Colin Kaepernick and the Psychology of Racism
On August 26, 2016, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the National Anthem as a sign of protest. His demonstration was in response to racism that he believes exists in America, evidenced by the media’s depiction of African American deaths at the hands of police as of late. But upon investigating Kaepernick’s history, we see a deeper issue at work: the manifestation of deep psychological conditions that may very well be due to the deplorable race relations in America.
Colin Kaepernick is far from qualified to speak about the “racism” of America since he has been a 100% beneficiary of the white privilege that sociologists are apt to mention. Why? He was adopted by white parents when his white mother, who was impregnated by his absentee black father, gave him up when he was six weeks old. Due to his white, middle class background, you can imagine that there was a noticeable absence of the sort of things that the typical black youth in America would experience in an urban setting, like not having a stable household, two parents, and/or residing in a safe neighborhood.
Kaepernick went on to become an NFL quarterback and makes 19 million dollars a year. Also, during his time in the league, he managed to call a fellow football player the “N word.” He subsequently went on to become engaged to a BLM rights activist and converted to Islam during the off season.
Psychology is not something that is really big in America. But upon closer analysis, the history of Colin Kaepernick demonstrates a person with some deep seated psychological issue that is rooted in an identity crisis. It appears that he has a difficult time reconciling his biracial identity, high social status, with a black identity that he is nevertheless associated with.
I believe it goes deeper than that. He was fundamentally abandoned by his black father and white mother. Furthermore, his biological mother has attempted to reach out to him, overtures he refused, though he did make mention of wanting to meet his father. Calls made to his father were never returned. This undoubtedly must have a great deal of ramifications on this young man’s psyche.
Colin is biracial, but for all intents and purposes is culturally white per his white adopted parents. Nevertheless, America’s deplorable race relations and obsession with race, manifest as troubling issues for Kaepernick’s identity.
Kaepernick has all the reason in the world to love America and yet despises it because of how he believes it treats black people, despite the fact that it was this same country that had parents to adopt him, love him, reward his athletic talents and grant him millions of fans. Nevertheless, he is not satisfied and I believe I understand why: this all has to do with this young man’s still wounded self esteem and inner child that still wants the praise and admiration of his father. It makes sense. He undoubtedly loves his adopted parents but something deep inside prompts him to inquire about his biological father and ask, “Why wasn’t I good enough for you? Why didn’t you love me?”
I believe all of this grandstanding is just an attempt for him to win the acknowledgment from the black community that his biological father never gave him. Deep.
Gary St. Fleur
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