A Michigan graduate student took a marathon kneel down Monday, a gesture he said was to blast racial injustice and show of solidarity with NFL players who do so during the national anthem.
Dana Greene Jr. took a knee at University of Michigan at 7 a.m. on Monday, and by early Tuesday, was still kneeling, according to local reports.
Detroit radio station 910 AM said Greene was kneeling on the campus as of about 9:15 a.m., but it wasn’t clear whether he had stayed the entire night or left and then returned.
Greene, who said he was also protesting “anti-Muslim, anti-Black anti-Latin and anti-immigrant rhetoric” on campus and across the country.
“I’ve been on this campus for five years, I did my undergraduate here and each year the campus climate has gotten worse and worse,” he told the paper. “The recent election, the man who holds the highest office the land, the president of the United States, has made this issue even worse.”
“[President Donald Trump has] made it harder for people who look like me and don’t look like me to walk this campus, to feel comfortable in our own skin and I’m here to tell him, and our own campus president that what we are dealing with is not OK,” Greene added. “It’s not right. If I have to sit here until my knees bleed, then that’s what I’m going to do.”
Nearly 100 students, faculty and staff knelt with Greene at various points throughout the day — pitching tents and bringing cartons of water bottles with them, according to the report.
Campus president Mark Schlissel, who was off-campus on university business, wrote in a statement that he supports Greene’s “right to engage in peaceful protest” and plans to meet with him as soon as he returns.
“I share with many the belief that our institution and our nation do not always live up to our highest ideals, including the equal rights we hold dear,” Schlissel said. “To me, the American Flag represents many things, including those very rights.”
The protest comes amid a firestorm that erupted during a speech in Alabama on Friday night when President Trump suggested that team owners should fire or suspend players taking a knee.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired!,’” Trump bellowed to raucous cheers.
(via: NY Post)