If you have an issue with what Colin Kaepernick is saying and doing, you’re defending racism and police brutality. Period.
Shaun King has a pointed question for all of you Colin Kaepernick critics: which form of protest do you actually prefer?
It’s such a great question because when you think back on it, there has never been a black protest that America’s “reasonable” and “responsible” and “moderate” whites were cool with. We turned the hoses and attack dogs on MLK’s peaceful protests. We really didn’t like Malcolm X’s “by any means necessary.” The very existence of the Black Panthers made us apoplectic.
We disapproved of Tommie Smith and John Carlos’s black power salute. Muhammad Ali was willing to give up his career and go to prison because he refused to kill people who had never done anything wrong to him and whites vilified him. We hate Black Lives Matter because somehow saying I shouldn’t be killed means you should be killed. Rosa Parks? Get your ass to the back of the bus, old lady. Greensboro lunch counter sit-ins? Go eat with you own kind.
In other words, standing protests are bad, sitting protests are bad, kneeling protests (Kaepernick’s latest tactic, now joined by Megan Rapinoe) are bad, aggressive protests are bad, peaceful protests are bad, marching is bad, standing still is bad, putting your hands in the air is bad, leaving your hands by your side is bad, eating is bad. (Although I will crawl out on a limb and guess that many Americans would be okay with fasting protests.)
Get the picture? Let me boil it down for you, and forgive my language, but we need to acknowledge, in really clear terms, what is going on here: being an uppity nigger is bad.
The white establishment throughout the course of American history has been fine with black folks who knew their place. Singing spirituals in the cotton fields? Perfect. Shuffling like fools for the entertainment of white audiences? Yup. Kow-towing to the NCAA and our major leagues’ new plantation system? Check.
Step and fetch, you black motherfucker.
Opening their ungrateful mouths because of overtly racist police brutality? How dare you, you ungrateful thugs? The Santa Clara police are threatening not to work SF 49ers games in, well, protest. They are, however, bulking up their security for rapist Brock Turner. It’s one thing when people tell you about their priorities. It’s another entirely when they show you, init?
I can’t find this in Kaep’s Twitter account, so it may be faked. Regardless, it’s hard for someone who’s paying attention not to sympathize. If he didn’t say it, he should have.
I’m not saying all cops are racists. They aren’t. Colin Kaepernick isn’t saying it, either. Ice T didn’t say it when he did “Cop Killer.” Nobody is saying that. Truth is, a vast majority of police officers are probably dedicated, hard-working and committed to the well-being of their communities. All of their communities.
We are saying that some cops are brutal racists. Too many, by far. And that isn’t an opinion, it’s an objective fact. If I couldn’t deduce the obvious from simply reading the news, I’d still know it’s a fact because I met a cop who, face to face, in front of a witness, berated me for not being racist like he was. (That the witness was also a racist cop probably matters too, huh?)
Next time somebody says, in my presence, that they agree with what Kaepernick (or some other protester preaching the same message) is saying about race, but they “don’t approve of his methods,” we’re going to have a chat. Perhaps a heated one. It’s going to begin with me asking a version of Shaun King’s question: what type of protest would you approve of?
Meanwhile, I’m with King. Drew Brees and Boomer Esiason can shut the fuck up. America can read the Constitution (in many cases, for the first time) and the Santa Clara PD can do their goddamned jobs.
Because right now, if you have an issue with what Colin Kaepernick is saying and doing, you’re defending racism and police brutality. Period.
If cops want to make these kinds of protests go away, then they need to do something about those in their ranks who are causing them.