Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick said the Fourth of July is a holiday for “white supremacy” and claims Americans continue to dehumanize, criminalize, and terrorize members of its black community.
“Black [people] have been dehumanized, brutalized, criminalized [and] terrorized by America for centuries, [and] are expected to join your commemoration of ‘independence,’ while you enslaved our ancestors,” Kaepernick said in a tweet on Saturday.
“We reject your celebration of white supremacy [and] look forward to liberation for all,” he added.
Black ppl have been dehumanized, brutalized, criminalized + terrorized by America for centuries, & are expected to join your commemoration of “independence”, while you enslaved our ancestors. We reject your celebration of white supremacy & look forward to liberation for all. ✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/YCD2SYlgv4
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) July 4, 2020
As the Daily Wire reports, however, this is not the first time Kaepernick has rejected Independence Day as a federal holiday. Last year, he similarly tweeted that July Fourth was a holiday not all Americans should celebrate.
In 2019, Kaepernick posted a quote from American hero Fredrick Douglass: “What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? This Fourth of July is yours, not mine…There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.”
“What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? This Fourth of July is yours, not mine…There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.”
– Frederick Douglass pic.twitter.com/IWLujGCJHn
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) July 4, 2019
In response, Republican Senator Ted Cruz defended Douglass and shared a broader context for the quote Kaepernick shared.
The larger quote shows Douglass challenge America “to live up to her admirable ideals,” the Daily Wire reports.
“Douglass was not anti-American; he was, rightly and passionately, anti-slavery,” Cruz tweeted in response. “Indeed, he concluded the speech as follows: ‘Allow me to say, in conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this day presented, of the state of the nation, I do not despair of this country. There are forces in operation, which must inevitably, work the downfall of slavery. ‘The arm of the Lord is not shortened,’ and the doom of slavery is certain. I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope. While drawing encouragement from ‘the Declaration of Independence,’ the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age.’”
Kaepernick: Blacks won’t join ‘your commemoration of independence, while you enslaved our ancestors’ https://t.co/kMdQNWgPIK
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 5, 2020
The Washington Examiner reports Kaepernick’s anti-independence Day stance comes as he has become one of the largest social justice advocates in the country:
Kaepernick was the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality and racism in the United States. He became a free agent in 2017 and recently settled with the football league over claims that it colluded against him to keep him out of a job.
He is now working as one of the most high-profile social justice advocates in the country, although National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell has welcomed teams having him back on the field.
The Examiner also reports Kaepernick was not alone in his criticism as an MSNBC guest host described the Fourth of July as “independence for white men.”
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 5, 2020