flag in the 20th edition of Brooklyn Pride.
Photo by Paul Martinka

It’s his pledge to make them pledge!

Borough President Adams made an impromptu appearance on Brooklyn Paper Radio Tuesday and implored members of Brooklyn’s community boards to put their hands over their hearts and say the Pledge of Allegiance before every meeting — a ritual the panels in Northern Brooklyn have thus far ignored.

“I think that at every gathering, public gathering, you should recite the Pledge of Allegiance. I think it’s a continuation of how we can show a great respect to the country,” Adams told co-hosts Gersh Kuntzman of the New York Daily News and Brooklyn Paper Editor Vince DiMiceli.

Adams’s call came near the end of a scintillating episode of Brooklyn Paper Radio in which hosts DiMiceli and Kuntzman — along with cub reporter Julianne Cuba — broke down the story on everyone’s mind in the wake of the election of President Trump: Why is it that community boards in Brooklyn’s left-leaning North never say the Pledge before a meeting while those in the ruby red South consider it an honor to do so.

Adams proclaimed he is strictly pro-Pledge, but respected the rights of his community boards to decide if they recite the pledge or not, claiming he’ll simply send a letter informing members that they have a very good opportunity to do so before each meeting, but not demanding that both North and South get in line.

“There won’t be any threats, it’s a reminder for those who are not aware,” he said. “I just don’t want any Board to say, ‘Hey I was not aware.’ ”

Still, if it were up to him, he’d want the Pledge recited before every meeting.

“If I was in charge, or had the decision, I would say the Pledge of Allegiance,” he said. “I think it’s important to do so.”

Adams added that he believes in the freedom of choice, and that each board would be allowed to make up its own mind, (or minds, as it were).

“Each community board must make their own decision and that’s what’s great about this country,” he said. “There is no one way of showing one’s respect for the country or one way of showing even some respect for the county.”

But that wasn’t the only news broken during this week’s hour of Brooklyn Paper power.

Near the end of the interview and at the probing of DiMiceli, the Beep conceded that there are, in fact, two Brooklyns with different lifestyles and beliefs — presumably one where Brooklynites wake up every sunny morning and sing “I’m Proud to be an America,” and another featuring a community of like-minded free-thinkers happy to live in a utopian bubble.

“Particularly when you look at Southern Brooklyn, the high number of firefighters, police officers, ex-military we still have, the Memorial Day Parade that’s done in Southern Brooklyn, so there’s a different energy and a constant reminder about the whole theme around the public displaying of patriotism,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that Northern Brooklyn is not as patriotic, they may not do as many public displays of their patriotism.”

As is Kuntzman’s wont, the show’s atheist host waxed poetic about the dangers of bringing god into a public civic meeting — something that would happen monthly thanks to two controversial words added to the Pledge in the 1950s.

“You know where I stand on god. I stand against, I stand athwart. I am against the religification of public meetings,” said Kuntzman. “So when you say the Pledge, do you say, ‘one nation, under god, indivisible,’ or do you recite the original, ‘one nation indivisible?’ ”

But the Beep insisted using the word god when saying the pledge — as he was taught to do and still does — won’t turn Brooklyn into the Bible Belt because it can mean anything you believe in.

“The pledge says ‘One nation under God’ and God can be so many things to so many people,” he said. “Saying ‘one nation under God’ is not turning into a Christian, it’s whatever God is to you because God has blessed America in many ways.”

And just to prove that they are, in fact, lovers of America, DiMiceli and Kuntzman both sang our national anthem together, demonstrating that even though they aren’t great singers, they at least know all the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

It is unclear at this point if the boys intend to open each show moving forward with their cringe-worthy performance.

Brooklyn Paper radio is recorded and podcast live every Tuesday at 10 am — for your convenience — from our studio in America’s Downtown and can be found, as always, right here on BrooklynPaper.com, on iTunes, on Mixlr, and of course, on Stitcher.

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