The director of the Michigan State Police is catching heat after blasting NFL players who opt to take a knee to protest the continued racial injustice in this country with a strongly worded post on her Facebook page.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue shared the strongly worded message on her Facebook page Sunday, calling the athletes who are using their influence and platform to bring attention to an important issue “millionaire ingrates who hate America and disrespect our armed forces and veterans.”
The post reads in full:
Dear NFL: We will not support millionaire ingrates who hate America and disrespect our Armed Forces and Veterans. Who wins a football game as ZERO impact on our lives. Who fights for and defends our nation has EVERY impact on our lives. We stand with the Heroes, not a bunch of rich, entitled arrogant, ungrateful, anti-American degenerates. Signed, We the People.
Although the protest before NFL games is nothing new—having started in 2016 when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick acknowledged that he took a knee during the playing of the national anthem in protest of the oppression of people of color—it has now grown exponentially with
white people trying to turn it into something that it inherently is not (i.e., a protest against the armed forces and veterans) and compounded by y’all’s president referring to the demonstrators as “sons of bitches” who should be fired.
At any rate, Etue’s “hot take” on the issue did not impress some of the black troopers who are working in a department that has been scrutinized for its lack of diversity, the Free Press notes.
The department is also being scrutinized and has been the target of protests in Detroit since the death of 15-year-old Damon Grimes, who died last month after a state trooper deployed a Taser at him through a police-vehicle window during a pursuit in violation of police protocol, the Free Press reports. Damon subsequently crashed the ATV he was driving. The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that he died of head trauma, according to Click on Detroit.
It was later uncovered that the trooper, who was suspended after using his Taser against Damon, had been previously accused of excessive force in two separate lawsuits, although both cases against him were ultimately dismissed, the Detroit News reports.
At any rate, this latest post by the state police director has only stoked the fire. As the Free Press reports:
Leonard Mungo, a Detroit attorney who has represented about a dozen black and white troopers in civil disputes with the department, said the posting demonstrates “kind of a dangerous mindset for someone in her powerful position.”
It’s “scary that they don’t understand that America is defined by its freedoms, and one of these freedoms is freedom of speech,” Mungo said. It also “has implications for why the state police ... don’t have representative numbers of African Americans in their ranks,” he said.
Of course, Etue is now looking for a cop-out (I guess it’s only cool when other people’s jobs are threatened), with her spokesperson, Shannon Banner, saying that the post was not about race (funny, because, you know, the NFL protest isn’t about the anthem or the military) and it was not posted publicly, but only so that Etue’s friends could see.
“As a public servant, Col. Etue has great respect for the armed forces and those who fight to protect our freedoms,” Banner said, adding that Etue did not create the post; rather, it was a meme seen elsewhere across the internet.
By Tuesday night, Etue was apologizing.
“It was a mistake to share this message on Facebook, and I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended,” she said in a message released by the Michigan State Police. “I will continue my focus on the unity at the Michigan State Police and in communities across Michigan.”