Our great armchair patriot, Donald J. Trump, has picked a fight with athletes who engage in lawful, peaceful protest against racial injustice and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem. Trump lashed out at NFL players who choose not to stand for the anthem.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now,” Trump said. “Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!”
This from a man who chose to use deferments to sit it out while others actually served our nation during the Vietnam War. In response I am sending him a copy of a letter I respectfully sent Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last year when she initially criticized Colin Kaepernick. After further thought Justice Ginsburg publicly retracted her comments.
Dear Justice Ginsburg,
I recently read of your interview with Katie Couric in which you commented on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s (and others) decision to kneel during the playing of the national anthem. You stated that you would “strongly take issue with the point of view that they are expressing when they do that” and you went on to say that you think their actions are “dumb and disrespectful.”
Justice Ginsburg, I am a retired military officer who is writing you to respectfully disagree. In the course of my twenty years in the U.S. Air Force my service took me to over thirty countries to include Iraq. I dearly love this country, our military and our flag and I stand at attention whenever I hear our national anthem. But I proudly served to defend the rights and freedoms of all Americans. This includes the freedom of speech and expression of young folks like Colin Kaepernick and others who dare to lawfully and peacefully express themselves.
Mr. Kaepernick has simply chosen to kneel as a protest against racial injustice and police brutality. He is not anti-military nor is he attacking police officers or advocating violence and I applaud him for standing up (or kneeling in this case) for his convictions. Defending that right to lawfully and peacefully protest is what separates us from many of the countries I visited during my career and I certainly don’t find these young people dumb or disrespectful.
Michael E. Waters
Lieutenant Colonel (Ret)
United States Air Force
This letter would not make a difference to Trump as he is a racist bigot who is unfit to be the Commander-in-Chief but I want him to know what some patriots who have actually served believe.
Michael E. Waters