The Tragic Radicalization of Colin Kaepernick

by Christopher Paslay

According to Colin Kaepernick, the central intent of policing is to surveil, terrorize, capture, and kill marginalized populations, specifically Black folks.

In his recent article called “The Demand for Abolition,” a very radicalized Colin Kaepernick demands we get rid of all police and prisons in America, writing that all cops are terrorists and murders, whose injustice is perpetuated by a white supremacist society that is steeped in racism and anti-blackness.

Kaepernick writes:

In the wake of the state-sanctioned lynchings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, the United States has been forced to grapple with not only the devastation of police terrorism but also the institutions that constitute, enhance, and expand the carceral state.

State-sanctioned lynchings? Such radicalized hyperbole is dangerous and irresponsible. In the case of Breonna Taylor, a grand jury found that the police officers committed no criminal act, and despite public misinformation, indeed knocked before entering; ballistics reports also showed that Taylor’s boyfriend shot the officer.

In the case of George Floyd, Derek Chauvin has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter, and Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng have been arrested and charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. 

“The central intent of policing is to surveil, terrorize, capture, and kill marginalized populations, specifically Black folks,” Kaepernick writes in his article. This is a clear departure from his more moderate position on police brutality, which simply criticized what he termed “rogue cops.” Now all cops must be abolished, as well as all prisons. 

The fact that the overwhelming majority of black Americans disagree with Kaepernick on this issue doesn’t seem to matter to him. In August, a Gallup poll found that 81 percent of African Americans want the same or even more police presence in their neighborhoods.    

Kaepernick makes no bones about his feelings on police reform: “Fuck reform,” his articles states in a sub-heading. He writes: 

I began to ask myself the question “What is being reformed or reformulated?” Ultimately, I realized that seeking reform would make me an active participant in reforming, reshaping, and rebranding institutional white supremacy, oppression, and death. This constant re-interrogation of my own analysis has been part of my political evolution.

Kaepernick has had a political evolution indeed. He’s now a full-fledged radical, committed to indoctrinating America’s youth.  Several year ago, he founded a youth activist organization called “Know Your Rights Camp,” whose mission is to “advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders.”

In these camps he teaches impressionable youth that police terrorize, kidnap, and murder black people for no good reason, an injustice perpetuated by a white supremacist society that is systemically racist and anti-black.

His radical message and “political evolution” is both tragic and alarming. Incredibly, Kaepernick himself is half-white, whose biological mother, Heidi Russo, got pregnant with him when she was only 18. After Kaepernick’s African American father left Russo, she did not abort her child, rather, worked hard to find a family with the resources to adopt him and give him the proper care he needed. These parents ended up being Rick and Teresa Kaepernick, who are both white. They raised Colin from the time he was several weeks old, giving him everything they had. 

But the now radical Kaepernick seems to have forgotten his roots, and the fact that he’s not only half-white himself, but that two kind and caring white parents — from a predominantly white Milwaukee community — raised him to be a strong, successful athlete and human being. 

“Over the next month,” Kaepernick writes in his anti-cop diatribe, “my hope is that you, the reader, will have confronted the white supremacist underpinnings of policing and prisons and the state-sanctioned oppression, destruction, and execution of Black and Indigenous people and people of color.”

“Abolition now,” says the radicalized ex-football player. “Abolition for the people.”

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