Trump Got It All Wrong … Again

Let’s be perfectly clear on something here.  It is NOT against any law to sit, kneel, or even lie prone while the Star Spangled Banner is being played.  It is everyone’s right to do as they will.  According to Title 36 (section 171) of the United States Code, “During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in (military) uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart …”  ‘Should’ does not equate to ‘must’, and there are neither penalties nor punishment for failing to do so.  It is not a law.

Before a pre-season game in 2016, Colin Kaepernick sat down, actually took to one knee, as opposed to the tradition of standing, during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner”. During a post-game interview, he explained his position stating, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

KaepernickFor the record before we move along, I stand, or rather sit/kneel, with Mr. Kaepernick in his protest.  It is not that I am not loyal to my country, for I am.  But frankly, the flag is a symbol, a mere piece of cloth, that is supposed to represent certain values and ideals.  Today, those values and ideals are being trampled, and I would have done exactly as Mr. Kaepernick did.

Last night, when Donald Trump was in Alabama to support senate candidate Luther Strange, he made the following statement …

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out. He’s fired. He’s fired!’”  No, Donnie, I would not love to see that.  You have almost single-handedly shredded the values for which that flag once stood. Trump also said such an owner would “be the most popular person in this country. Because that’s a total disrespect of our heritage. That’s a total disrespect for everything we stand for.” He added that if fans were to “leave the stadium” in response to a protest, “I guarantee things will stop.”

I strongly, adamantly disagree with Mr. Trump, but then what’s new, right?  The right to protest is an important part of our right to free speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.  Mr. Kaepernick, and many others who took his lead and ‘took a knee’ since, are doing nothing more than speaking out against the injustices that have run rampant in recent years in this once-great nation.

Those of us with small voices like mine do what we can to speak out against abuses by our elected officials, and social injustices.  But those like Jimmy Kimmel in his recent series of clips against the abominable Graham-Cassidy health un-care bill, have much larger voices and reach a larger audience, thus they can be said to be actually making a difference.  Colin Kaepernick is a football player of some fame, and as such, his voice is large.  He made a choice to use that voice to speak out against racism and racial injustice in the U.S., his country.  I applaud him and those who followed him, notably Seattle Seahawks’ Michael Bennett and Oakland Raiders’ Marshawn Lynch.  It is not only their right, but in some cases, their duty, their responsibility, to do so.  Time magazine got it right when they said …

“The President of the United States tore into NFL players exercising their free speech rights with more conviction than he condemned white supremacists — one of whom allegedly drove a car into protesters, killing one of them — in Charlottesville.”Time, 23 September 2017

I find it encouraging that Kimmel, Kaepernick, Bennett and Lynch are standing with courage by their beliefs, standing for the values they support.  Some have said that by failing to stand for the National Anthem they are somehow denigrating the veterans who have fought for the independence of this nation.  I say that nothing could be further from the truth … the right to stand up for what we believe in is precisely and exactly what those veterans fought for.  They did not fight for the right of white cops to shoot and kill unarmed African-Americans.  They did not fight for Donald Trump’s right to condemn millions to live without adequate healthcare.  They did not fight for the United States’ right to deny climate change and thus shorten the lives of mankind on earth.  They fought for us to be able to speak out, to maintain our constitutional freedoms, the right to ensure that our government is working for us and not against us.

Donald Trump has it all wrong, but then what else is new?

39 thoughts on “Trump Got It All Wrong … Again

  1. I took to Facebook on this and failed to get my point across. There are two distinct camps, those that think it’s okay to kneel during the anthem and those that don’t because they feel it’s offensive. My take on this is, soldiers gave their lives so that we have the freedom to choose how or if we express patriotism. We are a free country where you are not penalized for not standing for the national anthem. That’s what wars were fought for. In countries like North Korea and other dictatorships, loyalty to the state is mandatory. Here it is a choice.
    My other point is, if Trump didn’t take to Twitter to slam the NFL, very few players would have knelt and it wouldn’t have received notoriety. He caused this at a time when he was looking to, once again, distract Americans from more serious issues. He is a con man and people are lapping it up.
    Another observation as I traveled today. I travel 45 weeks per year. After 9/11, I have to say I am guilty of profiling those that were on flights and compared them in appearance to the 9/11 terrorists. Lately, I am more nervous by the privileged white male that seems to be gaining confidence in the form of rudeness as I travel. They are not afraid to criticize others or just blurt out unacceptable things when traveling almost daring people to respond. It is chilling. Trump has given a voice to these idiots and they are embracing it to the hilt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did the same … took to Facebook. I read a number of posts by veterans who said that this IS EXACTLY what they fought for … a person’s freedom to protest, to stand, kneel or sit against injustices. Yes, Trump started this fight … I applaud the players who choose not to stand, for it takes courage and I agree with the point they are making. The other thing I think of it is … I cannot imagine a more peaceful form of protest. Compare this to the rallies of the KKK, white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
      The two problems I have is that the message … the racial injustice against which they are protesting, has been lost or overshadowed by the controversy surrounding the whole thing, thanks to Trump. And secondly, as you say, the whole thing is front and center, distracting the public from two major issues, the lousy “health” care bill and the Russian investigation. He wants our eyes off the ball.
      And I agree … I am far more concerned by those smug white males than I am by any Muslim. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nationalism and it’s brother patriotism are the most natural thing in the world for us tribalistic humans, and along with them go the great anthems of belonging. Hymn singing is a similar desire to belong to a great family and Abide With Me was the cup final song. The last night of the proms gives us Land of Hope and Glory every year , Mother of the free.
    Yet there is another side to the coin we have more slavery in Great Britain than ever before. Do the middle classes and wealthy support British goods ? not if foreign ones are cheaper. Are they proud of our weather ? well they escape to warmer climes whenever they can.
    Are we really one big happy coordinated family caring for each member ? I will let you answer that one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The short answer is no, of course we are not, though that should be the goal, but I have concluded it is an unattainable goal.

      Now the longer answer is … yes, nationalism/patriotism are human nature, as one desires a sense of group identity, a sense of belonging. BUT … within that big ‘tent’ of loyalty to nation, there are multiple ‘tribes’ or ‘packs’ and therein lies the problem. Each is convinced that their tribe is the more valuable and that they should rule over, or in some cases even eradicate the other. And thus you have bigotry in all it’s many forms: racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and all the rest. In some cases, this leads to genocide, in others slavery, and in others just a society of chaos. Human nature being what it is, and looking back throughout history, I think it will never be much different, though I would wish otherwise.

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  3. Jill, well done. I added this comment to my recent post on the hypocrisy in the NFL regarding Kaepernick. I hope you don’t mind me adding it here.

    “It has been encouraging to see the players response to the latest denigrating and divisive comments by the White House incumbent. In Alabama Friday and again Saturday, Trump said NFL players should be yanked from the field and fired on the spot if they kneel during the national anthem. He also disinvited the basketball champions – the Golden State Warriors – from coming to the White House, after they said they were not coming.

    The NFL players will likely make a statement today. What is interesting the NFL is standing against Trump on this issue, which has two underlying themes. First, they want to support their players and citizens’ rights to protest, which stands taller than any flag could. Second, this is a business, so they have made a calculated decision that going against Trump’s divisiveness is the better course than siding with him on this issue. Question – will any offer Kaepernick a job, now?”

    Seeing some of the comments above, in the US the right to protest (even burn the flag) is covered and protected. Having watched the first half of the documentary series “The Vietnam War,” fighting for our country demands the respect that leaders do not lie to the people and soldiers about how things are going. The current White House incumbent is on record as being totally truthful with only 5% of his statements and 31% where he is partially truthful or better. That means he has lied 69% of the time. His lying and divisiveness deserves civil protest. The POTUS owes it to us to be truthful and protect all, not just his base of followers.

    Thanks for letting me add my comments, Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dearest Keith … your astute comments are ALWAYS welcome here, and this one was especially meaningful. I, too, am encouraged by the response of the NFL players today! I think they will not ‘sit down and shut up’ now!
      Thank you for your comment here … I appreciate it!

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  4. Initially I believed Kaepernick was merely looking for attention. Now, I see his commitment to an issue of great importance to him and all of us. This is not about respect or disrespect. It is about exercising the right to be heard and seen in opposition to an injustice……or don’t we have that right anymore?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    I definitely stand with Mr. Kaepernick … k#TakeAKnee … ‘For the record before we move along, I stand, or rather sit/kneel, with Mr. Kaepernick in his protest. It is not that I am not loyal to my country, for I am. But frankly, the flag is a symbol, a mere piece of cloth, that is supposed to represent certain values and ideals. Today, those values and ideals are being trampled, and I would have done exactly as Mr. Kaepernick did.’

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Reblogged this on We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident and commented:
    This country was built on protests, not because people hate the country, but because they love this country and expect for it to keep its promises to everyone. Things cannot be fixed until it is admitted that they are broken.

    Kneeling is both a sign of respect and a sign of sympathy. I can kneel to say, “I respect the flag, but the country it represents, my country, is sick. It needs healing. I do not kneel to disrespect, but kneel FOR all of the rights that this country promises to be administered fairly and equally to all of its citizens.”

    I kneel to cry. The President of our country has no shame in saying “Son of bitch.”. I cry for him. I cry for our country. I am too weak from crying to stand.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. I watched Bound for Glory last night, the story of Woodie Guthrie’s life. In the early days of America there were thousands of families in poverty-all colors of people-who did share cropper work. They were treated like animals, housed in rows of wooden boxes with minimal food and pay, living like animals, all so that a few people could be wealthy. That is the kind of country, the kind of control, that Trump and white supremacists long to return to. It is not about color but about money. Woodie left his family to travel the country, urging others to speak out, stand up, be who they are no matter what. When we can let go of the color issue, stop blaming everything on racial attitudes alone, we can join together and vanquish the real enemy-Power. Flashback to the sixties…I see a hippie, holding a sign and scrawled on it ‘Power to the People’. But we must be a united people, not factions of color or religion or gender. There is a forgotten race that has suffered atrocities no one ever learned about in histroy books and that still do not enjoy the same rights as all other Americans-without paying a price. The true indigenous peoples of this country have but a small voice compared to the whole. Yet they fight to save Mother Earth and regain some of their history-a history crushed beneath the boot of the Military for the purpose of commerce. It always goes back to money.

    Liked by 5 people

    • To an extent, I agree with you, in that money does play a large role in the injustices we see every day. However, I think that it IS also about race and religion. There is an ever-growing white supremacist movement in this country, and many of them have said, point blank, that they want to make this a white, Christian nation. Your conclusion, that we must all stand together against the real enemy, power, is quite true, but at this point, I do not see that ever happening. As long as there are people who actually believe they are better than others because of their skin colour, gender, religion or ethnicity, we cannot come together. How do we fix that? I do not know … if I did, I would either be very rich or very dead right now 😉

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  8. Dear Jill,

    DDT is working at being the divider-in-chief again which is red meat to his base.The repeal of Obamacare is on life support, hopefully to be dead permanently soon, he has to deflect. Ever since he has been speaking on this issue of disrespecting the flag by Colin Kaepernick and others, that has been the headline subject of news shows..
    These NFL protesters have not shown disrespect but are simply using their celebrity status to the issue of racism and judicial injustice that is dishing the US flag and what it represents, a haven for freedom, justice, fairness, a fair shot in life.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 5 people

    • You are quite right in that this is more deflection from both the Graham-Cassidy bill and also the Mueller investigation, but I think Trump miscalculated on this one and has made himself a powerful enemy. I was pleased to see the NFL players protesting Trump himself today, as well as racism and social injustices. Sigh … and yet his approval rating is actually up! I just don’t understand what it takes to wake people up. I told Herb tonight that I believe Trump could walk up to some of these people, slap them in the face, and they would still love him. Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Well, I’m all for respect. I think everyone deserves respect until they prove otherwise.

    I do believe though, that dogma exists as a form of control. Whether it is giving reverence to a flag, a statue, or a a golden calf, the thing itself is only representative of a moral code that may, or may not exist. I think they can become dangerous icons when the moral code behind them becomes destructive, controlling and immoral. We must all make our own decisions and that is what freedom is truly about.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You hit the nail squarely on the head with “dogma exists as a form of control”. Look at refusing to stand for the national anthem, and compare it to the violence of the KKK and white supremacists at Charlottesville and other rallies. Now which is more ‘disrespectful’? Peaceful protest should ALWAYS be welcomed. I’m guessing that Trump would not have much liked Martin Luther King, either.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. For once you are wrong.
    Paying respect is not about Mr. Trump.
    Here we do not revere the flag, but is utterly disrespectful not to honour our Queen / King. Not because of who they are, but because of what they represent. A thousand years of liberty, law, and justice.
    Fucking morons in sports who make a statement by disrespecting your nation, are just that. Fucking morons.
    I still adore you. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jack, some people, mainly war veterans, take the Union flag (Union Jack) very seriously, and certainly the royals do. There is always a flag flying when the Royals are in residence. It is a shame that many people often display it upside down. Again, it is a symbol…Cross of Saint Andrew counterchanged with the Cross of Saint Patrick, over all the Cross of Saint George. It is symbolic of a treaty of different peoples and I think that you have negated its value and the pride that a lot of people take in ‘showing the flag.’ Indeed, it is waved furiously from British cruise boats.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhhh, Jack … as I was writing this, I thought to myself “Jack will disagree with me on this one”! And that’s okay … we see some things differently. As long as you still adore me, I can live with it 😉 And I still adore you also. ❤

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