Colin Kaepernick is biracial. His father was black, and his mother was white. Rodney Harrison, however, doesn’t seem to believe that.
Harrison said Tuesday morning that Kaepernick is not black.
“I’m not sure how to translate that one,” Think For Yourself co-host Jason Whitlock said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “You would imagine the 49ers did some Sunday Night Football games at some point, and it’ll be interesting if at halftime or before one of those games there’s footage of Rodney Harrison talking about Colin Kaepernick being a black quarterback. Because he’s now saying he didn’t have any idea he was mixed race.”
So wait, Harrison thought Kaepernick was white?
“I guess,” a confused Whitlock said. “That’s what he seems to be trying to suggest, but that’s hard for me to buy. I think he was trying to have a discussion about whether Kaepernick had a typical African-American upbringing and whether or not that disqualified him from being the right voice for the topic he’s taking on.”
“No, because the African-American experience is very diverse, and Colin Kaepernick’s experience as an African-American is just as authentic as anyone else’s,” Whitlock said. “It’s certainly different. It’s not the norm. But I’m sure as a college football player – hell, I’m sure as a high school football player – he dealt with issues that African-Americans deal with, and so yeah, it’s not the same as mine or maybe not the same as Rodney Harrison’s, but it’s just as authentic.”
Looking big picture, Whitlock has several issues with Kaepernick’s protest, which he feels is misguided.
“Listen, I think Colin Kaepernick is highly uninformed, like a lot of people,” Whitlock said. “I think we have this social-media, Twitter generation that has a lot of interaction with people electronically and over the Internet and don’t have real dealings with people, and they pass along their theoretical thoughts on human interactions and the history of America in 140-character sound bytes and it leads to a lot of misinformation. I think Twitter is one of the driving influences promoting racial divisiveness. I think Twitter rewards people for saying some of the most trite, cliche, distorted race-baiting things you can possibly say, particularly if it’s left-wing. You will receive a major reward for that. And so, I just think Kaepernick has a thimble full of information about issues affecting the poor African-American community. Rodney Harrison didn’t say it properly, but I think what he’s trying to say is Kaepernick has no real experience being poor, and he’s trying to speak for the poor. He has no experience.
“So when I hear him talk about police brutality and that’s why he’s not standing up for the national anthem,” Whitlock continued, “I hear a young person who’s fallen for the Twitter bait and what the media has fed through the narrative that police brutality is the biggest issue in the African-American community and we’ve got to put a stop to it – and that’s a joke. Mass incarceration, the destruction of the black family, the destruction of the working class – those are the issues most impacting the African-American community. Mass incarceration is like slavery and police brutality is like lynching. So if slavery is going on and you’re putting all of your effort into not stopping slavery, but stopping lynchings, that’s a foolish endeavor. Again, that’s not excusing police brutality, but it’s just not so pervasive as the media and Twitter is trying to lead you to believe. There’s no incentive for police brutality among the police force. The government doesn’t like it and tries to prevent it because it costs them money. They have to settle lawsuits and pay families off millions at a time.
“So I just think (Kaepernick is a) young person (who’s) misinformed (and) trying to be popular over social media. And then the last part and probably the most important part: He’s failing as a football player, and I think he wants to quit.”