September 26, 2017 at 9:39 am EST | by Kevin Naff
Impeach the SOB
Trump Hotel, gay news, Washington Blade, impeach Trump

The Log Cabin Republicans this week are holding a fundraiser at Trump International Hotel in D.C. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Our national nightmare continues, this time with the president of the United States using the power of the bully pulpit to condemn freedom of speech. If you are not chilled by this display, then you’re not paying attention.

At a rally last Friday in Alabama, Trump said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!” He reiterated that message in a series of unhinged weekend Tweets.

Note to Trump and his white supremacist base of supporters: You do not get to dictate the when and where of someone else’s protest against injustice. Watching coverage of this weekend’s NFL protests, Trump supporters denounced the players for taking action on the field and polluting the Sunday football ritual with politics. They misunderstand the point of protest. It’s not about choosing a convenient time and place for expression; it’s about disrupting norms and getting people to pay attention and think about something they might not otherwise think about. Imagine if the ACT UP protesters of the 1980s and ‘90s had tiptoed around all the straight people who hated them and quietly picketed on the discreet sidelines. No! They closed roads, disrupted church services and deployed shocking images of the suffering to awaken the world to the horrors of AIDS and government indifference to an epidemic that was killing unpopular people.

You don’t get to tell oppressed people when and where to protest their oppression.

Of course, the NFL is a private entity and its owners can enact whatever rules of conduct they like. They could ban protests of the “Star-Spangled Banner” and fire players who refuse to stand, as Trump suggests. But they haven’t done that. Instead, owners and coaches finally joined players on the field to send a message that Trump’s insults and efforts to undermine free speech won’t be tolerated.

It’s one thing to oppose on-field protests. It’s quite another to oppose the right of American citizens to take a knee if that’s their chosen form of protest speech. I abhor the KKK, but would defend their right to freely associate and to speak their hate. The answer to speech you don’t like is more speech.

Make no mistake that Trump’s outburst is consistent with his pattern (plan?) of dividing Americans along racial lines. It’s also meant to distract us from the latest effort to repeal the ACA, the signature legislative achievement of the country’s first black president whose legitimacy was challenged by Trump’s racist birther attacks. And while Trump spent his weekend fighting with athletes on Twitter, brown people (fellow Americans) in Puerto Rico were coping with the complete devastation of the island after Hurricane Maria.

Coddling and excusing white supremacists in Charlottesville while calling for the termination of black football players from the NFL is just the latest in a long string of racist attacks from Trump. The ultimate irony is that while he tries to divide us, the NFL sent a powerful message of solidarity. Even Tom Brady and Robert Kraft — Trump buddies — spoke out against him this weekend. The best outcome of this would be for Americans to unite against Trump’s message of division and embrace again the principles that made America great in the first place. The absolute freedom of the press and of expression are key among those principles.

Sadly, some members of the LGBT community haven’t gotten the message about Trump’s racism, homophobia and anti-trans attacks. The Log Cabin Republicans this week are holding a fundraiser at Trump International Hotel in D.C., an inappropriate attempt at currying favor with the administration by lining Trump’s pockets. Imagine their outcry if President Obama had owned a hotel in D.C. and the Human Rights Campaign held its fundraisers there. It’s a disappointing decision from the group, which rightly declined to endorse Trump during the campaign. Log Cabin should rediscover its integrity and move the event. We should not tolerate an American president who is so hostile to the basic tenets of our Constitution, a document he swore to defend.

 

Kevin Naff is editor of the Washington Blade. Reach him at knaff@washblade.com.

Kevin Naff is the editor and a co-owner of the Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest and most acclaimed LGBT news publication, founded in 1969.

  • lnm3921

    LCR let alone any right-wing conservative Trump supporters have integrity? Since when? It’s all about winning at all costs and moving their sick agenda! They don’t care who gets hurt in the process, even themselves, because they live under the delusion that all the rights gained for them by liberal GLBT activists over the past 50 years are immutable and that there is nothing else to fight for. They like to pretend that the religious conservatives who surround Trump at the oval office can’t do anything to them. After all, as long as they tow the party line they get invited by some to significant events and get recognition by the likes of the Fake POTUS, they wag their tails and roll over like good dogs joyful that their masters are paying attention to them!

    This is just another attempt by Trump to distract from his endless failures by refocusing attention to a question of patriotism. I respect the flag, but that is heart felt. It’s not extorted from me with threats and never will be! Will banning kneeling apply to people like Tim Tebedow when he kneels to pray at games?

    It’s interesting this article mentioned ACT UP. Were it not for this very in your face gay radical organization, likely all these gay and bi conservatives would have AIDS and no means by which to prolong their lives because social conservatives never cared about them when it was considered a gay thing and resist all attempts to have the federal government fund research to identify what is was and how to cure it! In fact, they wanted to exclude people with HIV and AIDS from the ADA when it was first passed!

    Look at one of Trump’s right-wing conservative mentors, Roy Cohn, who was Senator McCarthy’s stooge! He died of AIDS and was one really obnoxious SOB…like the fake POTUS!

  • Robert Hooper

    If the Chief Bully-cum-Thug-Liar-Crook also holds a minor position, such as being the so-called President of the USA, and you, (the Great American Lovers of Freedom for All)… except for the extremists of course) have not impeached or ‘sectioned’ this Major Liability to either banishment from Office or…..by rescinding the result of a National General Election (due to ‘external and improper influences), therefore rendering that Election Null and Void, then I have to agree with most of you….i.e. that you really do have a problem.
    Could a group of cross-party ambulance chasing lawyers create some kind of Class Action against-and-at every level that your ‘President’ appears so far to been able to “Trump” the system?

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