I attended the Highline College commencement program in Des Moines on June 15, and when it was announced that the National Anthem would be presented, the vast majority in attendance respectfully stood.
However, I was taken aback when student body president James Jackson, standing at the podium, raised his right hand in a fist throughout the anthem.
Afterward, Jackson gave lengthy welcome remarks that I appreciated hearing: He started taking street drugs when he was 5, started selling them at age 9 and was sent to federal prison for a ten-year sentence in his 20s.
He had mentors and counselors who helped him turn his life around in a very big way. He was awarded two associate degrees at Highline, and I wish him great success in life.
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But where’s his gratitude for the opportunities with which he was blessed in today’s America? No, our country is not perfect; nothing is.
But I have seen enough of the world to know there are very, very few places that can match the opportunities afforded to those who work hard to achieve the goals that await them.