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Walking a divided United States

Aaron Housenga, Guest Contributer

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When Donald Trump was elected as the new president, many U.S citizens were unhappy. One of those people was Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver. He protested against Trump being the Presidential-elect by kneeling during the National Anthem at his game against the Chicago Bears on November 13th. Geneva teachers and students weigh their opinions in on this demonstration.

Brad Wendell, history teacher and varsity baseball and football coach, thinks that this protest can show why America is such a great country today. “This is the best part about America. We have the freedom to choose, speak, and believe what we want to believe,” Wendell said.   

Matt Hahn, history teacher and former varsity baseball coach, thinks what Evans is doing right now isn’t the best thing for the United States. “I believe that those athletes that are protesting by kneeling during the national anthem think they are doing the right thing.  However, we are an extremely divided nation right now and we need to look for issues and ways to unite each other,” Hahn said.

“After this election, more than ever, it seems that the nation needs to come together and listen to each other more.  I am not convinced kneeling in protest to an elected president meets that goal. I am not sure that does anything constructive at all,” Wendell said.

Even though Evans is on the biggest football stage in the world, according to Wendell, his protest needs a little change. “I believe there are other actions on different stages that can be more effective to promote change in the world.  Kneeling does not really change anything.”

“ I think there are better ways to show this.  There is a portion of the population that feels disrespected, especially our military, when athletes do this.” Hahn states

Jason Morales, senior and soccer player, thinks one person isn’t going to make a big change. “I don’t think he’s the one that’s going to make the difference. I think it would be the people protesting in the cities, in greater numbers, not just one football player doing it before a game.”

Mr. Wendell thinks that with this brave demonstration Evans is putting on, that he has to accept the aftermath. “I think every American has the right to voice their opinion on any issue in anyway they choose. With that said, I think individuals must also take responsibility and accept the consequences or responses they receive for those actions.”

Another big question is would this be happening today in our country is if Hillary Clinton or any other candidate was elected as president? “This election was a very divisive one with two polarizing candidates.  I think you would have had forms of protest with either candidate in much different ways.” Hahn states.

Josh Mansfield, GHS senior and football player, thinks otherwise. “Since Donald Trump was the most controversial, I don’t think it would of happened with any other candidate.”

All the problems and protests happening right now in the U.S. reminds Mr. Hahn of events that happened all the way back to the Vietnam war. “This is very reminiscent of the protests during the Vietnam war – probably the last time our country was this divided.  There is definitely a feeling of us versus them in our country right now on a variety of issues.”

If this happened with any of their players, they would know on how to handle the problem with the player. “I hope that I would have been proactive and talked with the players about what the flag means, how wonderful this country is – even though we have faults, and how their actions would/could be viewed by others.” Hahn mentions.

“If one of our players did this, I believe they have the right, and would allow them to do so, but I might also have a conversation with them about what else they intend to do to promote or help their cause.” Wendell adds.

Mr. Hahn thinks the person best for curing or calming the problem is the man himself. “The best thing for President-Elect Trump to do is to tone down the rhetoric and look for ways to unite and calm people’s anxieties.”

Even though Mike Evans is just kneeling and being silent, Mr. Wendell thinks actions are louder and stronger than words. “To some extent, kneeling is just words.  What positive actions are these individuals taking to back up their words?  Actions are always more influential and powerful than words.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “Walking a divided United States”

  1. Benjamin Bluemond on August 26th, 2017 10:49 pm

    The Trump Regime is so gosh-awful all year!!

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The student news site of Geneva Community High School in Geneva, Illinois
Walking a divided United States