Don Lemon: If You Think Kneeling Is About The Flag, You Must Think Rosa Parks Was Protesting A Bus


On CNN Monday night, host Don Lemon said President Trump dragged the mothers of "hardworking" NFL players down to his level. Lemon added if you think the kneeling is about the flag, " then you must believe Rosa Parks' protest was about a bus."

He said that kneeling is about "challenging" our country to extend the promise of the flag to all citizens, including those whose ancestors were slaves.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: So we're going to start by setting the record straight here. Taking a knee at an NFL game was never about the flag or the military. That's what the president wants you to believe. It gives his insulting sons of bitches comment cover, a comment that not only insults hardworking professional men but tries to drag their mother's down to his level as well.

Taking a knee is a constitutionally protected expression. It falls within league rules, period. If anyone actually believes this is about the flag, then you must believe Rosa Parks' protest was about a bus. Think about that. And while you're thinking about it, listen to Kaepernick one year ago.


COLIN KAEPERNICK, FORMER QUARTERBACK, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: The media painted this as I'm anti-American, anti-men and women of the military. And that's not the case at all. You know, I realize that men and women of the military go out and sacrifice their lives and put their selves in harm's way for my freedom of speech and my freedoms in this country and my freedom to take a seat or take a knee. So I have the utmost respect for them.


LEMON: Here is what this is about. It's about focusing attention on racial injustice, focusing attention on racial injustice. It's about challenging our country to extend the promise that -- of that flag to all citizens, including the citizens whose ancestors were slaves.

You may not agree with Colin Kaepernick or the scores of players who take a knee or took a knee this weekend. And that is OK, you don't have to agree with them. But that's not really the point here.

No American gets to tell another American how to express their love for this country. Now let's talk about patriotism. What is it? Is it draping one's self in the flag? Is it the pageantry and spectacle of a ball game, standing up for the national anthem? Or is it standing up for the founding principles of this country? Standing up for the very First Amendment of our Constitution, the very first one, which is freedom of expression. Standing up for our brothers and sisters, who may not look like us or share our religious beliefs or are they of a different political persuasion? Is it prioritizing racism even when it may not directly affect you?

And justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affect one directly affect all indirectly. That was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

What he understood was that patriotism comes in many forms enshrined in the words of the Star-Spangled Banner or the "Land of the Free." Free meaning you may choose to stand. And the home of the brave. Someone else may be brave enough to put their livelihood on the line and choose to kneel.

Standing or kneeling. What does it matter? What matters is what's in your heart, and that is the American way.

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