Don’t fall for all the distractions

Dear Editor:

On Sunday in Indianapolis, Ind., Vice President Pence left an NFL game in what looked like a staged protest against other players. He was supposed to be there for a ceremony to honor future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, but he left abruptly after players from the San Francisco 49ers knelled for the National Anthem.

Pence stated that although he respected the right to free speech, he “will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”

President Donald Trump and his base, which include many racists, have successfully highjacked the anthem protest to distract from police brutally and the Russian collusion probes. With hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the mass murders in Las Vegas, you would think that the White House would have more to worry about than telling billionaires what to do with their million-dollar employees.

With the exception of divisive executive orders against nonwhites and Muslims, Trump and the Republicans have very little legislative victories to hang their hats on.

One of the very few laws Trump and the Republicans have passed was a gun law to make it easier for mentally disturbed people to own guns. Even last week, as the country went through yet another horrible mass killing in Las Vegas, Congress was thinking about passing a bill making gun silencers easier to have.

Can you imagine how many more people would have been shot in Las Vegas if the victims there could not hear the machine gun fire? Yet not one week after the shootings, Trump and Pence look to get headlines on staging this protest over kneeling football players at an NFL game.

Pence cared more about football players kneeling than staying for the game to honor Peyton Manning, a player who brought Indiana much fame when Pence was governor.

When he was the governor, he refused to pardon a black man who had been in jail for years unjustly. Is it not ironic, Pence, a Christian who freely professes his faith, seem to be so unforgiving and tone deaf to black players kneeling to bring attention to injustice? As a candidate, he had much forgiveness for Donald Trump who bragged about assaulting a married woman.

You see, Trump and Pence are hiding behind the flag and the soldiers to take away from their poor record in Washington. The act of kneeling is not usually associated with disrespect! That is bull and most of you know it!

You kneel to pray, you kneel to ask a person to marry you, and have you seen anyone kneeling even smiling in these protest? Some are even praying. Soldiers even kneel to honor fallen comrades! Young black millionaires kneel to give voice to their poor brothers and sisters and all of a sudden the act of kneeling is like cursing out grandma?

It’s bad enough for Trump and Pence to try this, it’s even worse when we buy this twisted narrative as if it were gospel. Did Trump show his love for the military when he chose not to serve his country in Vietnam? There are soldiers such as former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura who strongly believe Colin Kaepernick should have the right to kneel. Do the soldiers against kneeling cancel out the ones who think kneeling is proper? Is their sacrifice worth less to you?

I believe there were patriots on both sides. Being against the Vietnam War was not being against the soldiers who fought that war. The same false narrative is at play today. NFL players are protesting the killing of unarmed black people and the lack of accountability of a system that is supposed to be protecting everyone.

That is what I was told the flag was supposed to stand far: Liberty and justice for all.

What is more important, compelling people to standing for symbols or asking your fellow citizens to honor the principals for which the flag is supposed to stand?

Trump is a man who cannot say anything bad about Russian President Putin, the Klan and Nazis, yet he can call young black NFL players “sons of bitches.” You didn’t hear the mayor of London, who happens to be a popular Muslim, criticizing the Las Vegas police like Trump interjected his opinion in an ongoing terrorist investigation.

Notice the pattern? If you are not in Trump’s base, he is very slow to care, if he cares at all.

Remember Pence did that stunt in Indianapolis on the taxpayers’ dollars. Makes about as much sense as NASCAR saying they will fire people who won’t stand for the American flag while they honor the Confederate flag. Don’t they understand southern soldier died trying to get rid of that same American flag?

You see it’s only disrespectful when it is black people going against what some whites deem sacred. It is not about disrespect, this is a distraction from a man who is the master of distraction and division and who just happens to be electorally elected. When it comes to the popular vote, he is fake news.

Rivers-Cleveland

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