How Kapaernick’s Demise Indicts the Promise of Integration

Colin Kapaernick’s career is now dead.

Now some will try to say that it’s merely because his ‘play’ fell off, and that at the end of the day if you can’t play then you’ve gotta go. Some of you sports heads will quote a ton of statistics to support that claim and these numbers will be unassailable.


But let’s not fool ourselves into obfuscating an indispensable reason for his professional demise:

His racial activism

Yes that shit is probably the one factor that made up the final straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back in the minds of the mostly white team owners, agents and other power brokers in the NFL.

They’ll say it was a business decision and that the fans didn’t like it (. . . which in itself if a glaring and ugly admission of who the core base of NFL ratings comes from: whites with racial ‘issues’ to put it mildly . . .) so it’s too much of a financial risk.


This type of permitted and accepted, frankly, cultural and institutional racism from owners and the bulk of the fans alike, is the King Kong sized gorilla on the NFL field during every game, and is sitting in thousands of living rooms consuming chips and dip at the same time. It’s omnipresent.

Look at Trump’s exuberance recently at Colin’s troubles . . .

Just look at Fox . . .

Listen to talk radio . . .

It’s derisive and the racial overtones are scarcely hidden or criticism of the man is not being wielded with any sort of plausible deniability where race is concerned either.

This is yet another reason why people of color at some level don’t trust whites, we hold ‘something back’ because of stuff like this. The message that never fails to be sent whenever we piss white folks off is that they don’t want us to be ourselves and speak up for what is important to us:

“Sit down, shut up and make us laugh or perform for us like a monkey and make us rich . . . don’t dare exhibit the existence of an intelligent mind within that money-making body of yours or we’ll destroy you.”

But I’m sure if Colin was a dog enthusiast and used his platform to bring awareness to abused pets he’d be just fine right now.

The destruction of Kapearnick’s career is a glaring example of white privilege or white supremacy:

Whites control and own all the teams in the NFL. A Black or another player of color tries to be socially conscious in a way that annoys white owners (and the white majority fan base) they ‘step’ on him sending a message to him and others of color that it’s better for you to be quiet and subjugate yourself to basically a white power structure . . . or else.

Black or others players of color are basically slaves to powerful white men, and their destinies within these leagues (because it’s not just the NFL) are owned by these white men and they demand they keep them ‘happy’ in whatever way White People define that ‘standard’ with nascent dictate(s).

It’s a fucked up situation

I’m starting to think maybe integration was not a good deal for us after all in some ways

When we had negro leagues we were self sufficient and self-contained and white sensitivities or ‘uncomfortabilities’ didn’t hold sway. Now we’ve integrated, but the control is still by white people and ultimately we are still under their thumb.

Kapearnick’s fate is a glaring example of how ‘integration’ in some ways has failed People of color.

In some ways . . .

Don’t jump down my throat for calling this out but let’s be objective here:

When we integrated, the control of the institutions remained the same as before we integrated basically subjecting us to the same wiles that forced us to develop our own self-contained ‘world’ in the first place. These owners and power brokers were obviously supportive of segregation or were ok with it to survive the entirety of our apartheid history in this place with almost no resistance to it.

So why would their mindset change with the sudden efficacy of a law? Would that change what they teach their progeny who are the present owners of these teams? Sure the present generation know better than to be overt with their bias but such things are subconscious. Its evident in at least this case and others before that these latent belief systems cause simmering umbrage and anger within this white ‘critical mass’ when confronted with unbowed, unapologetic racial justice overtures within their sphere of existence and control from non-whites

And they act to ‘remove’ the annoyance as is their ‘right’.

They don’t realize nor do they even care how they are relegating their supposedly ‘free’ employees in these players to a subservient class by effectively muzzling them under threat of financial and professional destruction.

In today’s world such a threat is almost akin to the threat of the lash and torture on say my forebears if they provoked a the same reaction in their forebears.

“Look it’s a business decision . . .”

Yes it is.

Just like it was a ‘business decision’ to whip our forbears to ribbons and visit torture on them because ‘uppity negros’ make control of the slaves difficult, thereby effecting the ability of the slave master to ‘liquidate’ his ‘cache’ in leaner times to pay off a debt or to generate cash.

Slaves needed to be compliant to maximize their business value.

“Sit down, shut up and make us laugh or perform (work) for us like a monkey and make us rich . . . don’t dare exhibit the existence of an intelligent mind within that money-making body of yours or we’ll destroy you.”

Players like Kapaernick need to be ‘compliant’(in whatever the fuck way they want it to mean) to ‘maximize their business value’.

“Look it’s a business decision . . .”

If we had our own league, and the corresponding media to go along with it, (because broadcast networks didn’t like social activism either — it cut into their ratings cash) and I mean owned at all the power levels that matter by ‘Us’ . . . then Colin would have been fine.

What about advertisers?

Well they’ll come running to our new league and networks because blacks and others of color represent literally TRILLIONS of potential dollars for service providers, producers and merchants.

The capitalism that runs this country would drive them to come to us.

Then our pro-black or pro-latino or pro-Native American productions, overtures and political actions can be infused within the consumption of our games and shows because we would make that a condition for any advertiser to run ads on our networks during our games or TV shows.

We would start to pry back parity from the white power structure financially and with that comes the social leveling as well, because we would start to shape the narrative about who we are and what we want from this country. We wouldn't have to subject ourselves to dying a little just to prosper or totally selling out just to be termed a success within that system.

That is what I mean by integration failing people of color in some ways.

The attitude of these owners isn’t going to change. Also it’s too easy to obfuscate any exclusionary retributive action they take with so-called ‘business concerns’ that almost everyone will ‘buy’.

So we ‘submit or die’ . . . back then and now . . . in different ways . . . but at the pleasure or behest of basically the white power structure.

When integration happened, control of certain parts and a number of institutions should have been ‘turned over’ to people of color at all levels to enable us to more equally compete with whites and upturn the pervasive inferiority complex that we’ve been forced to swallow for centuries and that whites have been brainwashed to believe for the same.

But that was never going to happen . . .

So here we are yet again, another one of us that is politically and racially astute being punished, because we annoyed white people by calling attention to problems being visited on us racially by systems in society that white people control.

We integrated and you still tell us this:

“Sit down, shut up and make us laugh or perform for us like a monkey and make us rich . . . don’t dare exhibit the existence of an intelligent mind within that money-making body of yours or we’ll destroy you.”

Was this really better for us all the way around?

Not saying there weren’t any benefits at all but when I see things like this happening over and over again to people of color . . . who really got the better deal?

We’re still below the water in many ways and still being controlled in not too dissimilar fashion like we’ve always been to the same set of ‘fragilities’ and and fears . . . it hasn’t evolved at the fundamental level, the ‘org chart’ is unchanged from the 1600's to this day . . .

And Colin is going to, unfortunately, succumb to that old world order.

Black Lives STILL don’t Matter.

(C) Bantu Rhythms 4/30/17