Kaepernick: Independence Day Robbed My Ancestors
Colin Kaepernick commemorated the 4th of July by indulging in the history of the land he calls “home.”
You know, Ghana.
The world’s most famous unemployed quarterback tweeted a one minute long video on Tuesday, which featured Kaepernick on a trip to Cape Coast Castle in Ghana, a place which once served as a major center of activity in the slave trade.
If any doubt remained over whether Colin Kaepernick cares whether he plays in the NFL again, these posts should put those doubts to rest. What these posts also reveal is Kaepernick’s breathtaking lack of historical knowledge. Slavery did not begin on the 4th of July, as Kaepernick implies here by referring to it as a day that “intentionally robbed” his ancestors of freedom.
The first African slaves arrived in what was to be America in 1619, no less than 150 years before Thomas Jefferson penned our rebuke to British tyranny. In fact, if you mark the beginning of slavery under the United States from the signing of the Declaration of Independence up through the signing of the 13th Amendment, which formally abolished it, slavery lasted 89 years under the Stars & Stripes. Significantly less than the 150 some-odd years that it existed under the Union Jack.
But to the point, the United States inherited the problem of slavery. It did not create the problem of slavery. Therefore, it cannot be said that the 4th is a day that intentionally or unintentionally robbed Africans and slaves of their independence.
A free black man was still a free black man on July 5th 1776, and a slave was still a slave.
Moreover, Kaepernick should be celebrating the 4th of July. The Civil War ended slavery in this country. If it wasn’t for American independence, and a union between slave states and non-slave states, then there never would have been a Civil War.
Sure, the English had aggressively tried to end slavery throughout their empire in the early 19th Century, and presumably would have attempted that here. However, how many Antietam’s, Bull Run’s, and Gettysburg’s do you think the English public would have endured before calling it quits?
My guess is not too many.