OPINION: Protests take many forms



To take a knee or not to take a knee seems to be one of the hotly debated questions of the day.

Football players who took a knee during the national anthem last year to express their anger and frustration with police brutality and racial injustice have been joined by other athletes—pro and amateur—as well as entertainers this year. Political leaders, business owners, average Joes and Janes also have jumped into the fray expressing their support for, or opposition to, these acts of peaceful demonstrations.

The president of the United States has called the kneeling a disgrace and disrespectful to the American flag and the country. In one of his many comments on the subject, President Donald Trump called the kneeling athletes “sons of bitches” and said they should be fired.

This country was birthed in protest, dissatisfaction with the status quo and for decades change only seems to come when people find ways to make their frustrations known loudly and publicly.

Still whether the issue is taxation without representation, segregation, voting rights, religious freedom, gay rights, police brutality, etc., the citizenry and our leaders tend to ignore what many have to say until they find an in-your-face kind of way to express it. Unfortunately, it isn’t until people are made to feel uncomfortable that attention gets paid to many issues and changes result.

America has evolved in fits and starts, often beginning with a demonstration considered outrageous by some.

Whether it’s dumping tea into a harbor, burning a flag, taking a knee, marching peacefully, raising a fist, chanting a slogan, burning a bra, signing online petitions, staging sit-ins, etc., protests have always had a place in our society.

Expressing our pleasure and displeasure is one of the freedoms on which American was founded.

Personally I stand in support of those courageously taking a knee, especially in the face of such ugly and hostile reactions.

Protests show what’s in the hearts and minds of people who feel disenfranchised, disrespected and ignored. It’s a reading of the health and attitude of our nation. It is a vital part of the fabric of this great country.

Like it or not, protests in one form or another, are here to stay.

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