Lacking the skills to keep his job as an NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick has found success as a woke provocateur and antagonist of American history, now on the payroll of Nike as their go-to guy on racism and idiotic political correctness. Which explains Nike’s rash decision to kill its $140 special, limited edition, July Fourth “Air Max 1 USA,” sneaker. Why? Because Kaepernick disliked the sneaker’s design with its patriotic reproduction of America’s first official flag.
For almost 250 years that’s been called the Betsy Ross flag after the woman who, by lore, first sewed it for General George Washington during the Revolutionary War. It features a circle of 13 white stars on a blue background in the upper left corner, amidst thirteen alternating red and white stripes across its width. This flag is an endearing and enduring historical American icon.
Kaepernick, you’ll recall, angered most Americans when he politicized the NFL, refusing to honor the flag and stand for our national anthem before games. Now he’s upped the ante, attacking our original flag which he regards as an offensive symbol of slavery. Yes, there was slavery at our nation’s founding, as there was throughout the world at that time. Our Constitution was a painstaking bargain between free states and slave states. There would have been no “United” States of America without a compromise over slavery at that point in our history. And that cancer of slavery would inevitably metastasize into a terrible four-year Civil War, also known as the War Between the States. A war that ultimately ended slavery at a cost of more than a million dead and wounded on both sides.
The Kaepernickian notion, and others of his ilk, is that the United States of America is forever damned by the slavery it once reluctantly condoned is simplistic, self-serving and unproductive when weaponized by blacks. When echoed by virtue-signaling whites on a liberal-guilt trip, it’s irrational self-flagellation. Slavery was what it was and it’s now history. The scars remain but we’ve come a very long way since in minimizing racial discrimination. To dispute that requires willful denial.
In branding Nike’s commemorative flag sneaker as “racist,” Kaepernick also blames the Betsy Ross flag for is misappropriation by some white supremacists who wear it as a decal or ornament. Yes, there are extremist, lunatic-fringe outliers on the right (and the left) in this country, and all others for that matter. But a relative handful of fanatics who flaunt that flag don’t, therefore, exclusively own it. A concept or a symbol isn’t, itself, responsible for all the people who embrace it. The great majority of 320 million Americans cherish this flag as a symbol of our nation’s finest endeavor: a victory in the War of Independence and the birth of one of the freest, most prosperous and stable nations the world has known.
Nike isn’t serving the cause of racial harmony or justice by merchandising Kaepernick and his agenda. It’s inflaming that cause. So what’s Nike’s motivation in doing this? The company isn’t a community organizer or a radical left-wing political movement like MoveOn.org, Daily Kos or ProgressNow. It’s a for-profit corporation selling sportswear and equipment. Maybe it’s just business; a marketing strategy to attract black adults, white progressives and impressionable black kids who crave their overpriced sneakers as a status symbol that many of their parents can hardly afford. If so, Nike may be risking a backlash from patriotic whites.
How about this? If white supremacists were to wear T-shirts with the Nike swoosh, by Kaepernick’s reasoning Nike products would then be racist by association. And, ironically, he’d be out of a job.
P.S. Here’s yet another episode of idiotic, American-history-hating, progressive revisionism. The Board of Education in the People’s Republic of San Francisco recently voted unanimously to destroy a vaunted, historic work of art: a 13-panel mural covering 1,600 square feet on the walls of a public high school, painted when the school was built in 1936. The artist was Victor Arnautoff, a celebrated muralist, commissioned by FDR’s Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression.
The mural depicts the good and the bad in the life of George Washington as a general and president but also as a slave owner and Indian fighter. The SF board now contends this glorifies racism, genocide, Manifest Destiny, colonization and white supremacy. Hence, it will be painted over at a cost of $825,000! (No doubt a union job.) The name of the school, gobsmackingly, is George Washington High School.
Will this madness never end?
Longtime KOA radio talk host and columnist for the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News Mike Rosen now writes for CompleteColorado.com.