Trump has only apparently deepened the divide by creating a false narrative that the majority Black league — the players are 70 percent African-American — is protesting the flag and patriotism.
Kaepernick said specifically his protest was against “people being murdered unjustly, cops not being held accountable, and cops getting paid leave for killing people.”
Paris Dennard, CNN commentator and former Director of Black Outreach under former President George W. Bush, remains a staunch Trump supporter despite the questionable actions and statements Trump makes, both publicly and on Twitter.
On Thursday, Dennard took issue with the suggestion that Trump was fanning racial tensions.
“I think the players are kneeling and refusing to acknowledge the national anthem in protest of the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump,” Dennard said. “If you recall, when Colin Kaepernick first stood, he did not have this widespread support of the NFL and owners because he was kneeling down.
“What we have seen is a gross miscarriage of justice in my opinion,” he continued. “Instead of focusing in on what President Trump was focusing on, we’re focusing on whether or not President Donald Trump is a racist.”
Denard went as far to suggest, rather speciously, that Trump could be setting the framework for a larger discussion on race.
“If we want to have a conversation about culture, about American pride, nationalism and pride in our country, President Trump could be leading us in that direction. Instead, what we focusing in on is whether or not he is a racist and I think that is unfortunate.”
What Dennard did not acknowledge is that Trump has done nothing to dissuade Blacks and others who feel Trump and his actions have been racist for years.
Trump has been sued twice by the Justice Department for refusing to rent to African-Americans.
In 2011, Trump, while still a private citizen, worked to delegitimize President Barack Obama, the nation’s only African-American president, by suggesting Obama was not a United States citizen and did not have a legitimate birth certificate, which was a lie.
And last month, after white nationalists protesting the removal of a statue of treasonous Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Va. resulted in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer by a neo-Nazi, Trump equated those who confronted the bigots by asserting that there was “blame on both sides.”
And just last Friday while campaigning in Alabama for incumbent senate candidate and subsequent loser Luther Strange, Trump veered wildly off message and leveled an unprovoked attack on NFL’s players by suggesting that he’d like to see one of the 32 owners — none of whom are Black — “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, you’re fired.”
Lawrence Jones, an African-American host on The Blaze TV said Trump was not a racist. He contributed this to his belief that this is more of a biased, “left-wing narrative” rather than real news.
Trump, however, does not have all Black Republicans in his corner. A Twitter feed with 271,000 followers, @Trump_regrets is where those who helped the novice politician become president now voice their displeasure in him.
“When I voted for you, I never thought I would drop my head in shame! I am so ashamed of you! WoW,” African-American Candie Johnson (@blessedandhigh3) tweeted on Sept. 24.
A Republican for more than 20 years, Philadelphia native Randy Robinson voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and John McCain in 2012. Dissatisfied with his choices in 2016, he voted for Dare to Imagine Church Pastor Kevin Johnson as a right-in candidate.
The Republican political strategist and proprietor of Triple RRR Consulting, LLC, Robinson views Trump problematically, both domestically and internationally.
“His inability to focus and represent a standard as a global statesman, a peace giver and threatening war is dangerous to our men and women who serve abroad in the military and the intelligence community,” Robinson said.
“Moving forward to his response to Charlottesville and his response in that he did not let his humanity come forward and politicizing it…” Robinson continued. “There’s the ongoing suspicion with the Russia investigation and to now picking fights with the NFL. I look forward to the return of good governance.”