I was struck by the comments made by state Sen. Lena Taylor, one of our few African-American legislators, in reply to Gov. Scott Walker's recent decision to weigh in on the ongoing controversy over NFL players taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem.
She made it clear that like Donald Trump, Walker has no understanding of the meaning behind the protests that were started last year by then San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
"As usual, the people least equipped to speak to this issue, who never have to worry about being racially profiled, want to tell those impacted how they should respond," the Milwaukee Democrat said.
Republican Walker hadn't said much about the NFL players' demonstrations until last week. Then during Domestic Violence Awareness Month he called the protests "a divisive political sideshow" and suggested that, instead, the players ought to focus on protesting domestic violence.
The Wisconsin senator pointed out that heavily African-American NFL players have been committed to several charitable causes, from battling diseases and illnesses to helping the Boys and Girls Clubs.
"I am disheartened and frustrated that Gov. Walker chose to use Domestic Violence Awareness Month to score his political points," she added. "Colin Kaepernick began kneeling because of what he viewed as undue violence against unarmed African-Americans at the hands of some in law enforcement, often leading to deaths."
Another African-American lawmaker from Milwaukee, state Rep. David Bowen, was a bit more blunt.
He noted that the governor had little to say when Nazis marched and murdered in Charlottesville, Va., but now he would like to tell people of color what they can say and when they can say it.
"Patriotic players can kneel to shed a light on systemic racial injustice and highlight Domestic Violence Month at the same time," he added.
Just don't tell Walker that's possible.
Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @DaveZweifel
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