After Wisconsin’s Legislative Black Caucus included former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in a list of heroes to be honored during Black History Month, Republicans exercised their right to oppose that plan.
Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke said Republicans would not support including the Milwaukee native in a resolution “for obvious reasons.”
“Colin Kaepernick is obviously a controversial figure,” Steineke said, according to Madison.com.
He said the assembly should be “all in agreement” on those it collectively honors.
Kaepernick triggered the NFL’s national anthem protests by refusing to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 2016, citing police misconduct toward minorities.
The issue quickly became widely viewed as a show of disrespect for the national anthem.
The Republican decision not to include Kaepernick in the Black History Month honor outraged Democratic Rep. David Crowley, who authored the resolution.
Crowley said the issue was a racial one.
Refusing to honor Kaepernick was “a textbook example of white privilege” and a “slap in the face,” he said.
“Many of these people that you don’t agree with will still be in the history books that your children and grandchildren will be reading,” Crowley said, according to USA Today.
Another legislator said selecting honorees was a black issue.
“It’s outrageous that some Republicans feel they can censor African-American legislators in this way,” said Sen. Lena Taylor, a Democrat.
“So while we celebrate the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, evidently the Republicans don’t think the First Amendment rights should be afforded to African Americans,” she said.
Crowley also said Kaepernick should be recognized because he gave $25,000 to a Milwaukee youth group.
Liberal commenters took issue with the GOP decision on social media.
“I want you to pay close attention to what I am saying. Black people came up with a list of the black people they wanted to be recognized for black history month and white Republicans decided to tell the black people who shouldn’t be on the list.” https://t.co/26RI4kjL4o
— Marlon Weems (@GeekTrader) February 14, 2019
And, naturally, the liberal media got involved.
— MediaResearchCenter (@theMRC) February 15, 2019
But Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, a Republican, said that the list should have emphasized unity and not division.
“I think it’s important to recognize the contributions of literally thousands and thousands of African-Americans to our state’s history but also trying to find people who, again, bring us together. Not look at people who draw some sort of vitriol from either side,” Vos said.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.