Colin Kaepernick has no right to address the racial injustices happening throughout the United States because he’s only half Black. That’s the ignorant belief of one Rodney Harrison. The retired NFL star, clearly interested in creating more social problems than solving them, expressed the foolish sentiment during a recent podcast interview.
“I tell you this, I’m a black man. And Colin Kaepernick — he’s not black,” Harrison said. “He cannot understand what I face and what other young black men and black people face, or people of color face, on a [daily] basis. When you walk in a grocery store, and you might have $2,000 or $3,000 in your pocket and you go up into a Foot Locker and they’re looking at you like you about to steal something.”
“You know, I don’t think he faces those type of things that we face on a daily basis … his heart is in the right place, but even with what he’s doing, he still doesn’t understand the injustices as a black man, or people of color, that’s what I’m saying.”
Kaepernick’s biological mother is white and father black, making him, in the eyes of most, a person of color. But we guess by Harrison’s logic, President Obama isn’t Black either, and consequently has never experienced racism or racial injustice. And neither has Tony Robinson Jr., who was shot and killed in Madison, Wisconsin, last year by police who described him as “male, black, light-skinned, tan jacket and jeans. Outside yelling and jumping in front of cars.”
Are Tony’s parents restricted from speaking out about the death of their son because one of them is White and the other Black? What does that even mean? To be 100-percent Black? What is the qualifier? Rodney Harrison certainly doesn’t look like Michael Blackson, so is Michael Blackson more Black or less Black than Rodney? And how does Rodney define people of color? If Colin Kaepernick and President Obama are not Black, are they at least persons of color? Or should we be considering them gray? We really want answers.
Someone should tell Rodney in the interim that Black folks come in all complexions with variations of hair texture, body types, diets, genetic makeups and histories. To say a biracial person doesn’t know what it’s like to experience racism because they’re not 100-percent Black isn’t very thoughtful. You, Rodney Harrison, are part of the problem: a separatist more interested in hearing yourself vomit from the mouth than doing anything productive to bring about social progress.
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