President Donald Trump and his family have been very vocal about the rights of American citizens to peaceful protest over the last few days.
They’ve been speaking up in support of the hundreds of demonstrators who have taken to the streets to challenge stay-at-home orders given in states across America.
Despite evidence that protesters aren’t following social distancing guidance, the appearance of racist symbols like the Confederate flag and the presence of multiple firearms at an apparently “peaceful” demonstration, both Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, have defended their right to gather.
Trump has said that protesters are “great people” and that he supports them because governors have “gone too far”.
Meanwhile Ivanka tweeted on Wednesday that “Peaceful protest & freedom of assembly are beautiful American traditions that should always be protected”.
Peaceful protest & freedom of assembly are beautiful American traditions that should always be protected.
If you c… https://t.co/bC3Fsglijm
However, you don’t need a good memory to recall a time in recent history where Trump didn’t show nearly as much enthusiasm for a citizen’s right to peaceful dissent.
When NFL star Colin Kaepernick began to kneel during the American national anthem in protest of police brutality against black people and people of colour, Trump was not a fan.
In fact, he attacked Kaepernick repeatedly for his actions.
In 2017, Trump seemingly called him a “son of a b**ch” at a rally, telling the assembled crowd that NFL owners should fire protesters.
Wouldn’t you 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. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’
You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country.
It didn’t stop there; Trump continued to attack those who kneeled, suggesting they “shouldn’t be in the country” in 2018.
"You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn't be playing, you shouldn't be there, maybe you shouldn't be in the country,” he said in an interview with Fox & Friends.
The president also blasted Nike after they made Kaepernick the face of a campaign in late 2018, tweeting “What were Nike thinking?”, as well as suggesting Nike sales were being impacted by the decision.
Now internet users are remembering Trump’s passionate opposition to the protest Kaepernick led and asking a simple question: what’s changed?
“So@realDonaldTrump is okay with these people protesting with guns on court house steps? During a mandatory federal lockdown that HE implemented. BUT...Colin Kaepernick who peacefully protested by taking a knee for racial inequality is called A Son Of A Bitch?!” wrote actor Kirk Acevado on Twitter.
So @realDonaldTrump is okay
with these people protesting
with guns on court house steps?
During a mandatory federal… https://t.co/ZVRqAmUQzY