I am writing in response to the story “Minneapolis coach questions why Jordan fans held up pro-Trump sign at game.” Most controversial is that a political flag was displayed at a game where the visiting team is from a predominantly black school. Since then, this incident has caused national attention to our school and town.
It is my understanding that some home games have a “theme night” planned informally through students to show school pride. That specific night was “USA Blackout” where fans could dress in red, white, and blue apparel indicating pride of the USA. This and “support for the president” have been used as reasoning for displaying the political campaign sign “Trump 2020 Keep American Great.”
Many are dismayed about this because Donald J. Trump has a history of racist behaviors, comments, and policy decisions that affect the livelihood of many minorities, including the black community.
Despite your political beliefs, you are exercising lack of awareness when you do not realize that Trump political insignia is bound to elicit negative reactions for some people. Our president has specifically criticized minorities, including professional athletes, Congress members, our previous president, members of minority and impoverished countries, Gold Star Muslim parents, and Mexican-American citizens. The incidence of hate crimes towards minorities has increased the last two years and policy decisions are being made that affect minorities, including targeting immigrants seeking legal refuge on our borders.
T here continue to be responses in defense of this incident instead of admitting that it has been viewed as inappropriate to others. We should advance discussion and learn from it. Instead, there has been deflection toward the visiting team regarding their staying in the locker room during the playing of the national anthem, which they have been doing most of the season.
As there have been punishments for students who kneel during the national anthem before sporting events, this has been recommended as a way to respectfully protest. As a reminder, these athletes are not protesting the anthem or our veterans. They continue to protest police brutality, which continues to be a specific concern in our own state. Arguments on the contrary are just deflecting, full stop. In addition, we cannot claim we support our students for being “politically active” and “paying attention to what is happening in our country” while in the same breath chastising other students who are doing just that.
I strongly support freedom of speech, but that speech does not come without consequences. I know I speak from a position of privilege and I have a responsibility to listen to those of a different privilege than I am. This is an opportunity for our school and our city to acknowledge our privilege, realize our actions can be viewed differently by others, and understand the effect our actions have on others. America continues to be more diverse and the least we can do is be more aware of this and be open to accepting diverse viewpoints.