Addressing Colin Kaepernick’s Astounding Ignorance About Voting

Most people who follow me know that I’m a huge advocate for big-picture thinking and making sure that the way in which you’re trying to convey your message is effective and not counterproductive.

That brings me to NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. In my opinion, Kaepernick has been mostly counterproductive when it comes to addressing the ongoing issues with racism and police injustice against African Americans.

As these kneeling “protests” have made the news, I haven’t really seen too many people discussing racism or police injustices against the black community — most of the talk has been about the kneeling and whether or not it’s anti-American, hurting the NFL’s ratings or “which players knelt during the National Anthem this week.”

The story hasn’t been a productive discussion about injustice and what we can do to make it better. There’s been some solid and necessary talk concerning that, but most of what I’ve seen has been contentious debates over whether or not kneeling during the National Anthem is unpatriotic and how it’s angered a lot of Americans.

I’m sorry Kaepernick supporters, but the way in which he’s gone about trying to bring attention to a very real problem has mostly done nothing more than create more tension, divisiveness and angered people who, while they might completely agree with him, still find his “protest” disrespectful to veterans and our military.

You might disagree with that because you don’t see it that way, but that doesn’t change the reality that many people — including a lot who actually agree with his message — do find it disrespectful.

But a big reason why I view Kaepernick as the “fool leading people into battle” is that I don’t see him as someone who really understands a lot of this. Especially as it relates to the political aspect, which is extremely important.

Yes, he’s half African American so he clearly understands what it’s like to be a minority in this country. I’m not doubting that aspect of his message. But all he really seems to be doing is regurgitating stuff I see posted on social media. While some of it’s true, a lot of it is meme-generated nonsense.

Take for instance his idiotic statement following one of the presidential debates where he said both candidates are “evil” and seemed to be trying to debate “who’s less racist.”

If you’re dumb enough to think that Clinton and Trump are both equally “evil,” or even that Clinton’s racist, you’re an absolute moron. That statement proved that he doesn’t actually know what the hell he’s talking about, he’s just repeating stuff he’s see on the Internet.

Even DeRay Mckesson, a true leader for Black Lives Matter and someone who’s been one of the leading faces over the past few years battling racial injustice, came out publicly in support of Hillary Clinton. After meeting with her, he called her platform on racial injustice “strong” and said she had a good vision for where the nation needed to go. He said she had a “deep understanding of the challenges” of the African American community and a plan to move forward.

But to “activist” Colin Kaepernick, she’s just as “evil” and “racist” as Donald Trump — a man who was endorsed by the KKK, praised by white supremacist David Duke and even hired a white nationalist as his chief strategist.

That said, nothing infuriated me more than when I saw Kaepernick seemingly brag about the fact that he didn’t vote.

Here’s his idiotic comment on why he didn’t:

I think it would be hypocritical for me to vote. I said from the beginning I was against oppression, I was against the system of oppression. I’m not going to show support for that system. To me, the oppressor isn’t going to let you vote your way out of your oppression.

People have literally died for African Americans to have the right to vote. The fact that this clown is so full of his own b.s. that he thinks not exercising that right isn’t important is inexcusable and pathetic.

His “logic,” if you want to call it that, is that the best way to “fight oppression” is to not vote — so that those who might be trying to make oppression worse, you know, like Donald Trump — get more power to be more oppressive. 

Considering that one of the most (if not the most) important things we can do in this country is to vote, his stance is moronic. The importance of voting is why people have fought and died for us to have that right. It’s why even more people have fought and died protecting that right from those trying to disenfranchise some (mostly African Americans) from being able to exercise it.

Imagine if everyone who opposed segregation during the 50’s and 60’s refused to vote. The only people voting would have been those who supported segregation. That means the only people being elected to our government would be politicians who supported it — which then means we likely never see the passage of the Civil Rights Act or the Voting Rights Act.

What helped bring about that change wasn’t only advocates protesting and fighting for it, but those who were going out there and voting for the politicians who would support the changes they wanted to be brought to the United States.

Nearly every change we want to bring to this nation, and its citizens, starts with our right to vote — in local, state and federal elections. I absolutely believe in the belief that if you don’t vote, then you don’t have a right to complain about what’s going on in this country.

For this guy to not only show his ignorance when it comes to politics and actually understanding the vast differences between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, then for him to admit that he didn’t vote because he somehow thinks that the best way to “fight oppression” is by not exercising the strong weapon we have against oppression, I think it’s time the left stops viewing him as some sort of “hero” or “leading activist” — because he’s neither.

Honestly, if you really sit back and look at all of this, he seems to be making this more about himself than he has anything else.

It’s like I said earlier: Don’t follow a fool into battle just because you’re on the same side.

Colin Kaepernick has proven himself to be a fool who disrespected those who have fought and died to give African Americans the right to vote by showing how little he seems to understand or care about those sacrifices.

He didn’t have to vote for Clinton or Trump. He could have written in anyone — though I get the feeling he probably doesn’t know you can actually do that. But a person can’t claim to be this defender and advocate for equality, justice and our rights as Americans, then refuse to do possibly the most important thing we can do as Americans t0 bring about the change we want in this country.

The moment Colin Kaepernick refused to exercise his right to vote was the moment he lost his right to complain about the ramifications of what comes from Donald Trump’s presidency. While he’s been out there kneeling, white nationalists were out there helping elect a president praised by David Duke and the KKK.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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