When former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to start taking a knee during the pre-game playing of the national anthem, his protest against unjust killings of Black men may have shortened his professional football career, but now his action seems like a harbinger of a police-reform movement that polls indicate has the support of a majority of Americans, including white people.
That movement has swept the nation, sparked by the murder of Black man, George Floyd, by a Minneapolis policeman. In the past, the protests in cities across the United States that have been loud, long and occasionally violent might have caused a political backlash. In fact, some Democrats have worried the uproar might be successfully exploited by President Donald Trump in his re-election effort, much in the way Richard Nixon pushed a law-and-order agenda during the tumult of 1968 and won his first term in the White House. Trump has, indeed, tried to stoke fear, but, so far, it has not worked.
Instead, making real progress on dealing with deadly police tactics and systemic racism appears to be a popular idea. Even a few cops at demonstrations have taken a knee in support of change. Kaepernick suddenly has a huge team behind him.
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