Staff Editorial: Americans should have the right to protest

Last Friday, the president of the United States demanded that citizens boycott the NFL for allowing players to exercise their First Amendment rights, within the guidelines of law, without harming anyone. It’s troubling that President Donald Trump was so quick to condemn the hundreds of NFL players in the league who chose to kneel during the playing of the National Anthem as a symbol of unity against the injustices towards people of color in the country. The action of taking a knee was to protest brutality and the other social issues that have divided the modern American society. It was not to disrespect military personnel, nor to say that they hated the country. These notions are distractions from the main protest at hand, and is a tactic used to silence the voice of those fighting for justice in the country they call home. Though Trump was so quick to call these men “SOBs,” and so quickly condemned NFL owners for not firing these men for exercising their rights, it took over 48 hours after the terrorist attack  in Charlottesville, Virginia, involving a white nationalist ramming his car through a crowd of protesters against the Ku Klux Klan for Trump to respond. He failed to denounce the values of the white supremacists, and even found “very fine people” among the tiki torch wielding, slur spitting, hate spreading crowd of white supremacists. The efforts Trump has made to silence voices that seemingly go against him or his beliefs goes against the core principals of a democratic nation. The right to protest and to exercise free speech are an essential part to what makes our country the Land of the Free that we claim it to be.

 

Reflecting Guilford College’s core Quaker values, the topics and content of Staff Editorials are chosen through consensus of all 14 editors and one faculty adviser of The Guilfordian’s Editorial Board.