This week, members of the Wisconsin legislator’s black caucus attempted to pass a resolution honoring African American leaders for Black History Month. The resolution was set to honor Colin Kaepernick (among others) for his advocacy on police brutality and the injustice towards the black community. However, Wisconsin Republicans lawmakers blocked the resolution on Tuesday, saying that they would not let it pass with Kapernick’s name on the list of honorees. Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke even went as far as saying that Kapernick was left off of the resoution for “obvious reasons” and called him a controversial figure.The Republicans then drafted their own resolution, leaving Kapernick’s name off of the list, offering the new resolution or none at all. The new resolution was ultimately passed leaving many democrats and black caucus leaders unhappy, as it will continue on in the state senate.
David Crowley, the chairman of the Wisconsin legislators black caucus spoke to reporters about the resolution saying, “You’re telling African-Americans they can’t honor who they feel are the leaders in their community,” and he is exactly right. In fact, Crowley and many other African-American legislators spoke out about that exact point during their debate. Why should a group of white men dictate which African Americans get to be honored for Black History Month? To put it simply, they should not. A group of white men should not get to tell African-Americans who they can celebrate and be proud of in their own communities. This serves as an example of the systematic racism of which America was built on and how ingrained it still is in our society today.