The radical Left thrives on race issues. There’s no denying that many Americans support left-leaning candidates primarily because those candidates have portrayed themselves and their policies as the cure to racism.

Consequently, as Americans have increasingly become less racist (in the truest sense of the word), the Left has been forced to broaden the word’s definition, or risk losing its political relevance.

Likely the greatest example of this attempt to redefine racism comes from Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who infamously protested racial inequality by kneeling for the National Anthem, and his recent documentary, Colin in Black & White.

While Kaepernick has spent the past several years bemoaning the supposed racism of the country that paid him millions of dollars to play football for a living, his new Netflix special took his “civil rights” activism to a whole new level of absurdity.

According to one episode of the series, the NFL is actually a lot like the American slave trade. Kaepernick watches as black athletes trying out for a professional football team morph into slaves who are sold at an auction block.

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The scene then alternates back and forth from depicting slave owners as they crudely inspect the slaves to white coaches examining the black athletes, a process which, the former quarterback claims, leaves “no dignity… intact.” 

In the end, the slave auctioneer shakes hands with one of the coaches, and Kaepernick looks on in disgust.

A few viewers defended the scene, but many were quick to point out the insanity of comparing slaves who were forcibly sold as property to athletes who chose to sign contracts for millions of dollars. Kaepernick himself had a six-year NFL contract purportedly worth $114 million, plus “$61 million in guaranteed money.”

No one forced him to play for the NFL. No one forced him to sign that contract.

The fact that he is attempting to make himself – a privileged multimillionaire – comparable to slaves is ridiculously offensive. But to proponents of the idea that America continues to be a systematically racist country, this imprecise comparison is essential.

From slavery and segregation to a country in which racial discrimination is federally illegal, America certainly has come a long way. Racism still exists, but to many Americans, the idea that it continues to permeate our culture seems unbelievable.

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But rather than accept that we have taken tremendous strides towards decreasing discrimination and that the data no longer suggests systemic racism is prevalent in America, many “civil rights” activists, including Kaepernick, have simply opted for a redefinition of racism. Comparing the NFL to slavery is just their latest ploy in that scheme.

By making the largest sports league in the country look like a subjugator of minorities, when there is no evidence to back that characterization, Kaepernick gives validity to the idea that systematic racism, as he defines it, really does still exist.

Perhaps that’s why, over the past several years, we have heard far more about racism than we did just a decade or two ago. It doesn’t necessarily mean that actual racism has become a bigger problem; it might just mean that we are calling more things “racist.”

This newer and cheapened definition of racism should be seen as insulting to the real civil rights legends – including Frederick Douglas and Martin Luther King Jr., who, unlike Kaepernick, actually made tremendous progress in the pursuit of American equality – and to the thousands of Americans who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow. It’s laughable that a wealthy athlete in the 21st century would try to appropriate a share of their oppression for himself.   

That our culture applauds him for it is proof of the success of the Left’s redefinition of racism.

Jakob Fay is a former intern and current SIA Coordinator for the Convention of States Project, a project of Citizens for Self-Governance.