At most American colleges, hearing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before sporting events is a regular feature of campus life, like getting shut out of the psychology lecture you needed or seeing pledges humiliated during fraternity rush. But at Goshen College, a Mennonite school in Indiana with a historical emphasis on pacifism, the tradition was not hearing the national anthem.
In spring 2010, that tradition changed when the anthem was played at a baseball game. Only now it has changed back. The fight over the anthem — at a college that teaches not fighting — raises the question of how to reconcile the feelings of minorities with those of the prevailing culture. At Goshen, the minorities are athletes, and the prevailing culture is pacifist. It’s like a photographic negative of the America most of us know.
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