So national anthem protester Colin Kaepernick is back in the news again. But this time, it’s tough to get behind him. Last week, the 49ers quarterback wore a T-shirt featuring photos from a 1960 meeting of Malcolm X and Fidel Castro.
Yes, that Castro. The Castro who killed at least 10,000 dissidents, artists, reporters, potential rivals and others. The Castro who built a “repressive machinery” that deprived Cubans of their rights of free expression, privacy and due process.
When pressed about the shirt, Kaepernick tried to steer the conversation away from Castro by emphasizing his support for Malcolm X. But when pressed, Kaepernick said:
“One thing Fidel Castro did do is they have the highest literacy rate because they invest more in their education system than they do in their prison system, which we do not do here even though we’re fully capable of doing that.”
Kaepernick isn’t dumb – he had a 4.0 GPA at the University of Nevada, Reno and he scored a 37 on the Wonderlic test at the NFL combine (the average Wonderlic score among quarterbacks is 24).
But he sure is doing a good job at playing dumb. It’s bizarre to defend the literacy rate of a country where people are born into hopelessness, pawns in a regime that requires their absolute obedience. And as Miami Herald columnist Armando Salguero points out, Cuba doesn’t have to invest a lot in its prison system because dungeons and firing squads are inexpensive to maintain.
Even worse, Kaepernick has been (rightly) protesting the national anthem in an attempt to fight oppression here in the United States, where he stands up for the right of free-expression and combats the sometimes brutal actions of law enforcement.
In that light, supporting Castro’s oppressive regime seems like Hypocrisy 101. But then, I shouldn’t be surprised, considering the outspoken football star couldn’t even bring himself to vote.
“I said from the beginning I was against oppression, I was against the system of oppression. I’m not going to show support for that system,” Kaepernick said. “And to me, the oppressor isn’t going to allow you to vote your way out of your oppression.”
Remind you of anyone? – Rob Tornoe