Dear Editor:

At this time of nationwide civil unrest, thankfully we have the historical record consisting of facts and context to distinguish from politically motivated myths and false narratives.

In her Letter to the Editor June 3, “Kaepernick was right taking knee in protest,” Denny Erardi wrote, “Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, first took a knee during the national anthem. At that time, he told you, as did all the other players who eventually joined him, that they were doing it to protest police brutality and racial inequality.”

While the controversy was still ongoing, I submitted a letter to the News-Review debunking this regurgitated false narrative. And upon review I cannot articulate a more accurate account than the following original rundown.

“In Kaepernick’s very first interview following his third consecutive protest of the national anthem during the 2016 preseason, Kaepernick minced no words when explaining to senior journalist for NFL Media Steve Wyche, who broke the bombshell story, ‘I am not going to stand to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.’

“In other words, first and foremost, Kaepernick was specifically protesting the United States as a whole with his display of contempt perhaps learned from tactics employed by civil rights street activists he is involved with. 

“If that were not the case, Kaepernick would have simply chosen the instant acceptance his stardom — from just a couple of years prior — would still have afforded him as the most effective strategy in which to publicly air his racial injustice concerns in a truly focused, respectable and productive manner, rather than first thumbing his nose at our flag and the country it stands for. 

“Ironically, perceived abuse of power by law enforcement, which motivated Kaepernick to agitate in the first place, was instantly obscured by his own abuse of power in achieving the goal.”

Two days after that first explanation of Kaepernick’s motive, presidential candidate Donald Trump was asked to comment. His response, in context, was based solely on Kaepernick’s disrespect for our nation in the words quoted by Ms. Erardi, “I have followed it and I think it’s personally not a good thing. I think it’s a terrible thing, and you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him.” 

Fast forward to this nation’s darkest days of widespread rioting, looting, property destruction, murdering/wounding/beating of police and citizens, all of which has thoroughly desecrated the righteous reaction of peaceful protesters and the nation in general. 

Still, Kaepernick can’t stop himself from tweeting, “In fighting for liberation there’s always retaliation. We must protect our Freedom Fighters. We started a legal defense initiative to give legal representation to Freedom Fighters in Minneapolis.”

Once again, Kaepernick obscures the message by this time forming solidarity with thousands of highly-organized, travelling left-wing domestic terrorists, as well as local opportunistic criminals. 

Yet, what should anyone expect from someone who recently donated $25,000 to an activist group established to “carry on the tradition of radical activism encompassed by Assata Shakur,” a convicted cop-killer in the Black Liberation Army decades ago? More troubling, Shakur in part is the attributed inspiration behind the Black Lives Matter movement whose newly unveiled radical mission is nationwide defunding of police departments. 

In 2019, there were 375 million interactions between police and civilians of which 19 unarmed white men and nine unarmed black men were killed by police even though blacks committed about 30% of all crimes while representing only 13% of the population. 

America is being deceived.

Frank Gabl

Prospect Heights, Ill.