New Kaepernick book: ‘To eradicate anti-blackness, we must also abolish the police’

A new book from controversial former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick calls for the absolute abolishment of all police departments and prisons in the United States, positions that are not popular with the vast majority of Americans, according to polling data.

“In order to eradicate anti-Blackness, we must also abolish the police,” is the thesis of the book, which is a collection of 30 essays, one of which is written by the former San Francisco 49ers starter, TMZ reported Wednesday.

Titled, “Abolition for the People: The Movement for a Future Without Policing & Prisons,” the book will reportedly be available in hard copy, electronically, and in audiobook format. Kaepernick is listed as the chief editor for the tome.

“The omnipresent threat of premature death at the hands, knees, chokeholds, tasers, and guns of law enforcement has only further engrained its anti-Black foundation into the institutions of policing,” he says. “In order to eradicate anti-Blackness, we must also abolish the police. The abolition of one without the other is impossible.”

Citing a person who is familiar with the book, TMZ said Kaepernick wants to generate a conversation among readers about reimagining and reenvisioning how communities can be safe “without a militarized police presence.”

Kaepernick first became known as a Super Bowl quarterback for the 49ers, but he became controversial when he began kneeling during the playing of the national anthem in 2016 to draw attention to what he claims is systemic racism against black men within police departments — an allegation that is not borne out by federal statistics, according to criminologist John R. Lott Jr.

In an April column, he also reported that blacks are not thrilled with ditching police, citing various studies and other data.

“A July 2017 Quinnipiac University poll in New York City found that blacks strongly support the cops in their neighborhoods — 62% approved compared to just 35% who disapproved. That approval rating was 11 percentage points higher than for the New York City Police Department as a whole,” he wrote. A subsequent 2020 survey by Monmouth University found that nearly three-quarters of both blacks and whites (72 percent) overall are satisfied with their police.

Lott also pointed out that blacks report violent crime to police at higher percentages than whites or Hispanics.

“It is a dangerous fiction that prejudiced white officers are going out and disproportionately killing black men. But that doesn’t mean that measures can’t be taken to reduce shootings by police,” Lott added.

News of Kapernick’s book comes amid reports this week that former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2007, is being signed as a tight end by the Jacksonville Jaguars, prompting outcries from Kaepernick fans who see Tebow’s signing as racist.

“Picking up Tebow show me the jags clearly don’t have winning on they mind!!!!” former Tennesee Titans running back Chris Johnson wrote on Twitter, adding: “So KAP ain’t good enough to get a job.”

Tebow has been out of the NFL since 2012; Kaepernick last played in 2016, though he worked out for teams in November 2019. None signed him.

Kaepernick’s taking of a knee during the national anthem spread throughout the professional and semi-professional sports world, with athletes from nearly every major sport following suit in subsequent years.

The act has been likened to showing the ultimate disrespect to the country, while supporters say it is merely an expression of free speech.

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Jon Dougherty

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