Colin Kaepernick Commits War Crime Of Stating Opinion On Twitter
Colin Kaepernick dropped some bombs on Twitter yesterday and conservatives lost their damn minds. It's weird. Kaepernick is not the president of the United States. You can just ignore his tweets. Yes, they're arguably controversial, but they don't promote violence or otherwise violate Twitter's terms of service.
Kaepernick does not have the warm and fuzzies for America, at least not in the way "love it or leave it unless the president is black" conservatives deem appropriate. This isn't news. It's also why Kaepernick no longer plays football professionally. He's paid a high price for his outspokenness, but the usual suspects won't honor the bill of sale and let him tweet in peace. Megyn Kelly, currently dramatized in the box-office bomb Bombshell, scrubbed off her blackface and denounced Kaepernick's comments.
This is typical Megyn Kelly-ing. She doesn't dispute Kaepernick's point so much as accuse him of seeing racism everywhere like some deranged paranoid or someone with a rudimentary knowledge of US history. She also makes a point of calling out Kaepernick's current employer, Nike, because she apparently believes that he should lose his livelihood because he expressed an opinion on Twitter. Megyn Kelly herself would disagree with that position, and not even the superior one played by Charlize Theron.
Kelly shared a Politico article defending Carlson's constitutional right to earn millions as a racist Fox News host. He'd lost some advertisers after he stated on air, with cameras rolling and everything, that immigrants made America "poorer and dirtier." That's the sort of all-American free expression only snowflakes in their safe spaces oppose. Kaepernick is just an ungrateful radical who doesn't deserve to make a living if he doesn't genuflect to the beat of America's drummer.
Concern-trolling moderates also joined in the fun. They never let an opportunity pass by to chastise Kaepernick for not voting in 2016. I'm all for voting. Racists played soccer with John Lewis's head so black people could vote, but let's be realistic here. Kaepernick lived in California during the last presidential election, and Clinton won that state by more than 4 million votes or the combined populations of New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and Wyoming. Kaepernick was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but I really doubt his campaigning for Clinton would've helped her there.
Conservatives were quick to accuse Kaepernick of supporting terrorists over US soldiers, which is a sneak preview of what any of us can expect if we're critical of Trump's Iranian escapades this year. During a state media appearance this morning, Lindsey Graham, a US Senator, was asked to comment on a private citizen's tweet.
Graham called Kaepernick a "loser on and off the field," because he's now a commentator on "SportsCenter." He also condemned him as "unAmerican" and a "racist." That doesn't seem like Graham is supporting the so-called "marketplace of ideas" where you're not supposed to call someone a "transphobe" because they say transphobic shit. You're certainly not supposed to call someone "racist" because you disagree with a point they've made. Conservatives on Fox usually say that liberals have "demeaned" the meaning of "racist" because that's what they call anyone who disagrees with them or is, you know, racist.
Kaepernick shouldn't take Graham's attacks too seriously. The senator called Trump a "race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot" in 2015 and now he's his biggest defender. Graham would cozy the fuck up to Kaepernick if he won the Republican nomination in 2024, but unfortunately, Kaepernick has too much personal integrity for that.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.