From the July 27 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends First:
JILLIAN MELE (CO-HOST): A lot of people are saying, I think, we need to get to a point -- and what is that point -- where we can allow these players to have conversations, where we can allow ourselves to listen to them while having respect for our military, for the flag, and while standing for that flag. How do we get to that point?
KIERAN LALOR (NY STATE ASSEMBLYMAN): The kneeling is kind of an empty gesture. It offends a lot of people, a lot of the protesters say it is not really about the flag or the military, except that it is because it is going on when we're honoring our flag --
LALOR: -- and veterans are particularly impacted by the power of the flag, but there is really no follow-up, there's really no conversation. And, in fact, this all started with Colin Kaepernick -- and it's kind of based on a falsehood. He said there's dead bodies in the streets, there's people being murdered, and other people who murdered them on paid leave. Saying cops are just indiscriminately murdering black men in the streets. That's not happening, there are studies all over the place, the Manhattan Institute has a study that says that doesn't happen. Harvard has a study that says that doesn't happen. “Hands up, don't shoot” -- which kind of started this whole movement, that didn't happen.There have been bad people, there have been bad cops. We're a a nation of 300 million people, and there are some bad people, there are some racist people, but on balance we are not a racist country, we're not an unjust country. Colin Kaepernick who also started this thing, and a lot of the blame has to be on his feet, he also said this is an unjust country for people of color. Well you know what the number one issue in this country is? It's immigration. And largely that's people of color who want to come into this country because it is such a great country. So I don't buy the foundation of this whole protest. Are there problems, can we discuss them? Absolutely, but the way they've gone about it, and their lack of really a conversation, a back-and-forth, let's find some common ground, let's find some solutions -- totally absent.
MELE: Right, and you hit on something good there I think. We're not able to hear each other, we're not able to have these conversations because of the way it's transpired over the course of the last two years, and it's been a long time, with no end in sight.
LALOR: You're right. One of the problems is, why it's hard to have a conversation, there is nothing worse than being called a racist. There is nothing worse for your career, there's nothing worse for you as a person. And a lot of people don't want to speak up because they're going to be accused of being a racist. And that squelches all kinds of conversation, all kinds of dialogue, and you're never going to get a solution without dialogue.