Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) took a knee on the House floor as she used a special order of the Congressional Black Caucus to condemn Trump on Monday night.
Trump has sparked widespread outrage since Friday, when he asked a crowd in Huntsville, Alabama, if they’d “love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired’?”
Although he did not reference Colin Kaepernick by name, Trump’s remarks were an attack on the former San Francisco 49er, who protested police brutality and racial injustice by kneeling before games last season.
“There is no basis in the First Amendment that says you cannot kneel on the national anthem or in front of the flag,” said Jackson Lee. “That is racism. You cannot deny it, you cannot run for it.”
Jackson Lee later dropped to one knee, and said she did so “in honor” of the NFL players who similarly protested Trump’s remarks over the weekend.
“I kneel in front of the flag and on this floor, I kneel in honor of the First Amendment, I kneel because the flag is a symbol for freedom, I kneel because I am going to stand against racism, I kneel because I will stand with those young men and I’ll stand with our soldiers and I’ll stand with America because I kneel,” Jackson Lee said.
Her comments were echoed by a fellow Congressional Black Caucus member, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who said via a series of tweets that there is “nothing wrong with kneeling down to stand up against injustice.”
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