Saturday, September 23, 2017

An Open Letter to Trump from a former Astronaut and NFL Football Player - Very Good

https://boingboing.net/2017/09/23/lelandmelvin.html


Leland Melvin is the astronaut in that fabulous NASA photo with his two dogs. He is an engineer and former NASA education leader, and the author of 'Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances.' He shared this essay with friends today, and I thought you'd like to read it, too.—XJ
To Donald Trump
I believe in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of this country even though at the time they were drafted, their tenets of life, liberty justice for all and eventual freedom of speech, religion, assembly, press and petition amendment ratified in Dec 1791, only applied to a select group of people and not ones that looked like me.
Donald Trump, I listened to your Alabama rally rant and could not believe how easily you say what you say.
We have become numb to your outlandish acts, tweets and recent retweet of you knocking down Hillary Clinton with a golf ball that you hit.
Donald Trump, your boorish and disgusting actions are not funny. They actually promote violence against women especially when your followers act out what you say.
I used to walk the grounds of UVA in Charlottesville, VA as a graduate student only to watch in horror as those same grounds became a battlefield being trod by Nazi and anti-Semitic worshippers armed with assault style weapons ready to fight to make America White again. (their words). You actually said there were nice people on both sides. People armed and ready to kill other Americans for the purpose of eradicating Blacks, Jews, Hispanics, Mexicans, Asians, Latinas and even the first real Americans, Native Americans to make America Great Again were “nice people”?
Comparing this to what you say in condemnation of an unarmed black man peacefully protesting by exercising his constitutional First Amendment rights by silently taking a knee is appalling, unnerving and reprehensible.
Today, you called Colin Kaepernick “a son-of-a-bitch.”
You said he should be fired.
You are calling his white mother a bitch.
The strong contrast in language for a black man and a Nazi is very telling. Do you have any sense of decency or shame in what you say to the American people that are part of your duty to serve respectfully with dignity, presidentially?
Our National Anthem has been edited to try not to offend, because when Francis Scott Key penned the song he watched freed slaves fighting for the British and wrote this stanza:
“And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
I guess if I were a slave back then I probably would have done anything to obtain freedom from my American oppressors who were whipping, killing, raping, dismembering, hanging or releasing the dogs on people like me all under our Constitution.
In 1814 former slaves fought with the British for their freedom from their American enslavers.
Key witnessed a battle from a ship off the Maryland shore at Fort McHenry, which inspired him to write what became our National Anthem.
I served my country not in the military, but as 1 of 362 American Astronauts that have explored the universe to help advance our civilization. Not just Americans, but all humans. I also was briefly in the NFL and stood for the National Anthem with my hand over my heart. What makes us great is our differences and respecting that we are all created equally even if not always treated that way.
Looking back at our planet from space really helps one get a bigger perspective on how petty and divisive we can be. Donald Trump, maybe you should ask your good friend Mr. Putin to give you a ride on a Soyuz rocket to our International Space Station and see what it’s like to work together with people we used to fight against, where your life depends on it. See the world and get a greater sense of what it means to be part of the human race, we call it the Orbital Perspective.
Donald Trump, please know that you are supposed to be a unifier and a compassionate and empathetic leader. If you can’t do the job then please step down and let someone else try. I pray that you do the right thing.
May God bless you.
Sincerely,

Leland Melvin
Former Astronaut and NFL Playe

NFL take on Trump for his 'Fire the Son Of A Bitch' about players who take a knee in protest.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/nfl-stars-donald-trump-comments-speech_us_59c60a89e4b0cdc773318071?ncid=engmodushpmg00000003



FL Stars Erupt In Anger Over Donald Trump’s ‘Son Of A B***h’ Speech

“I can’t take anything our Celebrity in Chief says seriously. He’s a real life clown/troll.”


X
National Football League stars past and present are expressing outrage after President Donald Trump used an address in Huntsville, Alabama, on Friday to attack players who protest during the national anthem.
During what was supposed to be a stump speech for Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), Trump drifted away from campaigning to ask members of the crowd if they’d “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, he’s fired?’”
He also encouraged fans to boycott the league over the protests.
Trump did not reference by name San Francisco 49ers former player Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee during the national anthem before games last year to protest police brutality and racial injustice.
But his comments were interpreted as a thinly veiled attack on the athlete, who remains a free agent, and other players he has inspired to take similar action.
Former Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush and Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall were among those to call out Trump for his remarks:

I can’t take anything our Celebrity in Chief says seriously. He’s a real life clown/troll 🤡

When will people learn that fear won’t make someone sit down. It quite possibly will make more stand up for what they believe in.

It's a shame and disgrace when you have the President of the US calling citizens of the country sons of a bitches.

Does anyone tell trump to stick to politics, like they tell us to stick to sports? Smh.
DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, also made his position crystal clear via this statement on Twitter:
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also released a statement in which it said that “divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect” for the league and its players.
Hundreds of other tweeters joined in with blasting Trump, with many accusing him of trying to prevent people from exercising their First Amendment rights.
The hashtag #takeaknee also began trending globally on Twitter. 
Check out a sampling of the other responses below:

"Get that son of a bitch off the field"- black man protesting racial injustice

"Very fine people"- white people demanding racial injustice

Black man uses his position to draw attention to a controversial, important issue.

White president calls him a son of a bitch.

Can't wait to see Trump pallin' around with NFL owners after he said NFL employees who exercise their first amendment rights should be fired

Add “black NFL players exercising their First Amendment right” to the list of people Trump has criticized more harshly than Vladimir Putin.

Trump a lot tougher on Colin Kaepernick than on Vladimir Putin. Protesting American anthem: bad. Subverting American democracy: no big deal.

Trump was quicker and more vehement in his hatred of Colin Kaepernick’s non-violent protest than he was of Nazis. Take note of that.



Government figure says he hates when people exercise their Constitutional right to free speech:

To be clear, Colin Kaepernick's "crime" is protesting systemic racism and police brutality. Trump called him a "son of a bitch" tonight.

Donald Trump has gone after Jemele Hill and Colin Kaepernick stronger than he went after Nazis.

Black man uses his position to draw attention to a controversial, important issue.

White president calls him a son of a bitch.

Donald Trump referred to Colin Kaepernick as a 'son of a bitch' at his Alabama rally? He didn't even call the murderer that