The Ignorance of Colin Kaepernick

kaepFor quite a few months, I’ve been one of the Colin Kaepernick’s strongest supporters. But that support immediately dried up when he didn’t vote in the general election for President.

This tweet was once pinned to my Twitter profile. Though the point is still valid (and relevant), it’s since been removed.

For me, what began as a poignant protest has turned into an offensively selfish gesture that spits in the face of those who paved the way for his multi-million dollar platform.

trikosko-marchers-with-signs-at-the-march-on-washington-1963Think about it for a moment.
Colin kneels during the national anthem in order to protest police brutality against people of color. He then undercuts his own message by refusing to vote, desecrating an act for which people of color — and their allies —  have suffered immeasurable amounts of police brutality.

The irony is staggering. And his ignorance? Outstanding. Here are snippets of his specious reasoning for not voting.

“I’ve been very disconnected from the systematic oppression as a whole,” Kaepernick said. “So, for me, it’s another face that’s going to be the face of that system of oppression.
“And to me, it didn’t really matter who went in there. The system still remains intact that oppresses people of color.”

Hey Colin, shut the hell up, get off your soapbox, and let me give you a quick 5 minute lesson on why you need to pull your head out of your ass and go vote in the next election.

project-cYou should know this but I think it bears repeating. During the fight for Civil Rights, Blacks were  ruthlessly attacked for demanding their equal place in society, often times by the police.

Birmingham, AL, was one of the epicenters for that fight, and in the spring of 1963, Birmingham’s Commission of Public Safety, Bull Connor – an avowed racist, used the power of the Birmingham Police to crack down on Martin Luther King’s Project C protesters.
(Colin, feel free to click the above link.)

“We are not going to stand for this in Birmingham…” And to that end, he employed physical beatings, high-pressure water hoses, and police dogs to assail and subdue the young Black protesters.

Colin, that, and much more, is what protesters had to endure so that you would have the right to vote as a person of color. If reading about that Birmingham battle didn’t persuade you, maybe you should go have a chat with Congressman John Lewis; a man who suffered a fractured skull (and nearly died) fighting for your right to vote. Talk to him about what it means to truly walk the talk.

You can’t just pick and choose the parts that are easiest for you to wrap your head around for participation. If you truly want to be the big man, and take a stand that will have a lasting impact, then you have to do it all. And do it from a fully-informed point of view that doesn’t completely end up undermining your message AND any built up goodwill from your supporters.

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