Donald Trump continues command for athletes not to kneel on Twitter
In all likelihood, readers tire of seeing President Donald Trump’s tweets. The intelligence community likely tires of explaining how Trump’s social media presence compromises national security and affects international relations. Journalists tire of covering the tweets.
Still, the American president uses Twitter to reach his 39.7 million followers and millions of other users. Trump uses the space to explain why he believes Black professional athletes’, and their allies’, peaceful dissent should be stamped out. The current protest that gets Trump’s attention? When professional athletes kneel (or “take a knee”) against police brutality and racism.
Around dinner time Saturday, Trump tweeted, “Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!”
Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017
As millions of Americans in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico struggled toward hurricane recovery, national focus should have remained largely in the Caribbean. And, admittedly, continuous pleas and complaints moved the federal government toward some action.
But the president’s Saturday cyber command about the NFL showed consistent political tone-deafness. His digital focus on mostly Black, professional athletes’ peaceful resistance while Black and Brown Americans in Caribbean islands scrambled to survive, showcased the insensitivity that invigorates Trump’s base.
Also Saturday, the U.S. president criticized San Juan’s mayor, Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto. Soto, mind you, literally put her body on the line and kept her mind at work to help people in Puerto Rico. Trump called her leadership “weak” and continued a narrative that people of color, who are also in peril, somehow want undeserved handouts. Puerto Ricans, per Trump, “want everything to be done for them…”
Of course, those who can should research and give to affected communities. Of course, the federal government should feel political pressure when blatantly disregarding American people who faultlessly face natural disaster. Of course, people elected to lead and help constituents should not have to be chided like children before timely responding.
Alas, President Donald Trump is the type of person who bludgeons a dead horse and then complains about the stench. Since social media is so important to this administration, Trump undoubtedly saw that by Sunday morning professional athletes still opted to kneel during the National Anthem and #WhyWeMustImpeachTrumpin7Words also began trending.