Chris Kluwe didn’t pull any punches. When asked what “statement” the players who were participating in the silent protest were making by kneeling.
As the games were kicking off this past Sunday, and the anthems were being played, and the Tweeters were Tweeting, one former Minnesota Vikings player, who was pushed out of the league for speaking up, was interviewed on CNN. Chris Kluwe didn’t pull any punches. When asked what “statement” the players who were participating in the silent protest were making by kneeling and locking arms, his response nailed it quite nicely:
“Well, I think that the players and the teams are saying that they are not going to be dictated to by a racist, fascist white supremacist who currently occupies the highest position in our government. I mean, when you look at the things that Donald Trump has said when it comes to speaking out against NeoNazis versus about speaking out against African Americans, it’s very clear where his sympathies lie. And this has been consistent throughout the entirety of his life. I think it’s fantastic that players and owners are now taking a stand and using the platform to speak out against this because this is not what America is.
“America is not a fascist military state where its slavish devotion to the flag above all. America is about questioning the things that don’t work properly, about trying to change those things and to make the nation better.
“Right now our nation is not holding up its end of the social contract, especially with communities of color. It should be a baseline right that you can walk down the street and not get shot by a police officer for carrying a toy gun or for selling cigarettes on a street corner, or for riding in the back of a police van. These are things that … it should not be out-of-the-ordinary to expect that, and yet here we are. So I’m glad to see these players and owners taking a stand.
“Communities of color within our nation are not receiving the same level of justice that white communities are, and that’s very clear if you go by the statistical data. Black members of our society are far more likely to be put in prison for crimes that white members get to skate by on. So, in that sense, I think yes, this is definitely part of what’s going on. But then in a bigger sense, I think the discussion has also morphed into fact that that we have a person in charge of our society who does not understand what it means to wield the power of the American empire, and has shown no willingness to work with communities of color, with minorities, with immigrants, with anyone who is not white — and that is, again, against the heart of what America stands for. America is a country of immigrants. We’re all immigrants, and we’ve done terrible things in our past. I mean, we built this country off of killing another race of people, of the genocide of native Americans. So we have a lot of things to make up for, and saying that we have flaws and we need to fix them is not UnAmerican. That’s trying to make ourselves better.”
When asked about his thoughts on, basically, what’s next, his response?
“I think it’s a good start. I think it needs to continue until we as a country finally decide to grapple with the deep-seated roots of white supremacy and racism within this country. And it’s going to take all of us to try to fix that, and unfortunately with the current president in office and with the GOP-led congress that’s enabling him, we’re not going to be able to make those changes unless that itself changes. We have to demand accountability.”
His final thoughts were right on:
“A measure of progress would be to actually hold police forces accountable. I think that would be a good start. If you have over 1000 police homicides and only 4 to 5 officers convicted … that is something that needs to change. Because If you are a servant of justice, then you need to apply justice equally to every citizen of this country. You don’t get to pick and choose — that’s not how it works.”