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Colin Kaepernick’s Dilemma

Kaepernick photo Colin Kaepernick is furious at white cops. He apparently believes that there is an epidemic in America of white prejudice against blacks, epitomized by white cops shooting black men. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he says.

Kaepernick has accused white people and convicted them without a trial. He and other black radicals have decided that whites are bad people that discriminate against blacks and white cops are bad people that discriminate against black men. He has decided that blacks are oppressed by whites. “We have a lot of people that are oppressed. We have a lot of people that aren’t treated equally, aren’t given equal opportunities,” he says. He believes that black people have not advanced as well as white people or Asian people because of oppression due to prejudice.

Kaepernick is repeating the accusation that began to be spoken in harsh terms by radical black leaders who emerged after Martin Luther King’s death. People like Louis Farakhan, who said, “ White people are potential humans – they haven’t evolved yet.” People like Al Sharpton, who said, “Who defines terrorists? Today’s terrorist is tomorrow’s friend.”

According to radical blacks, all the problems of blacks are due to prejudice and discrimination and oppression by whites. That is their one and only way of seeing things. According to Kaepernick, he is not being hired by the NFL because of prejudice. His answer for everything is prejudice. Yet, like Farakhan and Sharpton, he never offers any research or evidence to back up his claims. Only angry rhetoric.

A while back, a police officer from Riviera Beach, Florida, Jay Stalien, who happens to be an African-American, made an emotional and controversial post on Facebook, speaking out on this matter. In his lengthy post, he addresses complaints by groups such as Black Lives Matter. He says such groups and a large segment of the African-American population react with strong emotions to each killing of an African-American before we know all the facts.

He goes over the usual complaints and debunks them. Complaint number 1: Police are always targeting black men. Stalien retorts, “A city where the majority of citizens are black (Baltimore for example) …will ALWAYS have a higher rate of black people getting arrested, it will ALWAYS have a higher rate of blacks getting stopped, and will ALWAYS have a higher rate of blacks getting killed, and the reason why is because a city with those characteristics will ALWAYS have a higher rate of blacks committing crime. The statistics will follow the same trend for Asians if you go to China, for Hispanics if you go to Puerto Rico, for whites if you go to Russia, and the list goes on.”

Stalien answers another common complaint: More black men get arrested by white men. He responds: “Data from the FBI shows that Nationwide, Blacks committed 5,173 homicides in 2014, whites committed 4,367. “ So more blacks are being arrested because they commit more crimes. Another complaint is that more blacks are killed by cops than whites. Stalien answers, “As of July 2016, the breakdown of the number of US Citizens killed by Police this year is, 238 White people killed, 123 Black people killed, 79 Hispanics, 69 other/or unknown race.” Almost twice as many white as blacks are are killed by cops, but nobody notices that.

Stalein notes that he is afraid to speak out about these things, because there is highly emotional climate among blacks. He is called an “Uncle Tom” (that is, a black who appeases white people) for disagreeing with them. He feel endangered every time he goes into the black community.

Kaepernick views his dilemma–namely, the fact that he hasn’t been hired since he knelt during the National Anthem–as due to prejudice. What he does not want to look at are the other factors that may have influenced people’s judgment toward him. His quarterback play was more and more ineffective in his last few years. His kneeling during the National Anthem was not a peaceful protest, it was an act of rebellion that hurt many people’s feelings. Many owners and white fans do not appreciate this kind of rebellious behavior and the blaming of white people. This hurts their feelings and they are staying away from stadiums. This in turn is affecting the owner’s finances. Kaepernick doesn’t think about all these factors.

What Kaepernick also doesn’t want to see is that his very perspective on the black situation in America is harmful to blacks. If blacks blame everything on prejudice and refuse to consider other possibilities, it keeps them in a self-imposed jail of victimhood. It prevents them from being self-starters and getting ahead.

Reasonable people do not try to understand complex issues when their mood is heated and their think may be hyeterical; they wait until they are calm. Reasonable people don’t make pronouncements based on angry convictions. Reasonable people do not think that their point of view is the only point of view. Reasonable people do not blame and dismiss those they differ with. They attempt to have a respectful dialogue with them. Anger begets anger. Constructive dialog leads to resolution.

It probably makes Kaepernick feel good to blame white cops and white owners and white people for his dilemma. It absolves him of any responsibility for his problems. He never has to say, “Well maybe I made a mistake…” Of course not. Kaepernick does not need to look objectively at himself. He just needs to keep blaming white people. That’s the ticket.

Colin Kaepernick’s Dilemma

Gerald Schoenewolf, Ph.D.

Gerald Schoenewolf, Ph.D. is a licensed psychoanalyst in New York and has been practicing for over 37 years. He works with adults, couples, families, adolescents, and children. He has graduated from three psychotherapy institutes and received a Certificate in Psychoanalysis from the Washington Square Institute in 1981. He has been an Adjunct Assistant Professor of psychology at the Borough of Manhattan Community College since 2002 and has authored thirteen books on psychotherapy and psychoanalysis as well as four novels and a book of poems and drawings. More recently he wrote 20 screenplays (winning four first-place awards at festivals) and produced and directed two feature films.

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APA Reference
Schoenewolf, G. (2018). Colin Kaepernick’s Dilemma. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 16, 2019, from


Last updated: 8 Dec 2018
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