Letters to the Editor

Trump should let athletes’ protest rest

In this highly partisan era, I find it necessary to defend my credentials. I spent most of my life as a Republican, voted in the 2016 Republican primary and registered as a Democrat on the day after it was decided.

I always leapt to my feet as the “Star-Spangled Banner” was played. It has become a slower process as I approach my 89th birthday.

I consider the U.S. Constitution to be the greatest experiment in governance in the history of humankind and I expect to rise for the flag for as long as the good Lord allows me to do so.

That said, I fully understand people who feel that, while the Constitution is a great document, it is not being applied equally to them. If I had been born black and was, as I am, a news junkie, I strongly suspect that I would feel that people who looked like me were not being treated as if they were created equal. That’s what brings me to Texas vs. Johnson.

Texas vs. Johnson is a Supreme Court decision that says that burning an American flag is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment. I consider burning the flag to be considerably more disrespectful than kneeling before it and therefore, that kneeling should certainly be considered protected speech.

In advocating otherwise, President Trump is supporting the violation of professional athletes’ Constitutional rights.

Before someone goes off the deep end screaming about “those damned liberals” on the Supreme Court, I’d like to point out that two of the five votes that carried the decision were made by justices who were appointed by President Reagan, namely, Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy.

Trump has taken an oath to uphold the laws of the United States. Texas vs. Johnson is one of them. If he were capable of apologizing and admitting he was wrong, he would do so. Because he is unable to do that, he should just drop the issue.

Arnold Slotkin, Hollywood

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