Controversial free-agent NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has given $20,000 to a “direct action” advocacy group that teaches the “tradition of radical liberatory activism” espoused by a convicted cop killer currently on the run from authorities in Cuba. And he’s not the only celebrity making donations to the group, either.
According to The Washington Times, the former 49ers quarterback and national anthem protester extraordinaire, has given $25,000 to Assata’s Daughters, a group named after black revolutionary Assata Shakur — a woman who should be serving life in prison for the murder of a state trooper more than 40 years ago.
In addition, comedian Hannibal Buress and “Black-ish”/”Grown-ish” actress Yara Shahidi both pledged they would give matching donations to the group, which “carries on the tradition of radical liberatory activism encompassed by Assata Shakur.”
While Kaepernick announced the donation to Assata’s Daughters last spring, the celebrities’ matching donations were just announced last week.
She's youngest to donate to my #MillionDollarPledge #10for10 #Encore at 17yo. Accepted to @Harvard , & stars @blackishabc & @grownish & still gives bk in our community. @yarashahidi's donating $10k to @AssataDaughters. TY, Yara! https://t.co/aK6dKa5Boa 4 more! pic.twitter.com/HWyLaLBcMu
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) February 2, 2018
“I decided to donate to Assata’s Daughters, which is an amazing organization based out of Chicago,” Shahidi said in a video Kaepernick posted on his Twitter feed.
“And I just have to say thank you to Colin for such an amazing idea, but also in engaging all of us and helping to contribute to our world.”
Kaepernick has given away a large chunk of his fortune to community and activist organizations as part of an initiative to distribute $1 million to those “working in oppressed communities.”
However, the donation to Assata’s Daughters has drawn considerable controversy, even in a media that generally treated Kaepernick’s charitable initiative with relative favor.
Shakur, who was step-aunt and godmother to rapper Tupac Shakur, was convicted of killing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster during an early morning traffic stop in 1973.
Shakur was a member of the Black Liberation Army, and though she was sentenced to life in prison for her crime, BLA members posing as visitors helped her escape in 1979. (Her profile on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list can be seen here.)
She would end up fleeing to Cuba and getting political asylum, which was a bone of contention when the rapprochement between the two nations began during the Obama years.
I suppose expecting her to return to the United States is too much to hope for at this point, even though it will cost the family of the slain officer justice.
However, it is perhaps not too much to ask for celebrities to refrain lionizing her and her legacy with donations to an organization that espouses her violent past — which, as a member of a black militant organization, went far beyond the killing one law enforcement officer, as heinous as that is.
This isn’t just anti-American, it’s anti-justice.
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