David Leonhardt

David Leonhardt critique of the national anthem was that “From a moral standpoint, this issue is clear. The athletes are right — and have every right to protest as they have. Trump is wrong, about the scourge of police violence and about freedom of speech.” That had meant from an outside perspective of the situation, it is clear that the athletes are right in the situation but the president doesn’t understand because he is wrong. David was giving advice to the athletes who were standing up for something. He said in the article that “But the smart move now is not to expand a tactic that Trump loves as a foil. It’s to shift toward protests that don’t need a counterintuitive and distracting defense, while he gets to bleat on about America first.” Another piece of advice that he said in the passage was, “The protests can still be aggressive — like the “I can’t breathe” shirts in the N.B.A., and much more. Trump, of course, will blast any protest as some version of uppity. But so what? The target audience are the many Americans open to opposing police violence and a bullying president — but uncomfortable with a gesture that seems to oppose America itself.” I thought after reading the article that his critiques and advice to the athletes were all valid points.

Ta-Nashi Coates

Coates stated in the article that ” Leonhardt is sympathetic to the aims of Kaepernick’s protest but he contrasts this “angry” approach with the “smart” approach of the civil-rights movement.” He thought he was sympathetic towards Kaepernick but he will come at you aggressively and be smart about how he’s doing it. An alternative explanation when for when Coates had said “meaningful change” is when right after that he stated, “Perhaps most importantly they affected the attitudes of the children of those white Americans who scorned them. This points to the true target, in terms of white people, of Kaepernick’s protest. The point is not to convince people who boo even when a team kneels before the anthem is sung. The point is to reach the children of those people. The point is the future.” Some hope that he offered in the article was when he said “If young people attempting to board a bus are unacceptable, if gathering on the National Mall is verboten, if preaching nonviolence gets you harassed by your own government and then killed, if a protest founded in consultation with military veterans is offensive, then what specific manner of protest is white America willing to endure? It’s almost as if the manner of protest isn’t the real problem.” Coates point of view is with the athletes because he was giving them advice and really wasn’t criticizing the athletes.

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