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HomeIllinois NewsRauner condemns those who "disrespect our flag and anthem;" Dem opponents respond

Rauner condemns those who “disrespect our flag and anthem;” Dem opponents respond



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CHICAGO – Governor Bruce Rauner – part owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers – surprised most political observers when he commented on the NFL players taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem. For the most part, the governor has remained mum on controversial topics. 

“I strongly disagree with those who disrespect our flag and our anthem,” Rauner told POLITICO through a spokesman. “To me they are disrespecting the foundations of our country, the veterans who risked their lives for our democracy, and the men and women who fight every day and make the ultimate sacrifice to defend our liberties.”

It was one of the first times Governor Rauner has ever agreed with the president. He has yet to say the Trump's name – a fellow Republican- in public. 

Democrat gubernatorial primary contestants were quick to use the issue to attack Rauner and tie him to the president. 

State Senator Daniel Biss (D-Chicago) called Rauner and Trump "inexperienced billionaires" that were misleading the public: 

Our country was founded on relentlessly pursuing liberty, fighting injustice, and doing our part to build a more perfect union. So let's be clear – protests at NFL games this weekend and over the past year are responding to police brutality and institutional racism, and there isn't anything more fundamentally American than that. We should all be taking a knee.

But by embracing Donald Trump's condemnation, Bruce Rauner joins his fellow inexperienced billionaire in misleading the public about the purpose of these protests. As a father, husband, state senator and candidate for governor, I know that is my responsibility to be part of the solution-especially as Rauner and Trump have continued to be part of the problem."

Democrat primary gubernatorial candidate Ameya Pawar said Rauner and Trump's position indicate "white privilege:" 

"It's frightening when our leaders frame peaceful and non-violent demonstrations against racism, bigotry and injustice as disrespectful to our flag and military. Make no mistake, this is the same tactic Donald Trump and Bruce Rauner use to suppress the voices of Black Lives Matter activists who speak out on police brutality and institutional racism. They get labeled as anti-police and are accused of disrespecting the job of first responders. This is wrong.

That said, it's equally frightening when our elected leaders drive wedges between people based on race, class and geography so that their political base becomes the largest group that remains. This is how racists and bigots hold onto power. By changing the frame of the protest, Donald Trump nd Bruce Rauner continually fail to understand and express empathy for the experiences of the marginalized in the United States of America. This is the definition of white privilege. And it's a slap in the face to everyone who has marched, fought and given their lives for civil rights." 

"Rauner reframing protest is the definition of white privilege," Pawar wrote on his Twitter feed.


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  1. Boycott the NFL… show them who has the rights too, right to reject their hate. Tebow took a knee to praise God and was demonized for it; by the Christian hating liberal media and the NFL. Even though that right is in the same 1st amendment the NFL now claims to support. The NFL be damned, they aren’t protecting rights, they are forcing their worldview onto America. You can’t have it both ways, either you support all rights or you don’t and the NFL doesn’t. The boycott will work if the advertisers see low viewer numbers, the thing the NFL owners value over everything else, is money.

  2. Rauner’s “big talk” about disrespect runs contrary to his support for Illinois as a “Sanctuary State.”
    If “border-jumping” (coming here without papers, illegally) is not showing disrespect for our flag and anthem, then,
    WHAT IS?

  3. Have any of you read the flag code? We should be much more offended by all the illegal uses of the image of the flag on clothes, paper goods (I cringe when I see someone wipe their greasy mouth on the flag), in advertising, on athletic uniforms, etc. The flag also should never have marks placed, printed or pinned on it. If you own anything with a US flag motif on it other than a lapel pin or actual flag, you are in violation of the code. Taking a knee is also a violation of the code, but if you disrespect the flag as cited above, you have no room to criticize those who have taken a knee.

  4. One of the rare times when I AGREE with you, Janne, for I, too, have read the flag code.
    Also, the flag must always be carried VERTICALLY, therefore by stretching it “flat” (horizontally) and carrying it in that mode in parades, or across a sports field, is also a violation of the flag code.