Topic: ”Go Mustangs!”

hat if they did not respect their country like these people are not respecting ours? Just think what they would do to them. I’m not saying we should do that to our people. … But they teach their people respect.”

Lewis was a registered Democrat all his life. He eats breakfast at the same diner every day Cheap Vincent Valentine Jersey , and one morning last year as the primaries drew near, he and a handful of others got up from their tables, marched down to the elections office, and asked to change their registrations. They wanted to vote for Trump, because he talked like them and promised to restore the values they hold dear.

Lewis thinks complaints of racism are overblown and Trump is being unfairly condemned, but he says he would be interested in hearing what the cheerleaders have to say because he figures they must have some reason for doing what they did. He might have listened, he adds, if they’d expressed their grievances in a different way – maybe by taking their problems to elected officials or to church, maybe by kneeling in prayer and not defiance.

Almost three weeks after the protest on his field Cheap Trey Flowers Jersey , South Robeson High School Principal Christopher Clark was still sorting through how he and his school had gotten so caught up in the tug-of-war over racial equality and nationalism.

”We’ve got a cultural battle going on for the heart and soul of America,” he says. ”We’ve heard, `We’re taking this country back.’ Well, where do you want to take it?”

He understands that to some, that might harken back to the wholesome world of Ozzie and Harriet. But that was also a time when Clark, a Native American, had to go to the pharmacy through the back door.

Clark’s school is in the poorest pocket of one of the poorest counties in North Carolina. The student body is almost entirely minority, split approximately evenly between African-Americans and Native Americans. Some of his students have never left the county. During a fieldtrip to Fayetteville, he discovered kids who’d never seen an escalator. When ”life is so different depending on where your zip code is Cheap Tom Brady Jersey ,” he says, he doesn’t know how anyone can believe that inequality no longer exists, even if he’s not happy about how his cheerleaders chose to demonstrate against it.

A preacher’s son and a devout Christian, Clark would never have knelt had he been a kid on the field that night, and he wouldn’t have allowed his own children to, either. But he doesn’t believe he gets to make those choices for everybody else. Nor did the local school district. In the wake of the NFL protests, the superintendent had sent out a memo reminding administrators of students’ constitutional right to protest, stating they could not be forced to stand during the anthem or punished for declining to.

Clark tried to explain all of this when the ugly messages arrived. ”You don’t have the guts to lead,” read one note from a friend. One after the other Cheap Tedy Bruschi Jersey , the notes kept coming. Public outrage is not the rule of law, the principal tried to remind folks, but it seemed that many would rather it were.

”When we start down the road of `the other’ – the other is wrong, the other is un-American, the other, the other, the other – where will we stop?” he wonders. ”There will be a day when we look back on this and think: What in the world happened to us?”

And so on a Wednesday afternoon before the next home football game, Clark couldn’t help but worry that the cheerleaders practicing down the hall would choose to kneel again and start this heartache all over.

The girls had their own worries: that their message was lost amid the anger and condemnation.

At the first game after the protest, homecoming Cheap Steve Grogan Jersey , they decided to stay in the locker room as the national anthem played.

Then they discussed again what to do at the next. Kneel, and relaunch their mini-culture war? Stay inside, and let it pass?

So they marched out onto the field that next Friday night.

They stood along the sidelines and just held hands, a sign of unity, they hoped, each one of them up on both feet.

No one booed. No one applauded them, either.

The girls turned around, picked up their pompoms and launched their first cheer.

”Go Mustangs!”

Multimedia journalist Martha Irvine and data journalist Angeliki Kastanis contributed to this report. Follow Claire Galofaro on Twitter at and find the entire Trump Country series here .


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