In recent days it would seem that everyone has, and wants to share, their opinion on the take a knee movement. Personally my Facebook and Twitter feeds have been jam-packed with opinions from individuals who run the gamut from sports fans to political activists.
Just in case you missed it a brief synopsis of this movement is that Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback for the National Football League, took a knee while the national anthem played. His symbolic gesture began during the 2016 NFL season and was meant to protest against police brutality, and the general mistreatment of African Americans. Now more and more athletes have joined Kaepernick in his protest.
Among those who have taken to social media to talk about the protest is our president, Donald Trump. He asked via Twitter that the NFL “fire or suspend” those players who refuse to stand. Among his barrage of tweets was this one; “Courageous Patriots have fought and died for our great American Flag — we MUST honor and respect it! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
It is Trump’s right to express those opinions via twitter just as it is the right of athletes to take a knee if they choose to. His powers don’t reach to NFL management decisions, such as who to fire or suspend. However, as the president he does have the power to make decisions that affect the lives of the military men and women that he talks about honoring.
Ri Yong-ho, the foreign minster of North Korea took one of Trump’s tweets as a declaration of war. “Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!” Trump said this September 23, by September 25 Yong-ho stated that this was a declaration of war and that North Korea now felt it had the right to shoot American bombers out of the sky even if they were not in North Korean air space.
Is Trump’s tweet and official and legal declaration of war? No, will that matter to the families of American military members who lose loved ones due to his recklessness? I would guess not.
There is no denying that North Korean leaders and unstable and volatile. They are dangerous and have been threatening nuclear war for years. Insulting and threatening them is like poking a bear armed with nuclear weapons. When Trump gets tough with them he is gambling with someone else’s money.
It is not his children, siblings, or wife that will be shot down due to his aggressive attitude. If he wants to respect the military men are women who have fought and died for our flag he can start by not unnecessarily risking more of their lives.