Just when I thought the president of the United States couldn’t possibly say anything more offensive in public, he once again outdid himself.
This past Friday, Trump voiced his intense views of the growing number of NFL players who have kneeled during the National Anthem in order to bring national attention to racial injustices in America. Standing in front of a crowd in Alabama, he referred to the players as, “sons of b*tches” and advocated for NFL coaches to fire them if they chose to kneel during the National Anthem.
This is problematic in more ways than I can write within my word limit.
First, this man, for the umpteenth time, undermined the Constitution. The players exercised their first amendment right in the most non-disruptive and peaceful way. They didn’t use hateful language. They didn’t shout. They didn’t even go on strike. They merely kneeled quietly during the National Anthem.
To encourage them to be fired for peacefully attempting to bring awareness to issues deeply personal to them and other members of their race is insensitive, overly aggressive and blatantly absurd. Most importantly, it has very strong racial undertones that lead me to my second point.
I don’t care what any of Trump’s supporters or apologists say, Trump is racist. He never fully condemned white supremacists or Klansmen who vocally supported him during his campaign. He took two days after receiving much criticism to read a non- genuine statement to condemn the racially charged violence in Charlottesville, and at one point regarded some of the white supremacists as, “very fine people.” Yet the African-American professional football players who exercised their basic first amendment right for a call to justice are referred to as “sons of b*tches.”
He has yet to speak up about the devastation in Mexico, where the death toll steadily climbs by the day from its second earthquake in a month, or Puerto Rico, which is entirely without power in the aftermath of back-to-back hurricanes. Yet he went out of his way to condemn black football players and refer to them as “sons of b*tches.” Best yet, he has offered no apology, instead, tweeting a less aggressive version of his opinion the following day. This is not a coincidence. This is racism.
In the interest of remaining within the word limit, I’ll just include a final point: this behavior is as unpresidential as it gets. How can a leader of a country refer to some of the country’s citizens as “sons of b*tches?” How can a leader of a country that has the most freedom of speech in the world condemn a minority group for simply exercising their first amendment right? How can a leader of a country be made aware of his offensiveness and make no effort to rectify it? How can a leader of the United States of America (with an emphasis on the word, ‘united’) make such divisive comments over an issue that is representative of the suffering felt by minority groups in America?
To Trump supporters and apologists, enough is enough. Nothing about this is okay and justifiable. This is something that is debatable and is not something that can be agreed to disagree on. If you’re okay with this, I consider you to be racist. If you still support this man, I think you’re a racist. If you feel differently and are angered by this opinion piece, email me. I can respond beyond my 400-600 word limit for the newspaper.