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Gold Star parents confront Spike Lee on NFL protests - and he didn't like it

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The Bonacasa Gold Star family confronted liberal filmmaker Spike Lee on his support of the NFL players' protests during the national anthem in a CNN town hall about the subject. (Image Source: YouTube screenshot)

Gold Star parents confronted liberal film director Spike Lee over his support of the NFL players' national anthem protests, and he did not like what they said.

Here's the video of the debate:

What did they say to Spike Lee?

Vincent and Diana Bonacasa are the parents of Louis Michael Bonacasa, who was killed by a suicide bomber while on his fourth tour in the Middle East.

"Last Sunday our community had a celebration for Gold Star parents," Vincent Bonacasa said, "it was very humbling ceremony. But it brought us back to the day we lost our son. It was a very empty feeling.

"We came home, turned on the TV," he explained, "and there was the NFL players on their knees, that was a slap in the face to us.

"So my question was," he continued, "how do you support these multi-millionaires on their knees and don't support what the fallen heroes died for?"

"Sir, I'm very sorry for your loss, but the narrative that you spoke about is not true," Lee responded.

"All these players have said, many many times," Lee said. "that they respect the armed forces. They respect the flag. And they respect America. And this narrative that when they take a knee, it's insulting your son who is no longer here, is not true. They've said that again, and again, and again."

"But there's a lot of people who look at this as disrespectful," Anderson Cooper interjected.

Lee interrupted to point out that many were offended when two black athletes raised their firsts at the Olympics in the famous 1968 incident.

"Excuse me I have one other question," said Vincent Bonacasa. "When North Korea aims a missile at us," he said, "are these football players gonna be on their knees? Or are they gonna support our veterans?"

"Sir, I'm worried just as much [about] Donald Trump as that crazy guy in North Korea," Lee responded to some applause.

"And he has the nuclear codes, I'm worried about that!" he added, deflecting away from the question.

Was this exchange helpful in the national debate over NFL protests?

Not especially. While it's emotionally satisfying to some to see Spike Lee forced to face parents of a fallen soldier over the subject, it doesn't move the ball forward toward understanding or bringing Americans together. To put together such emotionally charged representatives of both sides doesn't do much to get us past our divisive national impasse, it merely sensationalizes the debate.

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