Letter: Taking the knee


To the Editor:

Would you choose to decorate a cake for a gay wedding? Absolutely not, says a Colorado baker. When the Supreme Court ruled in his favor, freedom of expression was upheld for him.

Football players reverently kneel on the field to call attention to violent encounters between African-Americans and law enforcement, and President Trump intervenes causing the football players to get slapped with fines. Freedom of expression is denied.

I’m horrified at the unjustified deaths and injuries suffered by black people – but as a white person, I’m not surprised. All my life I’ve overheard white people making bigoted comments against people of color, so unfortunately now and then, police officers have been pressured to enforce the wishes of white taxpayers who hold a particular cultural view.

Now that our cellphones record, proof exists of what happens. Stereotypes often collapse. We see one incident after another where black people are unfairly treated, even brutalized.

That’s bad enough. But when President Trump distorts the issue by claiming “kneelers” are disrespectful to the flag and to our soldiers, that’s beyond the pale. Trump is deliberately twisting the narrative, and the narrative needs to be corrected as follows.

The “kneel” represents honor toward the flag and sadness toward victims. It’s a body posture that conveys respect rather than anger.

Meanwhile President Trump should examine his record. Five deferments allowed him to avoid military duty – reason enough to stop pointing fingers at others.

Trisha Grunwald