Commentary

Kaepernick Has a Plan for Police and It's Very, Very Bad

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Colin Kaepernick has published a manifesto, and like most manifestos it’s replete with rehashed leftist ideas, pseudo-intellectual mumbo-jumbo and a remarkable amount of dishonesty.

In his Marxist missive on Medium, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and anthem kneeler calls for the complete abolition of police as well as prisons since they cause “uninterrupted death” to black and indigenous peoples. Oh, also, they’re core components of “anti-Black state violence and terrorism.” I had no idea benefiting from state-imposed affirmative action was terrorism.

Kaep’s essay, which may have been cobbled together by multiple writers (notice the differing uses of “centered on” versus “centered around”), bristles with allegations of anti-black violence on the part of law enforcement, claims of “Black death all around me at the hands of the police,” and Kaepernick’s inexplicable surprise that prisons are designed for “social control.”

(Of course they’re designed for social control. Throughout history, societies have sought to protect themselves by controlling criminals, regardless of race, and when dangerous enough, sequestering them from the rest of society. It doesn’t take a public policy expert to understand that, though it might take a public policy expert to ignore it.)

Kaepernick’s main claim is that the police and prison systems are fundamentally tainted by white supremacy (surprise, surprise) and used to destroy black society.

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“The central intent of policing is to surveil, terrorize, capture, and kill marginalized populations, specifically Black folks,” he wrote.

The problem here is that the numbers don’t back him up.

Earlier this year, Fox News host Tucker Carlson ran a brilliant monologue cataloging the deaths of unarmed black people at the hands of police last year.

How many do you think Tucker came up with? A thousand? Five hundred? Maybe 100?

Do you think the nation's police and prisons are rooted in white surpremacy?

If you guessed any of those or more, you’re wrong. Tucker’s research, based on The Washington Post’s police shooting database, yielded a grand total of 10 deaths.

Ten unarmed black people were killed by police in 2019. But wait, it gets better.

In half of those deaths, the person was killed after attacking police officers. So now we’re down to five.

Now, are those five deaths tragic? Of course they are. As are the other five. And the other 236 black people who were armed and shot and killed by cops. And the 371 white people who were armed and shot and killed by police.

Overall in 2019, The Post cataloged a total of 1,004 killings from police shootings. Each of those deaths is tragic. The lives those people lived preceding the shootings were likely tragic as well.

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But in no case do the deaths of five unarmed black people at the hands of police constitute “a system rooted in Black death,” as Kaepernick not-too-subtly put it.

Additionally, if the system were rooted in black death, it does a very poor job of targeting black people since roughly 57 percent more white people were killed by police in 2019 than black people.

Perhaps conscious of the lack of facts underpinning his case, Kaepernick, about halfway through the piece, simply declares “F— reform.” Pithy, but not especially helpful.

What would be far more helpful for Kaepernick than lapsing into less-than-profound profanities would be spending a little bit of time reading or watching Thomas Sowell.

In a now 40-year-old debate on PBS, Sowell chastised a social worker for beginning the story of the black illegitimacy rates “in the middle of the story.”

Kaepernick is doing the same thing. He starts at the point of confrontation with law enforcement, seemingly assuming that every person who encounters the police was perfectly law-abiding until the encounter.

But we know that’s not true, and to pretend otherwise, as Kaep does, is intellectually dishonest at best and downright exploitative at worst.

Just as lots of very bad choices lead to high illegitimacy rates, so too lots of bad choices lead to police shootings.

Law enforcement officers don’t stalk down the street looking to cap people minding their own business. Think of the paperwork! No, the police get involved when a law is being broken or about to be broken (they see a fight about to break out or a burglar on the prowl).

Kaepernick’s problem — as well as nearly everyone else involved in the phony systemic white supremacy grift — is that they ignore the increasingly depraved core of American society.

The media glorifies promiscuity while rarely showing the consequences. Easy divorce and libertine sexual mores have taught men that if they get tired of sex with one mate, they can simply go find another.

Postmodern nihilism has infected even evangelical Christians, providing its victims a blanket justification for any action — after all, why does what I do matter if ultimately nothing matters?

If Kaepernick wants to really help improve life for black Americans, he needs to dedicate himself wholeheartedly to advocating school choice, emphasizing traditional (Western) values to black households and reforming views on marriage, sex and responsibility.

Just working on those things would do more for black Americans than abolishing the police and prisons ever would.

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Josh Manning is deputy managing editor, assignment, at The Western Journal. He holds a masters in public policy from Harvard University and has a background in higher education.
Josh Manning grew up outside of Memphis, TN and developed a love of history, politics, and government studies thanks to a life-changing history and civics teacher named Mr. McBride.

He holds an MPP from Harvard University and a BA from Lyon College, a small but distinguished liberal arts college where he also served as an interim vice president.

While in school he did everything possible to confront, discomfit, and drive ivy league liberals to their knees.

After a number of years working in academe, he moved to digital journalism and opinion. Since that point, he has held various leadership positions at The Western Journal and now serves as editor-at-large.

He's married to a gorgeous blonde who played in the 1998 NCAA women's basketball championship game, and he has two pre-teens who hate doing dishes more than poison. He makes life possible for two boxers -- "Hank" Rearden Manning and "Tucker" Carlson Manning -- and a pitbull named Nikki Haley "Gracie" Manning.
Education
MPP from Harvard University, BA from Lyon College
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, tiny fragments of college French
Topics of Expertise
Writing, politics, Christianity, social media curation, higher education, firearms




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