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Colin Kaepernick, You are No Frederick Douglass

Colin Kaepernick is a dangerous individual.  Not because he’s willing to buck the status quo; not because he’s willing to “sacrifice everything” (newsflash: he didn’t) to “stand for something;” not because he’s willing to draw attention to uncomfortable issues that others wish to ignore.  There are plenty of people who do that, and do it far more honestly and effectively than Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick is dangerous because he is interested in division with no regard for truth.  Translation: he lies for attention, and with the sole motivation of stoking division.  When it comes to issues as volatile as race relations, that’s beyond dangerous.

That’s why Nike’s decision to pull the Betsy Ross shoes at his request was so distressing – it was yet another reminder that the immensely popular American shoe company was continuing to give a platform of influence to someone who willfully uses his celebrity so irresponsibly.

Case in point, take Kaepernick’s disgraceful misuse of famous abolitionist and self-proclaimed, “black, dyed in the wool Republican,” Frederick Douglass.  On Independence Day, the handsomely-paid spokesman of racial division tweeted from his account a video montage of slavery images interspersed with modern police aggression.  He included with the video an excerpt from Frederick Douglass’s famous Independence Day speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July.”  Unsurprisingly, this was the cherry-picked line he quoted:

What Kaepernick did not mention, of course, was that this speech was given in the summer of 1852, almost a decade before gallons of fraternal blood would be spilt in righting the very wrong Douglass was addressing.  Indeed, Douglass himself would go on to predict the ruin of slavery in America in that very same speech.  This excerpt didn’t make Kaepernick’s tweet:

“Allow me to say, in conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this day presented, of the state of the nation, I do not despair of this country. There are forces in operation, which must inevitably, work the downfall of slavery. ‘The arm of the Lord is not shortened,’ and the doom of slavery is certain. 

I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope. While drawing encouragement from ‘the Declaration of Independence,’ the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age.”

Reading this reminds any fair-minded person that Colin Kaepernick has chosen to embrace such a loathsome character.  Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave, saw – even in the midst of half the nation’s continued embrace of vile slavery – the greatness of the Declaration of Independence, as well as the hope and promise of America.

By contrast, Kaepernick, an overpaid malcontent whose existence involves little more than wealth and privilege, pretends to be oppressed for the sake of running down the country and belittling the genius of its founding charter.

Several individuals took issue with Kaepernick’s self-serving manipulation of Frederick Douglass’s words, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz who delivered a much-needed history lesson to the race-baiting former athlete.  But perhaps the best response came in the form of two questions asked by Charles C.W. Cooke:

Are you afflicted by some ugly malady that prevents you from finishing reading a document? Or did you just want to provide an impression wholly unsupported by the evidence?

The answer to both questions is yes.  The malady is hatred and that alone provides him motivation to ignore evidence and reality when it suits his purposes.  People of sound character will choose to have nothing to do with such a man.


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