FROM THE LEFT
The demonization of the First Amendment
The recent uproar over NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem has been blown completely out of proportion by Donald Trump. Once again, he is trying to divert attention away from the factual issues that we should be concerned about. We should be focusing on the ongoing investigations of this scandalous administration, the destruction of our health care system by right wingers that have said for seven years they have a better plan (they have no plan) and a tax plan that will blow up the national debt and give huge tax breaks to the wealthy.
Rather than focusing on these things, Trump would have us focus on a “trumped” up issue like disrespecting the national anthem and disrespecting the flag. Folks, please don’t be suckered into his diversionary tactics to distract, demonize and further divide us. This is a strategy by Trump to always blame something or someone else for his incompetence and to divert attention from his flawed activities.
With his tactics he has tried to divert attention to what the peaceful protesting has been about. As a reminder, the peaceful protests have been for taking a stand against the killing of unarmed individuals by police officers. It is amazing how many people will quote the Second See CLARK, B2
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Amendment to justify open carry laws but will completely disregard the First Amendment and what it allows our citizens to do.
The First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peacefully assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” In regard to freedom of speech, it protects an individual’s right to partake in rhetoric even if distasteful.
The peaceful protest by law abiding citizens is not being disrespectful to the flag nor the national anthem. Individuals are exercising their right to protest. There have been many attempts to curtail “freedom of speech” but the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of its protection. As a matter of fact, taking a knee is in honor of something or someone. Many servicemen and women have taken a knee in honor of a fallen soldier. It is said that the first time someone took a knee was some 57 years ago when a group of football players took a knee to honor their athletic director who had died.
Trump would further have you believe the protesters are being disrespectful to those who have served, and those who have died. No, as a veteran, we served, fought and our fallen brothers and sisters did so, to protect your rights as American citizens, to have the freedoms expressed in the Constitution.
Trump has time and time again implied the restrictions of a free press, freedom of speech and the firing of those who disagree with him. These actions can be interpreted as being dictatorial.
Our freedoms are protected by the Constitution and they are precious. They are rights that should not and cannot be taken for granted. We must continue to fight to protect them even if we sometimes disagree with those that have different views or unusual ways of protesting. An infringement on ones right to free speech or those rights expressed in the First Amendment is an infringement on every one of our rights to do so.
Do not allow anyone to detract, demonize or divide us. As citizens, it is all our responsibilities to protect them. Every one of us must oppose anyone that even remotely tries to restrict our rights. The First Amendment will not be demonized by those that would want our attention diverted away from significant issues. Express to everyone that you believe in our rights and, if necessary, take a knee.