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July 9, 2020
Dominic Raab: taking the knee ‘feels like symbol of subjugation’
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Dominic Raab: taking the knee ‘feels like symbol of subjugation’

The overseas secretary, Dominic Raab, has stated he views the symbolic Black Lives Matter motion of taking the knee as “an emblem of subjugation and subordination”, and that he believes it comes from the TV programme Game of Thrones.

Raab stated he understood why some folks took the knee – which the truth is originated in a protest in opposition to racism and police brutality begun by US athletes, notably the American soccer participant Colin Kaepernick – however that he would solely achieve this “for the Queen and the Mrs once I requested her to marry me”.

The pose, during which folks pause with one knee on the bottom, has turn out to be ubiquitous as a method of displaying assist for BLM and respect for these similar to George Floyd, who died by the hands of police in Minneapolis.

The Labour chief, Keir Starmer, is amongst these within the UK who’ve adopted the pose. Some cops have additionally performed so at protests, and Premier League footballers and officials took the knee on Wednesday earlier than the primary video games because the pause within the season brought on by coronavirus.

Talking to talkRadio on Thursday, Raab was requested whether or not he would undertake the pose. He replied: “Have you learnt what? I perceive this sense of frustration, of restlessness, which is driving the Black Lives Matter motion.

“I’ve obtained say, on this take the knee factor – which, I don’t know, perhaps it’s obtained a broader historical past but it surely appears to be taken from the Recreation of Thrones – feels to me like an emblem of subjugation and subordination, quite than certainly one of liberation and emancipation. However I perceive folks really feel in a different way about it, so it’s a matter of private alternative.”

It isn’t clear why Raab believed the pose got here from Recreation of Thrones, the favored TV fantasy sequence.

It started in 2016 when Kaepernick, then a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, opted to sit down on the workforce bench quite than stand for the pre-NFL recreation rendition of the US nationwide anthem, in protest in opposition to racism and police brutality.

Kaepernick, who was joined by different gamers, later determined to pose on one knee, saying this made the identical level whereas displaying extra respect to navy veterans.

Kaepernick’s actions led him to be frozen out {of professional} sport, and he was criticised from Donald Trump and others. He may now return to the NFL, with even Trump saying this could not be an issue for him.

Requested whether or not he would take the knee to point out solidarity with BLM, Raab stated he wouldn’t, including: “I’d take the knee for 2 folks: the Queen and the Mrs once I requested her to marry me.”

With regards to his spouse he added: “By the best way, she disputes that. I had this dialog together with her final night time. I’m positive I did, however we’d clearly had an excessive amount of champagne on the time. However I’m sure I did.”

Raab’s feedback prompted derision from some Labour MPs. David Lammy, the shadow justice secretary, tweeted: “This isn’t simply insulting to the Black Lives Matter motion, it’s deeply embarrassing for Dominic Raab. He’s speculated to be the overseas secretary of the UK.”

Diane Abbott, a former shadow dwelling secretary, said: “‘Taking the knee started in 2016 with American athletes refusing to face for US nationwide anthem. They had been protesting police brutality and racism. However Dominic Raab thinks it comes from Recreation of Thrones!!!”

In his own later tweet, Raab stated: “To be clear: I’ve full respect for the Black Lives Matter motion, and the problems driving them. If folks want to take a knee, that’s their alternative and I respect it. All of us want to come back collectively to deal with any discrimination and social injustice.”

Raab’s Recreation of Thrones principle isn’t the primary time he has expressed uncommon views. In 2018, as Brexit secretary, he prompted criticism – and a few mockery – for saying he had solely not too long ago appreciated the significance of the Dover-Calais crossing for UK commerce.

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