Freedom of expression honored

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Now I’m hearing that NASCAR crews would never kneel during the National Anthem. Really? Finding a black face at a NASCAR race might be possible, but it would take some effort. Meanwhile, 70 percent of NFL players are African-American. See the connection?

That is where the divider-in-chief has gotten us. While he rallies his shrinking “base” with incendiary rhetoric, he stomps all over the sacred principles of the First Amendment to the Constitution, particularly free speech, which the courts have upheld for well over two centuries.

Making it worse is that he blurts out whatever nonsense occurs to him as he rants at an adoring crowd in Alabama or tweets in the early-morning hours. It’s all about feeding his ego.

So the “leader of the free world” pontificates that the alt-right march in Charlottesville included “good people,” while exhorting NFL owners to fire players who kneel during the National Anthem. In the first instance, the language is ugly and inflammatory. The second, also protected by the Constitution, may be obnoxious to some but, as we’ve seen in the remarkable displays last weekend by players and owners alike, it brings us together.

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By the way, I am a Vietnam combat veteran, and I don’t feel dishonored by anyone who wants to “take a knee” during the National Anthem. In fact, I am proud to live in a country where freedom of expression is so honored.

Dave Griffiths, Mechanic Falls

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