It’s been a hard year in terms of our national conversation on protesting and what is and isn’t acceptable when a person chooses to protest. During November’s huge protest by many NFL players over police brutality and comments made by President Trump regarding the players’ very ability to stage protests. I saw this morning that a state house rep from Indiana is proposing a new law that would allow anyone who attends a Indianapolis Colts game the ability to receive a full refund for their ticket cost if they were offended by a player’s choice to protest.
Protesting has never been popular in almost any form. Dr. King’s movement in the 60’s, although thought of more fondly today and misused historically by those who wish to legitimize protesting as a whole, was never popular by any stretch of the imagination. Dr. King was harassed by many, including those in power at the time. J. Edgar Hoover placed Dr. King under surveillance, using the false premise that Dr. King has Russian sympathies. Dr. King also survived a horrible assassination attempt almost ten years before his death. A mentally ill woman who believes strongly that Dr. King did in fact have Russian sympathies stabbed and almost killed him.
““But you know what’s hurting the game more than that? When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they are playing our great national anthem. The only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium, I guarantee things will stop. Things will stop. Just pick up and leave. Pick up and leave. Not the same game anymore anyway.” – President Trump on NFL protests
When someone sees a protest, they need to separate themselves from the method of protest and ask one simple question, “Why? Why is this person risking life and limb to demonstrate a point they strongly believe in?” As Americans, we have the legal right to protest and when someone makes a simple one line assertion that protesting in and of itself is wrong, that someone must not understand what living in America really means. But at least, we now have a very public example of someone who believes and pushes faux patriotism.
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