Taking a knee jersey and Trump: the new era of total protest

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Colin Kaepernick first kneeled during The Star-Spangled Banner last August, when he was still a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers and Barack Obama was http://www.authenticcapitalshop.com/authentic-44-brooks-orpik-jersey.html still president. He was protesting against the killing of African Americans by police officers. The date is worth repeating because it seems likely that, in the near future, Kaepernick’s gesture will be misremembered as a protest against Donald Trump. Trump has made sure of that. His great and terrible skill as a politician is to make everything about Donald Trump.Last Friday, at a rally in Alabama, Trump ranted, unprovoked, about football players who took the knee during the national anthem, calling on NFL owners (“friends of mine”) to fire any “son of a bitch” who dared to protest. There was no need in the case of Kaepernick, who is in limbo as a free agent with no NFL teams willing to touch him. Later, on Twitter, he retracted an invitation to NBA champions the Golden State Warriors to visit the White House after the team’s star player, Stephen Curry, expressed reservations. In a stroke, he ensured that Kaepernick’s form of protest went viral. Dozens of NFL stars and other athletes took the knee over the weekend, as did musicians Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams and John Legend, and this time the target was clearly Trump. LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers tweeted in Curry’s defence: “U bum … Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!”
The benighted presidency http://www.authenticcapitalshop.com/authentic-32-dale-hunter-jersey.html of Donald Trump might be the most powerful spur to protest that the US has ever seen. Of course, black athletes and entertainers have been taking a stand for decades. Think of baseball hero Jackie Robinson abandoning Barry Goldwater’s Republican party in 1964, saying that he now had “a better understanding of how it must have felt to be a Jew in Hitler’s Germany”. Muhammad Ali risking jail and ruin by refusing the Vietnam draft in 1967. Track stars Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their gloved fists in the Black Power salute at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. Stevie Wonder taunting Richard Nixon in You Haven’t Done Nothin’, which topped the US charts the week that Nixon resigned. More recently, Kanye West claimed “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” on live television after Hurricane Katrina.
Those protests, however, were wide-ranging. Some were directed at individual politicians; others were inspired by the civil rights movement or Vietnam. In 2017, Trump is the alpha and omega of political dissent. Unable even to condemn neo-Nazis without reservation, he has made himself synonymous with every issue that enrages progressives, from http://www.officiallaramsauthentic.com/Eric-Dickerson-Jersey.html racist policing to climate change denial. His capacity to bear grudges and escalate feuds is bottomless. Worse, he seems to thrive on opposition.It is dangerous to assume long-term strategic thinking on the part of a vindictive, impetuous bully with the Rams Jersey attention Rams Authentic Jersey span Capitals Jersey of Capitals Authentic Jersey a small child, but Trump is instinctively drawn to the rhetoric that Kevin Phillips, a strategist for Richard Nixon and his grievance-stoking vice-president Spiro Agnew, christened “positive polarisation”. It was summarised in a 1970 report by the National Committee for an Effective Congress as “working the hidden veins of fear, racism and resentment which lie deep in Middle America. Respect for the past, distrust of the future, the politics of ‘againstness.’” This strategy of division became known as the culture wars.
Culture wars have been central to the conservative playbook ever since, with Republicans using such divisive subjects as gay marriage and abortion rights as “wedge issues” to intensify tribal loyalty. To Trump, pretty much everything http://www.officiallaramsauthentic.com/Tyler-Higbee-Jersey.html is a wedge issue. His culture war is total war. It feels as if he will not rest until there isn’t a single corner of American life that isn’t manacled to a political binary. This is, not coincidentally, the goal of Trump’s former adviser Steve Bannon and his late colleague Andrew Breitbart, who liked to say: “Politics is downstream from culture. I want to change the cultural narrative.” The propaganda documentaries that Bannon made before taking over the Trump campaign pushed a hyperbolic, Manichean view of politics with no room for compromise or shared values, and that became the intellectual and emotional rocket fuel that powered Trumpism.


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