This makes me sad.

The Washington Times reports that Colin Kaepernick is advocating for completely abolishing the police and prisons, because these institutions have White supremacist roots and can’t be reformed.

As part of his new publishing series, “Abolition For The People” on Medium, the former NFL quarterback and Black Lives Matter activist wrote Wednesday that “systemic problems demand systemic solutions.”

“Those who have been terrorized by law enforcement, those who have had enough of their very existence being criminalized, and those who have dedicated their lives to the cause of liberation by any means necessary are demanding the abolition of the carceral state — the institutions, structures, and practices of anti-Black state-sanctioned violence that violates the fundamental humanity of Black and Indigenous people and people of color,” Mr. Kaepernick wrote.

He criticized the political mainstream for “reactionary justice” in the wake of the George Floyd unrest and for shifting the focus from “defund the police” to a reform approach “centered on ‘acceptable’ modes of enacting death and violence upon oppressed peoples.

“As such, conventional paths and strategies for achieving ‘justice’ for anti-Black police terror and violence are all too often couched in campaigns and desires for convictions, punishment, and incarceration,” he argued.

“The central intent of policing is to surveil, terrorize, capture, and kill marginalized populations, specifically Black folks,” he wrote. “In order to eradicate anti-Blackness, we must also abolish the police. The abolition of one without the other is impossible.”

In a section titled, “F—K Reform,” Mr. Kaepernick argued that police reforms like adding body cameras and more training “will never alter the outcome of a system rooted in Black death,” and that defunding the police is the first step to complete abolition.

That’s what gets me, because thoughtful leaders have put forth important reform.  Republican Sen. Tim Scott tried — hard — to pass comprehensive reform, including massive compromise with the Democrats.  And instead, the Democrats refused to even allow it to come to the floor.  

The Washington Post explained the truth of the matter:

As Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), one of three members of the Democratic caucus who voted to advance the Scott bill, explained, “voting against it will end the discussion of this subject in the Senate for the foreseeable future, and leave us with nothing to show for all the energy and passion that has brought this issue to the forefront of public consciousness.”

Translation: they don’t want reform, they want to keep the issue on the collective minds of citizens.

But Kaepernick’s “No reform…just abolish” mantra isn’t even popular in the communities that need police reform.  According to this Gallup Poll

  • Black Americans a bit more likely than most other groups to see police locally
  • Still, most (81%) want police to spend same amount of or more time in their area

Fact is, Kaepernick just doesn’t live in those places which would see chaos without the police, as a rich guy who lives in a perfectly safe place not plagued by street crime and violence.

Kaepernick’s message is very damaging to the actual work that needs to be done to create meaningful reform and restore trust between citizens and the police force.  His argument leads to destruction, right at a time when we have the opportunity to rebuild.

Sad.

Image Credit: Flickr by Brecht Bug



About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.