Several individuals who attended the "anti-hate" vigil at Newton Green in Sussex County on Sunday have contacted us to complain that it was over-politicized by those who ran it. The vigil was run by Action Together Sussex County, an off-shoot of the leftwing Women's March organization.
According to the New Jersey Herald, the rally organizers included blatantly political groups like NJ 11th for Change, a political action committee opposed to Republican Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen; Wind of the Spirit, a group that conducts demonstrations in support of illegal aliens; and LGBTQ advocacy organizations. The vigil also attracted a number of Democrat Party political campaign committees, which were all announced at the rally. Republicans were not.
What could have been a genuinely non-partisan event -- or even a bi-partisan one along the lines of the "breakfast at the diner" conducted by Democrat Congressman Josh Gottheimer and Republican State Senator Steve Oroho -- turned instead into an anti-Trump gathering, with a speech made against the President and signs in support of the NFL players who are disrespecting the American flag during the playing of the National Anthem.
A recent poll shows that a majority of Americans support President Trump over the NFL players, with 91% of Republicans, 60% of Independents, and 43% of Democrats saying players should not kneel in protest during the National Anthem. The controversy has also sparked a backlash by NFL fans:
The controversy prompted Taya Kyle, the widow of legendary Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, to issue a bold challenge to the NFL via Facebook on Tuesday in response to the National Anthem protests sweeping the league. In common with other NFL fans, Ms. Kyle is tired of seeing the NFL focus on “division and anger” instead of the message of unity that it once represented. She is calling on the NFL to make a real difference in America and urging its players to “get off your knees” to get it done. Here is her statement:
You were doing your part to bring people together and heal the world. That's really how healing works. We heal by loving each other and leading by example; showing people what is possible when we love each other just as we are and not only recognize our differences but celebrate them and look at how we can use them together to make us jointly better than our separate parts. You were doing your part celebrating each other based on skills, talent and a joint vision without regard to color and religion.
You were doing your part and we were doing ours. We showed up cheering and groaning together to [sic] as one. We talked in the concession lines and commiserated and celebrated our team together. Did it ever occur to you that you and we were already a mix of backgrounds, races and religions? We were already living the dream you want, right in front of you.
Your desire to focus on division and anger has shattered what many people loved most about the sport. Football was really a metaphor for our ideal world –different backgrounds, talents, and histories actually made us one big team with one big goal - to do well, to win, TOGETHER.
You are asking us to abandon what we loved about togetherness and make choices of division. Will we stand with you? Will we stand with our flag? What does it mean? What does it mean if we buy a ticket or NFL gear? What does it mean if we don't? It is the polar opposite of the easy togetherness we once loved in football.
It was simple – we loved you and you loved us – with all of our races, religions and different backgrounds. Simplicity in a crazy world was pretty awesome.
You dear NFL, have taken that. You have lost me here.
If you ever want to get off your knees and get to work on building bridges, let me know. I have found screaming about the problems in service marriages or even standing in silence in front of them, hasn't healed even one of them. On the other hand, funding the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, building a team and rolling up my sleeves to get in the trenches during my “off time” -volunteering there outside of my paying jobs - has proven to make real change.
You have a lot of strong guys, I am sure in the off season a lot of them could build some pretty big bridges if they care enough to do the hard work. That would involve getting off their knees and getting to work though. I can do it while I raise two kids as their only parent and work through the greatest pain of my life, let's see if they can do it for the issues they say they care so much about.
Go Longhorns and Sic 'Em …