Press Release

kaeper

Press Release

Congressman Pete King Statement on Colin Kaepernick’s Refusal to Stand for the National Anthem

Colin Kaepernick's refusal to stand for the national anthem is entirely wrong. It is also an indicator of how low our cultural standards have been degraded that anyone is actually supporting this behavior. Kaepernick charges that America "oppresses black people and people of color" even though America has elected and reelected an African-American President and in the previous eight years of the Bush Administration both Secretaries of State (Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice) were African-American. And in Kaepernick's NFL the large majority of players are African-American. If he is referring to violence against African-Americans, that comes primarily from within the black community itself. If he is reciting the fraudulent Black Lives Matter theme that police are targeting African-Americans, then he is clearly wrong and misguided. Not only are more whites than African-Americans arrested and shot at by police (almost always justified), they are as likely to be shot at in individual encounters with police as are African-Americans (again almost always justified). Unfortunately it appears that the big lie of Michael Brown ("hands up, don't shoot") has become an article of faith among cop-haters. Of course America has problems. Every country in the world has problems. But no country has done more to address those problems than the United States. That is why so many millions of immigrants from all over the world -- so many of them people of color -- are desperate to come to America every year. If we are to address our problems -- such as street crime, education and job opportunity -- honestly, then we must debate them honestly. Having an NFL quarterback insult our flag by refusing to stand during the playing of the "Star Spangled Banner," adds neither honesty nor intelligence to that debate.

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Yesterday I had the great opportunity to be in the House chamber when French President Emmanuel Macron made his historic address to a Joint Session of Congress. I was also able to speak briefly with President Macron on the House floor just after his speech and thank him for standing with America in the war against terrorism and for forging such a close working relationship with President Trump.

France is our oldest ally, standing with us in our Revolutionary War against the British. While we stood with the French in World War I and World War II, our relationship with France has not always been a smooth one. (Charles DeGaulle and Jacques Chirac were two of the French leaders with whom we had differences.)

Elected last year in an upset victory, the 40 year old Macron was generally expected to be the European anti-Trump. Instead he and President Trump have formed a strong personal friendship and solid working relationship. They stand as one in their belief that Islamist terrorism must be crushed and that Iran can never be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.

On the subject of Iran, while President Trump believes we should pull out of the Iran nuclear deal reached with the Obama Administration, Macron believes we can achieve the same goal of a non-nuclear Iran through other means. President Trump has said he will consider Macron's proposals. Whether they end up agreeing on the specifics, the fact that these two world leaders can work together is a tribute to them and a strong measure of their joint commitment to the democratic values which underly our two nations. It also sends a strong signal to our enemies -- including ISIS, Islamist terrorism and Assad's Syria.

Viva la France! God Bless America!!

Paid for by Pete King for Congress.
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