Many of us weren’t sure Colin Kaepernick knew what he was getting into when he began calling for cops to be held accountable for wantonly killing Black people, by refusing to stand during the national anthem. Since, he has proven to be a righteous and eloquent spokesman, and the San Francisco 49ers QB’s powerful image covers the latest issue of TIME magazine.
We must understand what Kaepernick is protesting. The tension between black people and the cops is not just one more race issue roiling the nation: it is the key one. It is the central cause of black people’s sense of general alienation, the first thing that comes up when you ask black people why they think racism defines their lives. It was what the Panthers were all about, what gangsta rap was all about, what the O.J. Simpson vigilante-justice verdict was all about, and it’s no accident that today’s most prominent civil rights effort, Black Lives Matter, began as a protest against the cops. The sense of the cops’ authority as illegitimate only makes it easier for underserved black men to seek employment on the black market of drug sales. The cop issue helps destroy black communities.
You can bet this will be one of TIME mag’s best-selling issues, ever. Excuse me while I go pick out a frame…