Search Box

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Colin Kaepernick, out-brothering the brothers

Light-skinned blacks often seem to feel compelled to "prove" their blackness by militantly out-flanking their brethren.

Colin Kaepernick is a case in point.

Often, an American with a white mother and black father (the usual combination) is genetically more than 50% white, since the father usually has some white blood. This appears to be the case with Kaepernick.

And Kaepernick's psychological demons are compounded by the fact that his adoptive family is, apart from himself, entirely white:

(It's impossible to see that photo and not feel some sympathy for Kaepernick; that just had to have been an awkward situation to grow up in.)

Kaepernick's personal background aside, there is a long tradition of light-skinned blacks who have striven to demonstrate racial solidarity in order to avoid being called Toms.

Remember what Bobby Rush said while running against Barack Obama for Congress in 2000? He said that while he had lived the civil rights movement, Obama had only read about it. Rush saw Obama's vulnerability, exploited it, and then crushed Obama in the election. Do you think the half-white Obama, raised in Hawaii and Indonesia, felt obliged to prove his blackness after that?

Obama's entire career since might be viewed as one big attempt to do that. But he's not the only one.

Julian Bond was a longtime civil rights activist. He served six terms as a Democrat in the Georgia State Senate, was chairman of the NAACP for twelve years, and was the first president of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Bond divorced his black wife in 1989 to marry a white woman in 1990, but his resume immunized him from criticism.

Even light-skinned public figures who are not in politics put on a show. Harry Belafonte, who gained fame as a calypso singer, is a longtime civil rights activist; his involvement dates from the 1950's and the 1960's, when "civil rights" was a just cause that stood for almost the opposite of what it now does. But he has also been a longtime supporter of Cuba and the Soviet Union, and has remained far Left to this day.

Alicia Keys has always been outspoken politically. She is the co-founder of Keep a Child Alive, an organization which provides medicine to people with HIV and AIDS in Africa. And she has donated to Frum Tha Ground Up, which give scholarships to needy children.

She has also been quoted as saying:

"‘Gangsta rap’ was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other."
The gold AK-47 pendant around her neck “symbolize[s] strength, power and killing ’em dead.”
The bicoastal feud between slain rappers Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. was fueled “by the government and the media, to stop another great black leader from existing.”
If black leaders such as the late Black Panther Huey Newton (a cop killer) “had the outlets our musicians have today, it’d be global. I have to figure out a way to do it myself.”

Here's Alicia:

Beyonce is a vocal Democrat, and at a recent halftime show at the Super Bowl incorporated a tribute to blacks who've been killed by police:

Louis Farrakhan is the head of the Nation of Islam, a black nationalist group advocating separatism:

Jeremiah Wright is the fire-breathing former pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago:

Some of these light-skinned blacks may genuinely dislike whites. They have all undoubtedly felt the subtle, patronizing, dishonest kind of racism that white liberals specialize in, and some may have experienced overt discrimination as well. Belafonte, Farrakhan, and Wright were all born during the Jim Crow era, thus witnessed real institutional discrimination.

But, as rich as most of these people are, at some level they must be secretly grateful for the protection police provide.

Wright, for instance, now lives in a 10,400 square foot house in a gated community on a golf course in a white suburb. Think he wants a riot in his hometown? Or hordes of inner city blacks overrunning his property?

Do you think Colin Kaepernick wants to share his NFL riches with a mugger?

Nonetheless, at a certain level, these light-skinned blacks feel obliged to prove they're every bit as black as anyone else. They may not even be fully conscious that this is what their motivation is; but the result is, they often end up more strident.

The fact is, dark-skinned blacks are usually accepting of lighter-skinned blacks; historically, the prejudice has usually run the other way. (Spike Lee devoted his second feature film, School Daze, to precisely that subject.) But when the darker-hued do sense snobbery, they're resentful, and nobody wants to be the target of that resentment.

All of this is not to say that the darker-skinned themselves -- like Jesse Jackson or Danny Glover -- don't become militant. But if they do, it's either to make money and gain personal power (like Jackson), or because they are convinced of the movement's righteousness (like Glover).

It's not because they have to prove their blackness.

Whites have a tendency to look at blacks and see just one color. But there's a whole range of skin tones there, and with them come a range of psychological dynamics.

Blacks generally don't worry about what whites think about them (unless they stand to lose money as a result). If you're black, you can say the most racist things, and whites will for the most part just pretend they didn't hear. Blacks worry much more that others in their community will see them as traitors.

Witness the treatment accorded Clarence Thomas, Walter Williams, and Thomas Sowell. (It takes a strong person to withstand that.)

So don't be too hard on Colin Kaepernick. Bear in mind, Kaepernick was brought up in a white family in Turlock, California, which is 1.7% black. Much of his early impressions of blacks undoubtedly came from reading about them committing crimes and rioting and so on. So at a certain level, he may be almost as scared of blacks as most whites are.

Listen to Kaepernick for a minute or so in this interview, and note his vaguely black accent. When did he pick that up? He certainly didn't grow up speaking that way. It's an affectation, every bit as phony as Obama's black accent.

Kaepernick is, for all practical purposes, a wigger, the only difference being that he actually is roughly a quarter black.

His sitting down during the national anthem is not a well-considered if misguided moral stance arrived after a painstaking study of all the police shootings of the past few years. It's more just a desperate attempt to try to fit into a community in which he never really belonged, and with whom he's not entirely comfortable. Unfortunately for Kaepernick, his psychological issues are playing out on a national stage, on a touchy issue, at a particularly fraught time in the national psyche.

The next time you see a Kaepernick-type in action, understand that what you're seeing is not necessarily just hatred of whites; a lot of it may just be posturing. Light-skinned blacks don't want other blacks to think that they think they're better just because they're lighter. And they really don't want other blacks to realize that they're actually afraid of them. (Even if, deep down, that's how they feel.)


Steven said...

The truth about the Facts Don't Matter movement:

John Craig said...

Steven --
Thank you, just watched the whole thing. That's a great summation of the entire situation, and why Soros and Obama and Lynch and Co. keep it going.

Quartermain said...

Johnny Spain, a former Black Panther, pointed out that many of the original members were light complexioned. Malcolm X's skin was nearly white and freckled not to mention his hair was reddish. Elijah Muhammad of the first Nation of Islam was light complexioned as well. Andrew Young is another example. I think you've hit on something.

John Craig said...

Allan --
Thank you, yes, those are good examples. I had forgotten how light-skinned Elijah Muhammad was.

Mark Caplan said...

Towering (light-skinned) black intellectual Kareem Abdul Jabbar proved his blackness by changing his religion. He was raised Catholic, but when he learned that the Church way back when hadn't opposed slavery, he converted to -- get this -- Islam!

John Craig said...

Mark --
I've always thought the tendency of American blacks to claim islam as their own native religion a little silly; the only contact sub-Saharan blacks had with Arabs was when the Arabs would come down to round them up as slaves.

That said, I've actually been surprised by how balanced some of the recent articles by Jabbar have been. Not saying I agree with them, but I read one or two that actually managed to present both sides of the story, which was entirely unexpected.

Mark Caplan said...

Abdul-Jabbar does come off as a decent human being. As a self-styled black intellectual, though, he needs an educational upgrade. He introduced Khzir Kahn at the Democratic National Convention. In doing so, he badly misconstrued a famous quote of Thomas Jefferson's. Abdul-Jabbar said the first place the Kahn family visited in the United States upon immigrating here was the Jefferson Memorial. "The words engraved there read: 'I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.' Donald Trump's idea to register Muslims and prevent them from entering our country is the very tyranny Jefferson abhorred."

The tyranny over the mind of man that Jefferson swore eternal hostility to was revealed religion, which Jefferson believed to be a lot of nonsense. Jefferson wasn't an atheist, but he thought the Bible and Qu'ran were works of fiction. Jefferson would likely have applauded the idea of barring people who took sacred texts literally from entering the country, which would include most Muslims.

John Craig said...

Mark --
That's an amusing story, although I can see how Jabbar would make that mistake. (I wouldn't have known precisely what Jefferson was specifically referring to with that quote either, though I doubt I would have tried to twist it around to justify my particular political position.)

Mark, too bad you're not seven feet tall and didn't spend 20 years in the NBA, people would be flocking to listen to your opinions too....which brings me back to Kaepernick. Why in the world are people taking the political opinions of dumb 28-year-old athlete seriously? Kaepernick sat down with a thump heard round the world.

Anonymous said...

This whole situation is great, intersectionality at every turn.

My take is that Kaepernick's underlying motivation has a bit more to do with being abandoned by his black father, but this could be wrong. At any rate, any white family foolish enough to be considering joining the craze of adopting a black child should take along look at how Colin is repaying his adoptive parents.

"The next time you see a Kaepernick-type in action, understand that what you're seeing is not necessarily hatred of whites; a lot of it may just be posturing."

Why whites should put up with the bullshit attitudes of blacks at all is a boring question. When we decide to stop I suspect it'll take them (and their enablers) by surprise.

John Craig said...

Anon --
I knew a guy in high school, also half-black and half-white, who had been adopted by well-meaning white parents, and he was pretty screwed up too. Had to try very, very hard to "prove" he was black. He too had an accept which was less a black accent than an attempt at one, and he did all sorts of dangerous things to show he was a real brother, like carry a gun around (in high school!).

I've never heard of a white child who was adopted by blacks, but I suppose that would be an interesting experiment too. My guess is that that child, rather than feeling he had to "prove" that he was white, would act as black as possible. It all boils down to which side is considered good, and which bad.

Steven said...

The first time I heard about Kaepernick was reading Gavin Mcinnis' twitter. He tweeted @Kaepernick7

'you were abandoned by your black father and raised by a white one who volunteered. Shut the fuck up abut this fake oppression'.

John Craig said...

Steven --
That puts it pretty pithily.

I don't mean to underplay the stupidity of Kaepernick's position here or the dishonesty of the BLM movement. But what I think is interesting about this particular case is the psychological dynamic behind Kaepernick trying to desperately to prove he's black. And most whites don't see this, they don't realize that's what's going on with him. They just see another black full of aggrievement based on false statistics. But what's going on here is way more complicated than that, and it's also reflective of a common dynamic in that community, the light-skinned black trying to prove he's a down home brother.

Steven said...

yeah I can buy that.

mos said...

Lol what is this nonsense? Stop projecting ur insecurities and bigotry onto Kap. What u describe is urignorant feelings not his. Would you want a white robber or criminal in ur neighborhood? No! So why would I want a black one in my black country club neighborhood of woodmore, Md. Its embarrassing obvious You clearly do not know any blacks (light or dark) and
So u should not speak on groups you have zero interactions with. Unlike other backwards non advancing cultures black Americans got rid of the color caste system in the 50's.

Unknown said...

There is a good reason miscegenation was illegal.

John Craig said...

Mos --
I've known plenty of blacks. And as far as them getting rid of the color caste system, why is it that successful black men who marry black almost always marry a light-skinned woman? If you don't believe that, take a look at this post:

I'm actually more sympathetic to Kaepernick than most; I see what's driving him, how his background has affected him, and how difficult it is for him.

And before you call me a bigot, read this first:

(And how do your attitudes compare with the guy I describe in that post?)

John Craig said...

Bob --
Well, I'm the result of miscegenation. (And my son says I'm walking, talking anti-miscegenation poster.)

But it's easier for me, because if you're a Eurasian, you're a Eurasian, period. You don't have to choose one or the other, you just are what you are. Light-skinned blacks are viewed as black (and thus possibly dangerous) by whites, but also sometimes with slight suspicion by other blacks, who suspect that they might put on airs.

Ambrose Kane said...

Great article as usual, John, because it's the truth! As I'm sure you're aware, it was featured on the American Renaissance website, and it was received quite well in the comments.

John Craig said...

Ambrose --
Thank you very much. I'll take another look at the comments.

Unknown said...

I have a friend who is very accomplished and educated (Stanford) and is African American as well. We would associate occasionally and eat together in the company cafeteria with others, mostly Asians and Whites. There is one consistent behavior that stands out when another African American sees and approached while we are all hanging out. His personality changes as if he is looking for their acceptance, as if he is trying to explain himself for associating with white guys. It doesn't matter what professional these people have, he seems to have a need for their acceptance. I always felt he did not want to be viewed as a sellout.

John Craig said...

Douglas H --
That really rings true, and the fact that our friend went to Stanford and works for a corporation doubles his need not to be viewed as a sellout. I bet he's more comfortable in the company of whites, with whom he has nothing to prove, than he is with other blacks, with whom he does.

People don't realize the extent to which this dynamic affects Barack Obama. He was brought up exclusively by whites, knew no blacks in Indonesia, and very few at Punahou. He's half white, went to Columbia and Harvard Law, and is gay to boot. Plus his black ancestry is from east Africa, not west Africa, which is the area most African-Americans are descended from. So he has to try doubly hard to come across like a down home brother at times. Look at the way his black accent thickens when he addresses a black audience; it's every bit as phony as Hillary Clinton putting on a black accent that time she visited a black church in '08. The only difference is that Obama looks the part somewhat, so to speak.

ArthurinCali said...

From what I have observed, it seems mixed race people lean hard to one side or the other. They either look down on one part of themselves or go overboard embracing it.

John Craig said...

Arthur --
I could certainly be accused of that. I'm half Asian, half white, and when people ask I always say that I'm culturally white, but psychologically, at least as much Asian as white. But I think one of the reasons I'm so interested in race and racial differences is simply because it's such a taboo subject; if it weren't taboo, I honestly think I wouldn't find it so fascinating. Anyway, as far as me leaning one way, I am guilty of leaning white. But that said, whenever anyone asks, I also say that Asians are to whites as whites are to blacks.

Unknown said...

An Australian perspective on this which has arisen overnight. The two big football codes in Australia (Australian Rules Football and Rugby League) have their Finals this weekend (equivalent of the Super Bowl). An Indigenous Boxer, Anthony Mundine (who was a pro footballer) called for indigenous players to boycott the national anthem before the games (Mundine is known for being an attention seeking moron with delusions of grandeur over his boxing prowess).

Thankfully, Australia's biggest football star, an Indigenous man, Lance Franklin, called it "stupid" and said he would do no such thing.

As a bit of context, Indigenous Australians are approximately 3.3% of the Australian population, but approximately 11% of the pro-football ranks.

John Craig said...

Gambino Dellacroce --
I find the Australian racial situation fascinating because it's like the American one, but, in some ways, more so. At 3.3% of the population, the aborigines (is that now considered a pejorative term?) aren't going to cause that many problems, or make big cities unlivable, and, for the most part, they don't even live in big cities. But, the racial differences are even starker. They reportedly have an average IQ in the high 60's, and whenever I see a forensic artist's recreation of Homo erectus, they tend to look like Australian aborigines

Unknown said...

It's an interesting situation. To correct my previous post, the Indigenous population is 2.4% of the total population. This actually makes their representation in pro-football more pronounced. Indigenous is the catch-all term to cover all the 'native' population. Up until recently the term has been 'Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders' (ATSI), so 'Indigenous' is just cleaner to say.

You are right that in practical sense, the demographics, culture, the location of Indigenous population, access to weapons, etc., the implications for law and order issues are dramatically less. There are very few, 'ghettos' (in Sydney there is one, but it is tame compared to the US), the Indigenous population being native to the land is spread far and wide and located mainly in regional areas where there is low population density regardless.

You are also correct th that they are not exactly known for being bright. Physically, they don't get as big and strong as Black Americans (who I think the majority descend from West Africa, as per most Olympic sprinters?), but are very strong (wiry) and have amazing agility and turn of direction, peripheral vision and burst speed. Whereas in American sports, Black Americans are a mainstay, they are more the 'spice' of game, adding plays that whites generally aren't capable of. Physically their faces are interesting in that they have a very broad, flat nose (most men find Indigenous women very unappealing). They suffer from poor life expectancy and are particularly disposed to diabetes and consequential chronic illnesse

John Craig said...

Gambino --
Yes, and there are only half a million Australian aborigines, very few compared to blacks of West African descent.

I have to admit, I was surprised by their participation rates in Australian football. I'd never thought of them as being that athletic. Hadn't known they are that strong for their size, and agile and quick. Cathy Freeman won a gold medal 12 years ago, and Evonne Goolagong was a successful tennis player 40 or so years ago, but you don't see much of them in international sports.

Yes, black Americans are descended from West Africans.