Colin Kaepernick Calls Independence Day A ‘Celebration Of White Supremacy’
The former NFL star is known for taking a stand against racism, and he used Independence Day as an opportunity to voice his opinions and further spread awareness about the unjust treatment of Black people.
Celebration of the day dates back to the 18th century and the American Revolution, when the Continental Congress voted in favour of independence and delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence.
July 4 is now a federal holiday in the US, with people across the country celebrating what is considered the birth of American independence. Though in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests many people have pointed out the issues still plaguing the country.
Sharing his thoughts on Twitter, Kaepernick said Black people have been ‘dehumanised, brutalised, criminalised and terrorised by America for centuries’, pointing out that the ancestors of Black people were enslaved, and yet they are still ‘expected to join in your commemoration of ‘independence’.
We reject your celebration of white supremacy & look forward to liberation for all.
Alongside the message, Kaepernick shared a video which combined images of slave auctions, police brutality, the KKK, the Declaration of Independence and lynchings along with Frederick Douglass’ speech ‘What to the Slave is the Fourth of July’, narrated by actor James Earl Jones.
Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence?
Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us?
This Fourth of July is yours, not mine.
Kaepernick’s tweet was shared more than 51,000 times, though his message received mixed responses. One Twitter user, who identified themselves as a Black American, argued they celebrated the holiday because they are ‘thankful to live’ in the US, adding: ‘There’s nothing wrong with celebrating the fact that we’re not under British control.’
Another supported Kaepernick’s stance, writing: ‘No one is free until we are all free….’
Many Twitter users appeared to share a similar sentiment to Kaepernick as they acknowledged July 4, with another person sarcastically writing: ‘happy fourth of july to the thousands of black people who endure systematic racism in the country named the “land of the free”. happy fourth of july to the soldiers who were beaten to death. happy fourth of july america.’
Kaepernick famously protested for Black Lives Matter when he refused to stand for the national anthem; a decision which led to him losing his NFL career.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk