NOT a week goes by without
President Donald Trump stirring
up controversy that deepens
ethnic, racial or religious
divisions within the US, as if
there is not enough of it already.
In a short space of time, he
employed incendiary criticism
against athletes protesting
the discrimination of African-
American citizens; he has renewed
his battle against migration from
countries with a Muslim majority;
and continues to play a cynical
political game with legislation
protecting the undocumented
“Dreamers” brought illegally to
the US as children. In all of these
policies, he positions himself as
the defender of white Americans,
who according to him are the
only true patriots, from the
ethnic and religious minorities,
not to mention foreigners, who
in his eyes are all a threat to the
American way of life. This is
the reactionary world of Donald
Trump.
For most people outside the US,
the name Colin Kaepernick was
until quite recently completely
unknown. However, the former
quarterback for the San Francisco
49ers has become an international
household name since he refused
“to stand up to show pride in a
flag for a country that oppresses
black people and people of color”
in August of last year. His protest,
in the form of kneeling, known
as “taking the knee” when the
national anthem is played before
games, has since been emulated by
other sports figures from football
league the NFL, basketball
league the NBA, and sometimes
by entire teams. The support of
this protest has intensified since
Trump entered into the fray in
his typical manner, providing the
match (or tweet) whenever there
is a combustible situation.
For these protesting athletes,
their act of kneeling during the
national anthem and in front of
the American flag is their way
of exercising a fundamental
democratic right of remonstrating
against police brutality and other
injustices against black people.
Statistics coming from the US
indicate that African-Americans
are the worst off in society,
with some disturbing figures to
demonstrate this. Considerably
fewer African-Americans holdNOT a week goes by without
President Donald Trump stirring
up controversy that deepens
ethnic, racial or religious
divisions within the US, as if
there is not enough of it already.
In a short space of time, he
employed incendiary criticism
against athletes protesting
the discrimination of African-
American citizens; he has renewed
his battle against migration from
countries with a Muslim majority;
and continues to play a cynical
political game with legislation
protecting the undocumented
“Dreamers” brought illegally to
the US as children. In all of these
policies, he positions himself as
the defender of white Americans,
who according to him are the
only true patriots, from the
ethnic and religious minorities,
not to mention foreigners, who
in his eyes are all a threat to the
American way of life. This is
the reactionary world of Donald
Trump.
For most people outside the US,
the name Colin Kaepernick was
until quite recently completely
unknown. However, the former
quarterback for the San Francisco
49ers has become an international
household name since he refused
“to stand up to show pride in a
flag for a country that oppresses
black people and people of color”
in August of last year. His protest,
in the form of kneeling, known
as “taking the knee” when the
national anthem is played before
games, has since been emulated by
other sports figures from football
league the NFL, basketball
league the NBA, and sometimes
by entire teams. The support of
this protest has intensified since
Trump entered into the fray in
his typical manner, providing the
match (or tweet) whenever there
is a combustible situation.
For these protesting athletes,
their act of kneeling during the
national anthem and in front of
the American flag is their way
of exercising a fundamental
democratic right of remonstrating
against police brutality and other
injustices against black people.
Statistics coming from the US
indicate that African-Americans
are the worst off in society,
with some disturbing figures to
demonstrate this. Considerably
fewer African-Americans hold university degrees in proportion to
the rest of the population, they have
higher levels of unemployment, and
African- Americans make up nearly
a third of inmates in prisons.
Kneeling during the national
anthem might be controversial, and is
definitely not universally endorsed
as a means of protest. However, it
is a legitimate act in a free society
and is effective in highlighting one
of the major issues that threaten the
cohesion of American society. But,
as we unfortunately have become
accustomed to with Trump, he says
exactly the wrong things, which
exacerbate an already very tense
situation.
In a campaign rally in Alabama,
in a vitriolic verbal outpouring, he
called for NFL players to be fired
for kneeling during the national
anthem. “Wouldn’t you love to see
one of these NFL owners, when
somebody disrespects our flag, to
say, ‘Get (him) off the field right
now…’ You know, some owner
is going to do that. He’s going to
say, ‘That guy that disrespects our
flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner,
they don’t know it (but) they’ll be
the most popular person in this
country.” Knowing what these
athletes are protesting against, it is

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