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Reader: A new antebellum period

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Is it all about politics or free speech? Exactly who or what is being disrespected? Is it about disrespecting the flag, our military, our country or black lives?

The First Amendment protects even unpopular forms of speech so that citizens can promote the free exchange of ideas, including redress against their government. Though the U.S. Supreme Court has determined that such things as wearing black armbands or burning the American flag are permissible First Amendment rights, speech that is intended to incite violence or to encourage an audience to commit illegal acts is not.

So which is more egregious, kneeling during the national anthem or watching a black woman being mobbed and jostled by mostly white Trump supporters as the candidate shouts, "Get out!" Make no mistake, both incidents are all about race, racism and the gradual decline of white, male power in this country.

We have entered a new antebellum period in our history when white conservative males have suddenly realized they are becoming a statistical minority. The battles ahead will be fought by millennials and Generation Z. There will be more than a little kicking and screaming. It won't be pretty. Yet we know the outcome. Today's minority babies are already the majority.

— Glenn Perry, Colorado Springs

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