DEYAN RANKO BRASHICH was born in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia, and is an Op-Ed columnist for Connecticut's Litchfield County Times.  He writes the monthly Letter From America column for Romania’s Scrisul Romanesc, a literary magazine and is the Editor-at-Large for  The Country and Abroad, another literary/art magazine where he authors the Dispatch from Abroad column. He is a frequent contributor to Pecat, the Belgrade, Serbia weekly news magazine, Britić, a magazine published in the United Kingdom, Ekurd Daily, a multinational Kurdish news portal and Passport, a lifestyle quarterly. He resides in New York City and Washington, Connecticut.





Last year Colin Kaepernick, an afro sporting black professional football player protested police assaults and killings of black and brown civilians by refusing to stand during the playing of our national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner. Several games later, rather than just sitting the anthem out, he continued his protest by kneeling on just one knee.

A good number of professional and college athletes followed his lead by “taking the knee” in solidarity, in protest of racism. These examples of expressions of freedom of speech were not well received.       

Donald Trump found this craven act of civil disobedience an insult to America, to the flag, to the brave men and women who have given their lives for their country. He demanded that the guilty be summarily fired for these despicable affronts to common decency.

Vice President Pence flew 1,800 miles to attend an Indianapolis Colts against the San Francisco 49ers football game. When a number of players “took a knee” when the anthem played the Vice President, in a remarkable act of political courage, left as the words “…Oh, say, does that spar-spangled banner yet wave? O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!” still echoed in the cavernous stadium and travelled 2,000 miles to California for a fundraiser missing the game altogether.

I think the President and the Vice President were much too timorous and measured in their criticism. I bring to their attention Germany’s Nuremberg Laws of 1932, especially the one that criminalizes disrespect of national symbols:            

§ 134a. Wer öffentlich da Reich oder eines de Länder, ihre Verfassung, ihre Farben oder Flaggen oder die deutsche Wehrmacht beschimpft oder böswillig und mit Überlegung verächtlich macht, wird mit Gefängnis bestraft.

Anmerkungen: 21, Dezember 1932: §§ 9Nr 3, 12 Abs. 1 der Verordnmunbg vom 19. Dezember 1932

§ 134a. Anyone publicly abuses the Reich or one of the countries, their constitution, their colors or flags or the German military power, contemptuously and deliberately, will be punished with imprisonment.

Adopted: 21 December 1932: §§ 9Nr 3, 12 Abs 1 Laws of 19 December 1932

With the help of Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell I look forward to a far more courageous knee jerk reaction from the nation’s #1 and #2 jerks.      

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