State Representative Earl Ehrhart (R-Powder Springs) is assigned to the committee that determines which public universities in Georgia get tax dollars. Recently, an open records request uncovered Ehrhart used his position to pressure the President of Kennesaw State University to act in favor of his personal bias. Ehrhart was apparently offended by the KSU cheerleaders’ choice to kneel with their hands over their heart during the playing of the national anthem.
When citizens speak up about their beliefs to influence people it is protected by the first amendment. When an elected official with the power to threaten the public funds of a public institution influences the leadership of the school it is a conflict of interest, unethical, breach of fiduciary duty and should not be protected by the first amendment.
Let’s review for the people who have been living under a rock because you may not understand why a State Representative would unethically wield his power to unfairly influence the first amendment rights of teenagers. Particularly since, prior to this whole affair most people sat drinking a beer on Sunday afternoons while the anthem played.
October 2016 a football player can no longer sit silent in the face of the deaths of American citizens at the hands of law enforcement. Army vet urges football player to kneel the same way members of the military kneel at the graves of fallen soldiers out of respect.
He kneels for the deaths of Americans and it is disrespect. They kneel for the death of Americans and it is respect?
A handful of football players join in to use their public platform to protest police brutality. NFL uses its platform and does not renew the contract of the lead player in protest of his stance on an uncomfortable issue.
He uses his platform for protest and it is disrespect. They use their platform in protest and it is their right?
2017 more players kneel and they are joined by citizens around the world for a #NFLboycott – the purpose of the protest no longer clear. More fans are offended, no longer enjoy the game, and also boycott the NFL, the purpose of their boycott equally unclear.
They protest the NFL and it is disrespect. They also protest the same NFL and it is out of respect?
Everywhere, including on the field, people now boycott for the player, boycott because of anthem, and boycott because of police brutality. The president inserts himself and demands that owners boycott the S.O.Bs by kicking them off the field.
They boycott for a reason and it is disrespectful. He boycotts for no reason and it is respect?
Entire teams, coaches, and owners kneel in protest because of the President’s (consistently) offensive choice of words. More football fans get offended and burned jerseys, tickets, and protest the NFL because more people are joining the protest.
They get offended and protest and it is disrespect. They also get offended and protest but it is respect?
More Sunday’s pass and more people kneel in protest of a variety of reasons that all stemmed from the protest that began about excessive force. Vice-president uses excessive tax dollars to fly to a game solely to walk out in protest.
They protest problems in America on the NFL’s dime and it is disrespect. He protests the right to protest on the American tax payers dime it is respect?
Cheerleaders at public university in Georgia agree with the need to address police brutality and take a knee in a solidarity protest. Georgia State Representative gets offended at kneeling girls and uses his position of power to pressure the school president and the protesters.
They protest it is disrespect. He protests it is UNETHICAL!
Now that it’s clear we all get offended and now that it is clear we all have the right to protest….
Can we protest the bad cops that make the good cops look bad?
Can we protest public dollars spent on private entities like the NFL?
Can we protest public officials abusing their power and wasting our tax money?
Can we protest the General Assembly using their power of the purse to give tax breaks to people who purchase Super Bowl tickets?
Can we protest the General Assembly using their power of the purse to influence school presidents on matters having nothing to do with education?
Can we protest that we spend more tax dollars on police protection for private football games than we do creating recreation football programs for children?
Can we protest building billion dollar homes for sports teams and their rich owners but spend nothing on getting homes for homeless children?
Can we protest that there are people too poor to care about a protest?
Can we protest to restore the HOPE scholarship so you can attend a public college whether you are a cheerleader or not?