To most Americans who oppose the NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem, their problem “has nothing to do with race.”

It’s about the flag. It’s about veterans. It’s about respect.

Or so they say. And, in all honestly, they probably believe that.

The thing is, those opposing these NFL players fall in a long tradition of opposing civil rights protests.

How is it, then, that many of the same people who say they oppose “taking the knee” would also say that they admire Martin Luther King, Jr.?

The answer is simple: had those people been around during the Civil Rights Movement last century, they probably wouldn’t have supported MLK and his contemporaries.

Civil rights protesters have always fared better in hindsight than they have with their contemporaries. While MLK, for example, may be a fairly uncontroversial figure today, his approval rating was 32% positive and 63% negative in 1966.

In 1961, 61% of Americans disapproved of the Freedom Riders.

57% thought that sit-ins and “freedom buses” would do more to hurt than to help “the Negro’s chances of being integrated in the South.”

On the eve of the March on Washington, 60% of Americans held an unfavorable view of the demonstration.

Yet, all of these events are today held widely in esteem. What, exactly, has changed?

Read on, courtesy of The Huffington Post. 




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