Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback who started a movement of kneeling during the national anthem to highlight racial injustices in America, quietly hosted an “I Know My Rights” camp for children of color over the weekend.
Mr. Kaepernick and a small group of his friends had been secretly planning the camp at Impact Hub Oakland in Oakland, California, in the hopes of teaching minority children how to deal with racial discrimination, police brutality and a variety of other social issues, the New York Daily News’ Shaun King exclusively reported.
“I didn’t just want to hire someone to come in and do this. We did all of this ourselves,” Mr. Kaepernick told Mr. King. “We even opted out of corporate sponsors because we just wanted the freedom to say exactly what we thought the kids we’ve brought here today need to hear and learn. I told myself that if I was going to do this type of work, that I was going to actually do it myself.”
Mr. King and his son, 10-year-old EZ, attended the event on Saturday. Each camper wore a T-shirt with 10 rights listed on the back that organizers said every child of color should know.
The rights were inspired by the popular Ten-Point Program created by the Black Panther Party, who celebrated their 50th anniversary in October. Among the rights included, “You have the right to be free,” “You have the right to be healthy,” and “You have the right to be loved.”
“We’re here today to fight back and give you all lessons to combat the oppressive issues that our people face on a daily basis. We’re here to give you tools to help you succeed,” Mr. Kaepernick told hundreds of black and Latino kids gathered at the event, the Daily News reported. “We’re going to give you knowledge on policing history, what the systems of policing in America were based on, and we’re also going to teach you skills to make sure you always make it home safely.”
“I want all of you to know what I know, so when you leave, in your bag, you’ll see the forms where each and every one of you can discover your ancestry through your DNA for free,” he said. “We’ve taken care of that for each of you. I want you to know what I know and know where you came from before slavery, before this oppression that we are experiencing, before police brutality, you had thousands of years of rich history, and I want you to know your roots with that history.”
Mr. Kaepernick later told the Daily News that he hoped this camp would serve as a model for similar camps across the country.
“This is just the beginning, man. What we’ve done here today in Oakland, we want to do all over the country, in cities all over this country, by bringing together local leaders, local activists and local youth, and not only giving them the skills and lessons they need, but we want to show them how much we love and value them,” he said.
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