The David Barlavi Salute

| News | January 17, 2019

Perhaps you’ve seen this before: David Barlavi standing with his fist raised while the national anthem plays. Or his fist is raised and his other hand is over his heart while he recites the pledge of allegiance.

He did this again at a recent water board meeting, but he said he’s been doing this for a few years now, inspired by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I think everybody should be doing it,” the attorney and Saugus Unified School District board member said. “We need to hold our law enforcement officers to a much higher standard, and everybody needs to be on board with that. It’s not only good for civilians, but it’s good for police departments to make sure that they have the right training and the right attitude to make sure they’re not violating people’s rights in any way, especially in a disparate way with people of color.”
Kaepernick originally sat during the anthem, starting with the third game of the 49ers’ 2016 season, to protest racial injustice and oppression. The next week, he started kneeling.

He hasn’t played in the NFL since 2016, but actions sparked a wider protest movement that intensified after President Trump suggested owners fire players who protested during the anthem.

Black Lives Matter predates Kaepernick’s kneeling by three years, beginning on social media after George Zimmerman was acquitted of murdering Trayvon Martin in the Miami area. It became nationally recognized from people demonstrating against the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York.


Barlavi, who is white, said he has never received a negative reaction to his protest, and also said he has not reached out to Kaepernick.

He added there is a practical reason to his fist raise.

“I’m too old to kneel,” he said with a laugh.

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About Lee Barnathan

Lee Barnathan has been a writer and editor since 1990. His articles have been published in newspapers, magazines and online. His new book "If You Experience Death, Please Call and Other Fatal Mistakes We Make With Language," a humorous look at the ways people misuse English, is available on Amazon or at his website, www.leebarnathan.com. He is hired by people all over the country to help them refine the message or story they wish to share with their target audience or demographic.

5 Responses to “The David Barlavi Salute”

  1. No wonder that guy wants me free healthcare.

  2. I can’t believe someone like him could run a SCHOOL BOARD and make biased decisions based on his own political beliefs. School should be a bias free zone, where only facts are learned and relayed. NOT someone like a teacher, administration, or board shoving their political beliefs down children’s backs, expected to follow and relay.

  3. Joseph Marcucilli on February 2, 2019 @ 2:06 pm

    David Barlavi has a right of free speech.He is not shoving his beliefs down a student’s throat because a) he is not a teacher with a captive student audience, b) if he said something you believed in we both know this paper and some members of the public would praise him. So don’t hide behind the children as cover you cowards.

  4. Malcolm Blue on February 2, 2019 @ 2:33 pm

    The author of this piece should have read up on the protocols regarding how to salue the flag! Among other things, if hatless, a man places his RIGHT hand over his heart, which is where Mr. Balavi’s right hand is located! Guidelines say NOTHING about the placement of the left hand! I’ve seen left hands holding a lit cigarette or cigar, a can of beer or a drink! I think Mr. Barlavi looks super patriotic and like a proud U.S. citizen! I salute him!

  5. Thanks for share the information!

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