Photo: Lt. Jim Koch is seen standing over Colin Kapernick during the National Anthem. You can listen to our interview with Lt. Koch here.
ESPN reported that after an entire season sitting or kneeling during the National Anthem because of police brutality, Colin Kaepernick’s protesting is done.
He called the cause, that he championed, “bigger than football,” and the anger that he once had toward a flag that “oppresses black people and people of color” has apparently subsided.
“Kaepernick no longer wants the past method of protest to detract from the positive change that he believes has been created, per sources,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter wrote.
What positive changes did he make? What has changed?
Kaepernick never made the case that policing, as an institution, was racist. He never asked questions and he never attempted to educate himself.
If he would have, he would have found a host of issues, involving the very minorities he claimed to have cared for, and racist cops aren’t even on the radar.
But do you know what is? Violence in our disadvantaged communities are out of control; educational opportunities are lacking and fatherless homes are crippling the family structure and sending kids, many without hope, on the streets to commit criminal acts.
Just today, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn responded to the typical rhetoric that Kaepernick slung when he defended his agency from claims that they were targeting minorities at a disproportional rate. Citing a minority homicide and shooting victim rate almost 20 times that of Caucasians, Flynn shamed groups like the ACLU into not caring about what happens to African Americans in his city. This victimization is not unique to Milwaukee and as Flynn rightly pointed out, it is because law enforcement cares for those being victimized that they police those very neighborhoods.
“The people that actually live in the neighborhoods punctuated by gunfire and non-fatal shootings every night of the week demand effective and responsive policing,” Flynn responded and the the “concerns of the neighborhoods are never on the agenda of groups like the ACLU.”
Unfortunately, the crime victims and the neighborhoods in fear were never a concern for a quarterback that led his team to a 2-14 record. We should have never expected it to be because Kaepernick, who was born in Milwaukee, was adopted after his father abandoned him. He grew up in privilege without worry or concern. That was until he decided to champion the cause of police brutality.
Part of me feels sorry for Kaepernick and our editorial board even defended him last year:
“Here at Law Officer, we tend to see it for what it is. A young man, influenced by others that believes the media hype of racism and law enforcement. While law enforcement must improve in this area, to say it is systemic or anything close to “common” would be irresponsible at best and there are many that are.”
I will not defend him. Colin, it’s time to grow up. You are a gifted athlete and you have been blessed beyond anyone’s dreams and it is time to use your influence for good and to really make a difference in the lives of our young people. You’ve already taught them to kneel but maybe you should tell them to take responsibility.
You should use your bully pulpit to encourage young people to respect their teachers, police officers and parents. You should tell them to stay off the streets and walk away from violence because committing violent acts is a direct contributor to having police encounters that you railed miserably about. You should talk about your father abandoning your mother and that the black community has a severe problem with the family structure. With 75% of children born today, without a father in the home, the time is now to turn this tide. It is neither fair to a young mother or a child to abandon them in a world that can be so cruel without the proper support and structure in life. As Chicago Superintendent Eddie Johnson recently said, “You show me a man that doesn’t have hope, I’ll show you one that’s willing to pick up a gun and do anything with it.”
You, Colin, have always had hope because two loving parents saved you from what could have been a fate of so many others in our country. It is time to stop deflecting the real problems by blaming cops. It is time to step up and tell men to start acting like men and I suggest you make the first move. You can start by issuing an apology to America and then do everything you can to leave the very country you disrespected in a better place.
Believe it or not, I will be your biggest fan if you champion these very real problems.
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