Many of his professional colleagues, in the NFL, and the National Basketball Association, have joined him in making protest statements against institutional racism. And this past week, the non-athlete African community has kicked into gear, openly calling for a national boycott against the NFL because of its treatment against Kaepernick.
Its always a good thing when African people stand up against injustice. When we stand up, its usually a catalyst for much of the positive social change the world has benefited from over the last 100 years. So, I was overjoyed to see the NAACP take their stance this last week. And, after having spent many years organizing on college campuses, I know as well as anyone how difficult it can be to get African students, particularly those involved in Greek letter organizational life, to take even the slightest interest in our national liberation struggle. So, no one was happier than I was to see the multitudes of Kaepernick's Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity brothers coming out to support him during the protest held at NFL headquarters last week. That all by itself was history in the making.
Still, since revolution is never sentimental, we have to speak truth at all times. And, since this activity around Colin Kaepernick is a part of a developing movement, we recognize that people will come into and at this from many different perspectives. In other words, some people will see most if not all of the big picture. Some will see only portions of it. But, for anyone who may be confused, its essential that we express how limited and strategically wrong it is for us to be making this protest about whether the NFL offers Kaepernick a job or not. And there are plenty who are seeing the situation through that vision. There are countless social media postings from people saying they won't watch an NFL game until Kaepernick has a job.
First, let's start with there is a reason you haven't heard Kaepernick himself speaking out in public about having a job. He isn't begging the stanch racist NFL owners for anything and like practically everything this wonderful young person is doing, the rest of us need to take a page from his book. Reducing the question to one of whether or not he has a job does everything to diminish the critical questions he has helped raise with his protest in the first place. Also, if him getting a job is the objective, the capitalist system has demonstrated that it understands when and where to cut its losses to protect its interests. In other words, he'll eventually get that job in the NFL and if you are seeing that as the objective then you will view the moment he signs an NFL contract as some sort of victory. Your energy and desire to continue the struggle will diminish and all we will be left with is the same wage slavery we had when Kaepernick started his protest in the first place.
A multitude of economists have proven since the 1970s that African people represent a sizable market around the world and within the U.S. We do possess the power to hurt the capitalist system. And, as always, we are not alone in our quest for justice. So, there's no question that boycotting is an effective tool, if used correctly. What we should be boycotting is the NFL's refusal to place the systemic oppression against Africans over its desire to sell tickets and to sell out to the U.S. imperialist military's buyout of NFL airtime before every game. We should be calling attention to the hypocrisy of NFL owners like Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys) who's drawers are caught up in such a bunch over Kaepernick's protests while he praises players under his own employ, like Ezekiel Elliot and Greg Hardy, who face serious allegations of violence against women. We should be focused on how so many NFL players, owners, announcers, fans, and water boys are comfortable denouncing Kaepernick without the slightest doubt while they still haven't made one peep about the reasons he's protesting. We should be educating our people about these contradictions and making the NFL pay for its blatant disregard for our lives. And, we do this by making the NFL suffer where it hurts, financially. For me, the objective isn't to get anything from the NFL. The objective is to use the protests to wake up our people. To help us understand that we can empower ourselves which is Kaepernick's message to us in the first place. We would also be sending the message to racist America that we can disrupt and bring it to its knees anytime we want.
This type of self empowerment movement action would do wonders to breath life into our struggle. It would take it far beyond the point its primarily at today where far too many of us see the focus of our fight as demanding something from our enemies.
Too much of what we do to combat this system is symbolic. Let's think this through a bit more. Let's take things to the next step higher. Let's start making them suffer some serious consequences while using our work to demonstrate to our people that when we get organized, the sky is the limit.