Just when you thought Colin Kaepernick couldn’t get more over-the-top in dissing the country that has made him a wealthy and privileged man…
Kaepernick is looking for a football job. This should come as no surprise when you consider he was 1-11 as a starting quarterback last year and shows no sign of being able to make the transition from scrambling quarterback — most of whom have short NFL careers — to a pocket quarterback with a passing game, a surer ticket to a long career. But he’s going about his job search in such a self-destructive way, one would be excused for wondering who his agent is. Michael Moore? Al Sharpton? Spike Lee? His PR consulting firm must be Kamikaze Ltd.
Kaepernick first made the Patriots Hall of Shame last year for refusing to stand for the pre-game playing of the National Anthem on the grounds that American police are little more than Ku-Kluxers in blue, and America little more than a living hell for black people. Since then he has made various remarks — including comparing American police to the fugitive slave patrols of the Anti-Bellum South — which make one suspect that word has not reached him that Bull Connor is no longer police chief in Birmingham, and Lester Maddox is no longer passing out axe handles at his Atlanta restaurant. Jim Crow was driven out of town before Kaepernick was born. And young black males in America are about a thousand times more likely to be killed by another civilian young black male than they are by a white police officer. Either Kaepernick is unaware of any of this, or he has decided not to let the truth stand in the way of building up a good head of attention-grabbing indignation.
Kaepernick’s latest stunt was to travel on America’s Independence Day to Ghana, which the Milwaukee native claims as his ancestral home, and to lob insults at America from abroad.
“How can we truly celebrate independence on a day that intentionally robbed our ancestors of theirs? To find my independence I went home,” Kaepernick tweeted.
How indeed? Exactly how Kaepernick determined that the West African nation of Ghana was his home, and the Ghanaian people his people, is not at all clear. But now that he has decided that Ghana is his home, is there any point in hoping he will stay there?
The whole episode reminds me a bit of the Sanford and Son episode where Lamont is wearing a colorful African dashiki and hat. Fred asked him why he’s dressed this way. Lamont says, “It’s to show solidarity with my African ancestors.” Fred gives Lamont the fish eye and says, “I don’t know about you, but my ancestors are from St. Louis.”
It would be a waste of breath to share this anecdote with Kaepernick. He wouldn’t get it.