In his fight with the NFL over players protesting racial and social injustice, Trump has used his underlings to demean the “take a knee” players by accusing them of disrespecting the flag, a song, soldiers, first responders and America. What is an abomination is that all of the Trump administration knows exactly what the protests are about, and why predominately Black athletes are exercising their First Amendment rights; but they are still portraying the protestors as un-American.
Thanks to the diligence of too many Trump social media monitors, everyone and their imaginary friend knows Trump staged a propaganda scene starring his theocratic cohort Mike ‘preacher’ Pence.
Of course the objective of the propaganda piece was teaching the people what Trump expects “good and godly real Americans” to do when other Americans exercise their constitutional rights. Trump has been targeting the right of a free press and the right to peaceably assemble since his poorly attended inauguration, but now he’s made “taking a knee” to protest racial injustice a clear and present danger and an example of “bad Americans.” Of course the issue is a distraction from Trump’s incompetence, but it is also a propaganda ploy in his crusade to silence opposition to more social and racial injustice.
If any American is still befuddled at why NFL and other professional and amateur athletes are taking a knee in protest, one image should clarify any confusion. The recent image explains why Trump’s attempt to conflate protesting racial injustice with disrespect for Veterans, the military, the flag, and the song is just pure theatre and nothing else. This is why athletes and decent Americans are “taking a knee.”
The image, and video here, epitomizes what many decent Americans are protesting against – racial injustice. This week two 6th grade boys were scuffling on the playground when a full-grown man-cop broke up the wrestlers’ “clinch” and threw the African American boy to the ground before dragging him away. The other child, a white boy, walked away unpunished as if the man-cop never saw him. Had the Black child been a couple of years older, he risked being gunned down based on the actions of the man-cop abusing a much smaller African American child.
Sadly, this was not an isolated occurrence; it is a microcosm of what it means to be African American in America and the only reason athletes are “taking a knee.” These protests have nothing to do with disrespecting a song, a flag, or the myriad other reasons the right devised to portray being opposed to racial injustice as being a bad American. Still, Trump and Pence admitted that the “lying preacher” was dispatched to a NFL football game for the express purpose of showing the rest of the country how “good Trump Americans” are supposed to react to protests against racial injustice; feign disgust, praise Trump, and then rush to Twitter to praise Trump some more. Pence’s statement:
“I left today’s Colts game because President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem. At at time when so many Americans are inspiring our nation with their courage, resolve, and resilience, now, more than ever, we should rally around our Flag and everything that unites us. While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, I don’t think it’s too much to ask NFL players to respect the Flag and our National Anthem. I stand with President Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem.”
What that means is lying preacher Pence, as surrogate for liar-in-chief Trump, represents “good Americans” who not only oppose other Americans exercising their First Amendment rights, they consider opposition to racial injustice un-American. However, in keeping with the administration’s policy of mendacity first, Pence lied saying he left because some of the athletes “took a knee” to disrespect a flag, a song, and ‘our soldiers.’ It is too bad preacher Pence didn’t walk on the field and accuse the “take a knee” players of being un-American to their faces and away from cameras.
This “take a knee” issue is not going away and based on Trump’s devotees it is only going to get worse as is always the case when Americans, especially people of color, protest any kind of injustice. For example, one of Trump’s BFFs Alex Jones claimed the NFL players taking a knee are really saying:
“Mainstream media: you’re my God, I am bad. They’re kneeling to political correctness and hating white people. They’re kneeling to white genocide.”
That is an odd statement, particularly considering a really white Nashville recording artist and country music singer recently explained why she and her white accompanist knelt during their performance of the National Anthem.
Country singer Meghan Linsey and guitarist Tyler Cain were not “kneeling to hating white people or kneeling to white genocide.” It also was not to disrespect “our” soldiers, Trump, god almighty, police, “our” flag or the “our” National Anthem; the one she just performed at a televised NFL game. The pair of white country musicians knelt because, “It needs to be white Americans who stand up in solidarity and say this [racial injustice] isn’t right.”
Another one of Trump’s paramours, evangelical freak of nature Pat Robertson, is so sure his god believes “taking a knee” is a protest against Trump that he said the mass shooting in Las Vegas was a result of disrespect for Trump and the National Anthem. Robertson said:
“There is profound disrespect for our president, all across this nation. They say terrible things about him. It’s in the news; it’s in other places. There is disrespect now for our national anthem, disrespect for our veterans, disrespect for the institutions of our government, disrespect for the court system.”
First, all the disrespect rabid Robertson blamed on NFL players “taking a knee” describes Trump and his administration. Second, it is no stretch to assert that many of the 58 country music fans killed and over 500 that were injured were likely Trump supporters and almost certainly oppose kneeling to protest racial injustice during the National Anthem. Those country music fans killed and wounded were victims of the GOP and NRA’s love affair with NRA gun money; they were not victims of professional athletes protesting racial injustice.
Trump and his nasty cohort are going to extreme lengths to portray opposition to racial injustice as un-American for a good reason; their base of support starts and ends with dirty racists opposed to justice for people of color. And it is noteworthy to mention that Trump and his racist attorney general ardently support making racial profiling a national policy; something most of the “take a knee” protestors are well aware of.
Trump claimed last week that his ranting and raving about the “take a knee” protests have nothing to do with racism even as the protestors on and off the field have made it abundantly clear they take a knee to protest racial injustice. No matter how one assesses this phony outrage and propaganda campaign against freedom of speech, it is clear that besides silencing dissent, Trump revealed his support for racial injustice and no half-baked propaganda ploy can conceal that fact.