Here’s a bitter taste for you. Bill Penzey of Penzeys Spices says being upset at players in the National Football League (NFL) who protest during the national anthem is racist.

In his Veterans Day email to customers, Penzey explained the reason for the players protesting: “For Veterans Day, out of respect for Veterans, can we all just be honest and admit that the NFL protests really are about racism?”

Except they’re not. They supposedly started as protests against police treatment of minorities. And, of course, it’s impossible to separate the message from being a protest against America because it is during the national anthem.

But Penzey says people being upset about the protests by NFL players are really saying something else.

“I guess we should feel lucky that, even in the height of MAGA America, very few in the pro-racism camp feel secure enough to counter the NFL payers’ protests by openly defending racism,” Penzey wrote. “Instead, they’ve employed the tactic Fox and the right so often use when their side of an argument is indefensible of claiming that the other side is not saying what they are saying, they are actually saying something they are not saying.”

Okay, that last sentence is a real head-spinner. “…claiming that the other side is not saying what they are saying, they are actually saying something they are not saying.”

(Of course, it’s Penzey saying what they’re not saying when he claims the NFL players are saying something that they’re not saying, and that’s saying something. Or not.)

Penzey then claims the players are putting their careers on the line, despite the evidence to the contrary, because people opposed to the protests are saying the protests are not about racism.

“Of course defending an indefensible position by reporting lies about those you oppose is propaganda, it’s immoral, and just plan wrong,” Penzey wrote. “It is a tactic used often, but nowhere is it more damaging than with what they are doing right now by cloaking racism with the American flag.”

And then Penzey blames it all on President Donald Trump. “This administration is squandering America’s good will in a failed attempt to return our country to the constant racism of 50 years ago,” Penzey wrote. “By wrapping racism in the American flag they will not turn back time, but they will risk turning our flag into a symbol of their racism. We can’t let that happen. America has come at too high of a cost to let it be thrown away by those who appear to have so little sense of its value.”

So if you’re a patriotic American that’s upset every time an NFL player takes a knee or does some other form of protest during the national anthem, you’re a racist, and you’re turning the American flag into a symbol of your racism.

We’ll note Bill Penzey’s stores are not exactly located among minority-heavy populations, and that he’s actually trying to sell in Republican areas that voted for Trump. But like the NFL, Penzey and the NFL players have taken to insulting their customer bases as a business model and you’re racist if you disagree with either one of them. Perhaps Penzey identifies with the NFL because insulting his customer base hasn’t been the best business practice for him, too. They deserve each other.

But what’s especially galling is that while Penzey is attacking defenders of patriotism and the flag as racist, he uses veterans as cover for his views. What does respecting veterans have to do with supporting protests that disrespect the American flag? Or calling those opposed to the protests a bunch of racists? What Penzey is really trying to do is use veterans as shields for his obnoxious leftwing views and stifle any criticism.

Penzey wraps his little tirade with a bunch of recipes from veterans, even though he concedes he has no idea what their views are of the NFL protests. Perhaps they’re racists, too, in Penzey’s mind.

The use of those recipes from veterans to shield his business from criticism is not respecting veterans, but insults them by using them as stage props for his own propaganda. (Which the NFL infamously did for a number of years, too.) Penzey should start respecting veterans first before lecturing anyone else about how to respond to NFL player protests during the national anthem.