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Dear President Trump: Taking a Knee is Not About Disrespecting the Flag, It's About Fighting Racism
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6 Oct 2017 02:49 PM EST

-by Chanel Adams, Staff Writer

President Donald Trump needs to do his research before tweeting. Maybe he should spend most of his time Googling instead of tweeting.

Recently, Trump has been tweeting about the NFL. He ranted about the football players who took a knee during the national anthem. He declared that NFL owner should fire any "son of a b****" who did the peaceful protest on the field.

He also retracted an invitation to NBA champions the Golden State Warriors to visit the White House. Trump's reaction came after Stephen Curry expressed hesitation about going to the White House. Dozens of NFL, NBA, and MBL players took a knee earlier this month, as did musicians Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams, and John Legend. Even X-Files stars Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny took a knee for the athletes.

Colin Kaepernick was the first NFL star to take a knee. He peacefully protested on the football field while Barack Obama was president. He was protesting amid the series of young African Americans shot by white police officers. He was not making a political statement. Nor was he protesting against the president. He was fighting for both racial justice and social justice.

Of course, Trump had to make this protest it about himself. And now, taking a knee has become a protest against Donald Trump. Maybe everyone should do their research to find out what "taking a knee" is all about. It's not protesting against the National Anthem. It's not about protesting America the nation's flag. It's about giving respect to the black men and women who have lost their lives in the hands of police officers.

Trump is not aware of this. These are ideas that Trump is too racist to engage in. He wouldn't even bother to educate himself on the topic. The roots of "taking a knee" go back and are like the peaceful protests of the past. Black athletes and entertainers have been taking a stand against racial injustice for years, according to The Guardian. Kaepernick has remained silent on his decision. Meanwhile, his teammate on the 49ers, Eric Reid, wrote an op-ed for The New York Times about why he chose to take a knee alongside his fellow quarterback.

"In early 2016, I began paying attention to reports about the incredible number of unarmed black people being killed by the police. The posts on social media deeply disturbed me, but one in particular brought me to tears: the killing of Alton Sterling in my hometown Baton Rouge, La. This could have happened to any of my family members who still live in the area. I felt furious, hurt and hopeless. I wanted to do something, but didn’t know what or how to do it."

That's how it became what it is right now. It's because of the killings of innocent black men like Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Protesting the anthem was about telling people that we are far from being equal in this country.

Kaepernick said himself: "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color…. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

It's up to people to find out the message behind this peaceful protest, which is what it is. This is a movement for those who can no longer speak for themselves. This is a movement for racial justice in this country. Instead of tweeting your feelings, Google and learn something next time.

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