Although Kaepernick is probably one of the most high profile people in this country to admit in public that he didn't vote, he's far from alone in not participating. It has already been confirmed by the Secretary of State's office that 45% of eligible voters didn't vote. We know that about 26% voted for Clinton and 25% voted for Trump. We know that although he won the presidency, he didn't win the popular vote (Clinton received almost 1 million more actual votes than Trump). We know that about 5% voted for Stein, Mickey Mouse, etc. We also know that the reason the so-called battle ground states are that is because each of those states has a long documented history of voter intimidation and disenfranchisement. So, essentially, we are facing the exact same problems in 2016 that we did in 1966 and the masses of people, all people, have nothing more to show for it. That's why, instead of criticizing Kaepernick, we should be looking at the reasons most people don't vote and why they have never voted because if you take out the 2008 election, this is a true statement for the last 60 years.
Clearly, people are making it plain that the capitalist electoral process is corrupt and they have no interest in validating it by participating in it as if it actually represents a democratic process. And, the shaming of people with threats that they are responsible for Trump and his white supremacy are baseless. The white supremacy didn't just rise up unannounced out of the ashes. It's always been there and its more than a little dangerous for well meaning (and some not so well meaning) people to suggest that this is some form of new white supremacy we are facing today. I listened very carefully to the horror stories my mother, father, and grandmother told me about growing up in Louisiana during the 20s, 30s, and 40s. There is nothing happening today that didn't happen in much greater graphic and violent detail then. In fact, its a little arrogant to suggest otherwise because to do so suggests that because its happening in your life, that it has more importance without backing that up with science. Surely, social media has made the attacks, the police shootings, the threats, and all of that much more accessible to many more people, but that doesn't mean its anything new. The truth is African and other oppressed people have endured much more than we could ever face today and the credit for that goes to their sacrifices. And actually, the fact this is true is the reason people are not willing to be intimidated into voting for the lessor of white supremacists because people are tired of that entire charade and the fact even celebrities are articulating it should be an indication of just how tired people are.
What should be happening instead of this weak critique of Kaepernick and others is an assessment of what work is going on to build capacity to fight back and build a better world. People can say whatever they want about who's fault Trump's victory belongs to, but whomever it is, I feel like we should acknowledge that this has galvanized people to see the necessity to stand up and organize better than anything I've ever seen. That much has changed. And, I know we won't organize for something better as long as some part of us believes what exists will work to solve our problems. Kwame Ture and others in SNCC, etc., sacrificed more than most of us today will ever know to win us the vote. Still, he always said it was a tactic and not a principle. Even in the 50 year old interview I watched last night, he made it clear to the racists interrogating him that African people deserve the right to determine for ourselves what path towards freedom we decide to choose. I believe that almost half of the eligible voters deciding not to vote for either candidate is a clear statement that we are in the initial stages of people starting to make that choice.