President Trump has continued to escalate the racial division in this country by attacking athlete Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who kneel during the national anthem. Has this man ever read the U.S. Constitution? Does he understand the concept of free speech extends beyond himself and his tweets?
Just when we think he can’t get any worse, Trump called any NFL player who “disrespects our flag” by kneeling a “son of a bitch” who deserves to be fired. In response, many club owners responded about everyone’s right to free speech, and more NFL players kneeled in defiance. In fact, the Pittsburgh Steelers remained in the locker room until the anthem was played.
Kaepernick began to kneel during the anthem protest racism and police brutality in the country.
Trump has revealed over and over how he feels about the country’s racism, police brutality and discrimination by action and word. For example, he described white supremacists shouting “Jews can’t replace us” as “very fine people” and blamed both sides when an avowed supremacist ran his vehicle into a crowd and killed a woman protester.
Then he pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who refused to stop racial profiling. And let’s not forget the upheaval he’s put the Dreamers’ program into. We can’t even complete a list like this; there are too many examples in just nine months.
Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt in July after violating a court order in a racial profiling case in 2011. Arpaio and his office had been ordered to not stop Latinos purely on the suspicion if they were in the country legally or not. Trump made Arpaio the benefactor of his first presidential pardon.
Police should not differentiate among drivers when deciding when to make a “routine” traffic stop. Citizens should not be questioned when they have not broken the law because they are Latino (or black, for that matter; we can relate).
With the country the most divided it has been in years, a president should not be seen as condoning acts of racial profiling and discrimination. As the leader of this country, he should be standing against these acts of bigotry.
Many civil rights groups have called Trump’s pardon “unconstitutional” and argued Trump was validating racism against the Latinos. Also, lawmakers claimed Trump used Hurricane Harvey’s tragedy as a distraction for his pardons.
Then there’s his effort to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, threatening the lives of Latinos who have only known America as their home. This ties into his rhetoric about immigrants since his presidential campaign in 2016.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) filed a lawsuit Sept. 18 against Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke. The suit claims repeal of DACA would violate the Fifth Amendment.
We, the Courtbouillon staff, call for equal treatment for all people in this country. Discrimination should not be acceptable behavior, especially from law enforcement and the leader of the free world. These actions by the 45th commander-in-chief makes us wonder about that degree he received from the University of Pennsylvania and his proclamation that he is a “smart person.”
We urge President Trump to stop supporting hateful rhetoric and become the U.S. leader of all the people that this country needs and deserves.
(Editor-in-Chief Jamia Collins wrote this editorial on behalf of the Courtbouillon staff.)