This is my response to Jay Lustgarten's letter ‘Protesting injustice is simply a patriotic act,’ in the Westerly Sun on Sunday, Oct. 22. That letter was in response to my letter, ‘Protesting with respect is more productive,’ on Saturday, Oct. 7.
I stand by my comments. Whatever we do as an employee, we reflect on our employer, especially when we are in our company's uniform or "at work". Our own opinions may not be our employers position, or shared by our fellow employees. Professional athletes, because of their public profile, are better known than the general public. Even with that fact many local people cannot name many of their public officials, or the players of their local sports teams. They are focused on their own personal interests and lives.
Mr. Lustgarten, there is indeed a "time and place" to disapprove of something. The NFL players, as well as other professional athletes, are more than fortunate than many of us with advantages financial and otherwise, their success brings.
People attend sporting events to enjoy a sport they like, not because of politics. Remember, fans vary in their political beliefs and an athlete’s position may not be shared by them. Our American flag and national anthem are emblems of our nation. It would be best to find another venue for protests.
Police brutality is not acceptable. There is certainly injustice in our country. However, you should not protest at a professional sporting event like this. Doing so works against your point. All lives matter, regardless of what demographic that life entails. Every person is entitled to a certain amount of dignity.
Certainly President Donald Trump says things I would not say if I were president. He needs to be more careful with his rhetoric and actions. But the "political left" and Democrats need to accept the fact they are in the "political wilderness." Much of their problem is of their own making. The American people have been rejecting them. They need to be careful of their words and actions. The Democrats and "the political left" need to consider why Republicans have a majority of governors, state legislative seats, both Houses of the United States Congress, as well as the Presidency. The Democrats for example, need to reflect on why they lost the last Presidential election and other offices last year. Also why do U.S. House Democrats keep U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi as their leader? As a Republican, I really cannot complain about that, as she is a "gift that keeps giving!"
Getting back to the point of Mr. Lustgarten's letter, we need to address injustice in the United States.That can be done by prosecution of offenders and creating and instilling an environment that does not tolerate it. We need to look at laws that deal with those issues. NFL players have a unique ability to get attention in the press, and can get attention for virtually any issue they promote, which is not easily available to most others. But their recent actions are unacceptable. In his letter, Mr. Lustgarten says "That makes me hesitant to think Trump might be neutral or even interested to hear the NFL players' views." Mr. Lustgarten, you are hardly neutral, and neither am I. Those of us who do not agree must deal with the political realities of winning and losing elections. But those in office must try to govern, and deal with the political and other realities that exist.
We are fortunate to have a free press in America, where people like Mr. Lustgarten and I can share our views, as well as others. The public certainly will make their own judgment on our views.
Scott Bill HirstAshaway