One of the interesting sidebar stories which cropped up around this year’s Super Bowl was an announcement from a Brooklyn rapper named “Cardi B” stating that she would refuse to perform at any Super Bowl halftime show until Colin Kaepernick had a QB position with an NFL team again. (A brief search doesn’t reveal any indication that the NFL ever sought out this performer to participate, but… whatever.) She’s not the only entertainer to take a stand in defense of Kaepernick’s supposed “right” to play in the National Football League, and some more well-known celebrities have taken up his cause as well.
At the moment, however, Kaepernick doesn’t seem to be available. After making the short list for Time’s Person of the Year honors, he’s been doing a lot of fundraising, pledging to raise one million dollars for various social justice causes. But the latest of these efforts is raising some likely unwanted attention. He’s attracted $20K in donations for a group which is named in honor of someone whose only claim to fame is having murdered a New Jersey State Police Officer in the 1970s. (Washington Times)
Colin Kaepernick said Friday he has raised $20,000 for Assata’s Daughters, named after convicted cop-killer Assata Shakur, through matching donations from his celebrity friends as part of his Million Dollar Pledge.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback announced that comedian Hannibal Buress and actress Yara Shahidi would both donate $10,000 to Assata’s Daughters, which says it “carries on the tradition of radical liberatory activism encompassed by Assata Shakur.”
The pledges were linked to a previous donation made by Mr. Kaepernick, who announced in April he would give $25,000 to the Chicago-based group as part of his campaign to give $1 million to organizations “working in oppressed communities.”
It’s also worth noting that Kaepernick himself donated directly to Assata’s Daughters before inspiring these new donations.
Having never seen the show Blackish I’m really not familiar with Ms. Shahidi’s body of work, but someone might want to bring her up to speed on the namesake of the recipients of her generosity. There’s clearly a certain range of non-violent protests which might legitimately be described as “radical liberatory activism,” but participating in gunning down a police officer is not one of them. That’s what Assata Shakur (formerly Joanne Chesimard) was convicted of after she and two of her Black Liberation Army associates murdered State Trooper Werner Foerster. She later escaped and fled to Cuba where she presumably remains in hiding to this day.
Keep in mind that Kaepernick has insisted that he doesn’t actually hate the police. He’s just trying to point out racial bias and unfairness in law enforcement practices, right? Of course, going on to compare modern police to runaway slave patrols didn’t help his case, but that could be written off under the general category of social justice rhetoric. But a convicted cop killer? At what point does it become socially acceptable to call out this guy’s excuses as complete horse hockey without being labeled a racist for doing so?
If you have some extra money to donate to a good cause but don’t share the peculiar sentiments of Colin Kaepernick and Ms. Shahidi, might I suggest that you instead send a few dollars to the Officer Down Memorial Page? Their work might be a bit more to the tastes of anyone who doesn’t actively cheer the death of law enforcement officers.