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Rant & Reactions - Weekly Political Update 9/25/17

By Carter Hanson in Opinion & Politics


For my first rant… update, I would like to complain about Trump. But unlike any other week, I will be covering Trump criticizing someone lawfully using their rights. Oh, wait, that’s every week…

Anyway, to the point. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick (and many other football players) began protesting racial inequality and injustice for African-Americans in the justice system by kneeling during the national anthem during football games.

This was followed on September 22 by this statement made by president Donald Trump at a rally in Alabama: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners,  when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b***h off the field right now, out. He’s fired. He’s fired!’”.

The president is entirely wrong.

First, the protesters are fully within their rights to kneel during the national anthem under the first amendment’s freedom of speech and freedom of expression. So asking “NFL owners” to fire someone based on expressing themselves in a completely legal, peaceful not even demonstration (they’re just kneeling for god’s sake), is not only ridiculous and absurd, it’s also downright treasonous - Trump is asking NFL executives to fire people because they are daring to stand up for their rights, which sounds pretty treasonous to me.

Second, Trump is making a substantial mistake because by trying to call out #TakeaKneel he has grown their protest into almost an entire movement. He has drawn the media to the protesters like a moth to a light, probably because the media absolutely loves Trump (hypocritical, I know, because I’m the media and I’m reporting on Trump) . The very act of recognizing Trump’s adversaries, strengthens them, and yet he does so over and over again.

To conclude, quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his colleagues are fully within their rights to protest in any way, shape, or form, and it is completely out-of-step for the president to, first of all, comment on this, but especially to criticize. This president will call out African-American football players for silently protesting during the national anthem, but refuses to condemn Nazis and members of the KKK who ram cars into groups of people. This is the new darker America that we live in.

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