A group of white Wisconsin Republicans have decided that former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick was too controversial to be included in a resolution to recognize Black History Month, so they took him off a list of influential black leaders.
As the story goes, the legislature’s black caucus had proposed a resolution honoring black leaders. The list included Kaepernick, who famously took a knee during the national anthem to protest the overpolicing of black communities.
That didn’t sit well with the Wisconsin GOP because they believe that they should dictate who black people consider to be leaders, so in typical white fashion, they booted Kaepernick from the list (a list that was created by the legislature’s black caucus) and added “Mandela Barnes, the state’s first black lieutenant governor, and Vel Phillips, the state’s first black secretary of state,” The Associated Press reports.
Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, who is white, on Tuesday told reporters that Kaepernick was left off the list “for obvious reasons” and later added that Kaepernick was a controversial figure.
What Steineke didn’t say is that because the white people of the Wisconsin GOP don’t like Kaepernick or consider him to be a controversial figure, the black caucus can’t have him on a list of black leaders and the whites have decided that he can’t be on the list.
Kaepernick, who was born in Wisconsin and used to play for the San Francisco 49ers, began kneeling during the national anthem before games in 2016 to protest police brutality and racial inequality. President Donald Trump has repeatedly slammed players who kneel during the anthem.
Wisconsin Republicans tried to bring their resolution excluding Kaepernick to the floor but fell short of the two-thirds majority they needed after all the chamber’s Democrats voted against the move.
Republicans said they tried to honor black history and moved on to another bill. Rep. David Crowley, chairman of the Legislature’s black caucus, walked out of the chamber. He told a reporter in the foyer that black people should be allowed to choose the leaders they want to honor and Kaepernick is “making history.”
Republicans later added the black caucus’ resolution to the agenda, then amended it to delete Kaepernick’s name on a 61-34 party-line vote. That put Democrats in an awkward position — deciding whether to oppose their own resolution or adopt it without Kaepernick.
Crowley said after the vote that deleting Kaepernick’s name from the list is a “textbook example of white privilege” and that he shouldn’t need to get permission from white lawmakers to put together a list of black leaders, AP reports.
The black caucus is waiting to hear as to whether they can honor Malcolm X, considering he once wore a conk and used to go by the street name Detroit Red.