9.27.17 – A message from the ACLU:
“If Donald Trump is not a white supremacist, his actions and words show a great deal of comfort with the values of white supremacy. We saw this most recently in his response to the NFL protests that included standing against racial injustice and police brutality. This started with Colin Kaepernick last season and shows no signs of stopping.
This past weekend over 200 football players – and performers and athletes in other sports – exercised their right to protest after our president resorted to time-tested racial code words to marginalize protestors as unpatriotic. He asked his overwhelmingly white audience in Alabama to get angry because “people like yourselves turn on the television and you see those people taking the knee.” Those people – before Saturday, almost all of them Black. The sons of bitches.
Trump has dominated the conversation, and in doing so, from the beginning, he has misled people into thinking the protests are just about the flag, or the national anthem. So let’s turn to what this protest was about at the beginning: the epidemic of police in this country killing Black and Brown people with no accountability.
Prosecutors and law enforcement should be accountable to the communities they serve. Join us in making five clear demands to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice.
What we’re talking about is structural racism. Our justice system has suffered this plague long before Trump and Sessions came into power. But this administration is doing all it can to dismantle what little progress we have won.
Programs to build trust between police and communities are gone. Prosecutors have expanded power to dole out the harshest charges possible. Police departments have new access to weapons of war – and new leeway to use them.
We will not accept this. We must take action to ensure real accountability and community safety. Join us in making five clear demands to Attorney General Jeff Sessions today.
If you are a person of color in America and you remain silent, what you risk is the future of your children and grandchildren. Athletes in the past – Muhammad Ali, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, Wilma Rudolph – risked their careers and reputations to speak out about racism. Today’s athlete-protesters like Colin Kaepernick and the brave women of the WNBA did not risk what earlier athletes did, but their courage stands out.
On Sunday these athletes showed real courage taking a stand – or a knee – against racism. That’s what we all must do to make the change this country so desperately needs